Eagles Nest Airport Operating Under New Ownership Structure

Mar 20, 2019
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Ownership of Eagles Nest Airport has officially transitioned from Peter Weidhorn to the pilot community, to ensure the airport’s continuity and operational standards, Weidhorn has announced. At age 72, he said, he is thinking ahead to safeguard the airport’s long-term success for generations to come.

Effective immediately, the nonprofit Eagles Nest Pilots Association and its elected board of directors, of which Weidhorn is president, are responsible for operations. Weidhorn remains a significant contributor alongside 20 pilots who now control 60 percent of the ownership structure.

“With the pilot community actively engaged in the ownership, management and operations of the airport, more eyes will be focused on the activities and enhancements required to maintain Eagles Nest as an economic and community asset available for educational and cultural events,” Weidhorn said.

Weidhorn purchased the airport in 2009 and has spent 10 years and millions of dollars revitalizing it for public use as a general aviation airport – the only one between Atlantic City and Toms River. Over the years, his passion for aviation and determination to fulfill his dream have withstood the criticism and disdain of the airport’s neighbors and at times the township committee itself.

The board elected by the investor group comprises Weidhorn, Treasurer Stephen McBride of Eagleswood, Secretary Sal Mazza of Little Egg Harbor, Paul Rice of Harvey Cedars, and Tom Conheeney of North Beach.

Weidhorn plans to attend the March 25 Eagleswood Township Committee meeting with some of his fellow pilot airport owners to introduce the new ownership structure; to revisit the NODE application that has been on hold for the last two years, in hope of gaining the town’s support; and “to explore how together we can enhance service and neighbor participation. The airport could be used as an educational, economic and cultural asset of the town.”

Looking to the year ahead, he said, “the airport will be active with banner towing, scenic biplane flights over LBI, and tandem parachute jumping. Charter flights continue to arrive either by helicopter or aircraft for visitors frequenting LBI. LBI is also a pilots’ destination for a week in the sun. The number of overnight visiting aircraft increases each year with visitors to LBI and other local destinations and family events.”

A community airport open house and fly-in is scheduled for June 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The free event will feature airplane and automobile displays, flying demonstrations and free flights for children ages 8 to 17. The New Jersey State Police helicopter is scheduled to join EAA chapters from both Monmouth and Ocean County at the gathering. The Civil Air Patrol will have a static display and cadets available to answer flying questions. Weidhorn noted the event affords an opportunity for the town to host a 5K race at the airport, and he encourages local emergency services such as fire and first aid to display their equipment.

The next township committee meeting will take place Monday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in the township meeting room at town hall, located on Division Street.

— Victoria Ford






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