Travelers at the Newark Liberty International Airport may soon be able to imbibe in adult beverages after hours. Legislation expanding the hours the airport is allowed to serve alcohol was unanimously approved by an Assembly panel. Bill A-2419 would allow bars and restaurants operating within an international airport to sell alcoholic beverages between the hours of 8 am and 4 am.

Usually, local municipalities establish by ordinance the hours when alcoholic beverages may be sold for consumption on the premises. Most other bars and restaurants in New Jersey must close at 2 am or 3 am. Newark Airport is currently regulated by the liquor laws of the City of Newark, which allow the sale of liquor in bars and restaurants in the airport from 9:00 am to 2:00 am Monday through Wednesday, from 9:00 am to 3:00 am Thursday through Saturday, and from noon to 2:00 am on Sundays. This bill would only affect Newark International Airport.

The bill’s chief sponsor, Assemblyman Timothy Eustace, noted that the extended hours are appropriate for the airport, where normal day-to-day time routines do not apply. Another sponsor, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin stated that the bill is a “revenue generator and job booster.” Assemblyman John Burzichelli noted that for travelers, time is relative. “Someone’s morning may be someone else’s evening.”

The bill was approved by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Reform and Federal Relations Committee. It now goes before the legislature and if passed, to the governor for his approval. It would take effect immediately upon enactment.