FAIRFIELD, NJ – In honor of National Aviation Day, TAP into West Essex office staff took a field trip on Friday to the local runway at Essex County Airport, located at 27 Wright Way in Fairfield.

Upon arrival, Jessica Parkes, co-owner of TAPintoWestEssex.net, and Conor McCloskey, TAP marketing consultant, were greeted by Tom Gomez, manager of the airport’s governing body, the Essex County Improvement Authority (ECIA).

He explained the purpose of the airport.

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“We are called a ‘reliever airport,’” said Gomez, “because we do just that; relieve other (commercial) airports from air traffic congestion.”

Gomez also explained that the airport was a large manufacturer of air craft parts in the 50’s up until the early 70’s when the ECIA took over and began to build it up as a prominent airport for the region.

Among several companies located on the grounds, including three separate flight schools, aerial photography and helicopter operations, is Air Bound Aviation, the airports resident fixed-base operator (FBO). Air Bound provides transient parking for aircrafts, fuel service and transportation services to the area. 

According to owner, Andrew Ferguson, 50 percent of his business is accommodating local businesses with their travel needs. 

“It’s one of the busiest piston airports in the region,” said Ferguson. "And we are here to serve the community and businesses in the area.”

Gomez also told TAP that the ECIA likes to be active in the community as much as possible.

“I sometimes go off premise to speak to local schools on career day,” said Gomez. 

The airport also hosts events during the year, with one just on the horizon.

On Sept. 16, the Essex County Airport will be hosing ‘Join the Flight!’ event where guests will have the chance to climb aboard and ride in a B-17G Aluminum Overcast, World War II’s most vital aircraft.

Later in the year, the airport will also host an event which coincides with Father’s Day called, "Wings & Wheels," which will showcase antique airplanes and cars.

For more information on all that the Essex County Airport has to offer, contact the ECIA at (973) 227-4567 or Air Bound Aviation at (973) 575-1833.

Follow Jessica through West Essex on her new Twitter page @hometownewsgirl #tapintowestessex