The construction of an entertainment complex near Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey has caught the attention of the FAA because of the height of some of the proposed rides. The amusement park’s intended location is just three miles from the airport and under the approach path to the runways.
The developer, Colony Capital, has included in its proposal the construction of a 333-foot-high Ferris wheel, to be in the center of Meadowlands Xanadu, adjacent to the Meadowlands Sports Complex in Bergen County, N.J.
“We can’t stop them from building,” noted the FAA’s Arlene Salac. “The agency does not have the authority to stop a company from building, but most of the time our recommendations are taken very seriously.”
According to Salac, the developer has to submit paperwork for an obstacle evaluation. The FAA then studies the proposal to determine if it will have a negative impact on air traffic.
“We send a letter back to the company with our findings and often they come back to us and we work with them,” Salac explained. “Sometimes we suggest that they move the location of the object or make it smaller. Then the company comes back to us with another proposal and we do another analysis.”
FAA officials suggested that the wheel be no taller than 190 feet, or roughly the same height as a 19-story building.
Colony Capital has listened to the FAA in the past. A proposal to build a roller coaster that would have been one of the tallest in the country was scrapped after the FAA voiced objections.
Calls to Colony Capital were not returned before press time but, according to its website, Meadowlands Xanadu is a 4.8 million-square-foot combination sports, leisure, family entertainment, retail, hotel and office venue that will create approximately 20,000 jobs. It is slated to open next fall.
If the Ferris wheel is built to its original design height of 333-feet, it will take 25 minutes to complete one circuit.