|1960's||Solberg-Hunterdon Airport is selected by the Port Authority of NY/NJ as the 4th metropolitan-area jetport, alongside LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark. Residents’ grass roots opposition, culminating in a march to the Statehouse, blocks expansion. |
|1990's||Solberg Airport is proposed as the replacement for Linden Airport. The proposal was abandoned after considerable local opposition.|
|1997||A Master Plan for the airport was developed which calls for expansion of the main runway from 3750' to 5600' (sufficient for most business jets) and paving the crosswind runway.|
|1999||The Master Plan is conditionally approved by the FAA and NJDOT pending completion of an Environmental Impact Statement. |
|2001||After negotiations with the Solbergs fail, Readington enacts an ordinance to acquire the airport. |
|2001||Solbergs enter into an agreement to sell the airport to NJDOT for $22M subject to negotiation and FAA financing, effectively avoiding acquisition by the Township.|
|2005||Unable to complete negotiations with the Solbergs, NJDOT abandons plans to buy the airport. |
|2006||Readington residents approve by 55% to 45% a $22M bond ordinance to purchase 625 acres of fields around the airport as permanent open space, and to purchase deed restrictions on the 102 acre airport itself. The 102 acre airport property and business would be left in the hands of the Solbergs to operate and improve within the specifications of the deed restrictions. |
|2006..||After negotiating unsuccessfully with the Solbergs to purchase the land surrounding the airport and the deed restrict the airport, the township begins litigation to preserve the airport. The matter then goes to court. |
|2009||Superior Court Judge Yolanda Ciccone grants a summary judgement that Readington Township can legally acquire the fields as open space and deed restrict the airport owned by Solberg Aviation. |
|2014||A State appeals court reverses the summary judgement and the case goes to court for a full trial.|
|2014||Trial begins. The trial is suspended to allow for mediated negotiations between the Township and the Solbergs. After failure of the negotiations, the trial is resumed and is currently underway in Superior Court in Somerville.|
|2014||In court testimony and aviation publications, the Solbergs and their supporters restate their goal to expand Solberg-Hunterdon Airport into a corporate jetport. |
Solberg-Hunterdon Airport is a general-aviation airport situated on 725 acres in Readington Township, New Jersey. The airport was established in 1939 by Thor Solberg Sr., a Norwegian-American aviation pioneer.
The Solbergs wish to honor their father's legacy by expanding the airport into a jetport. Most Readington residents would rather retain the quiet, rural character of the town. As the Solbergs repeatedly attempted to expand the airport in the 60’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s, Readington residents expressed their opposition and blocked expansion. The noise, pollution, congestion and commercial development of the airport will decrease property values, increase taxes for airport services, and forever change the character of Readington Township.