HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – There is a debate over whether or not Hartford-Brainard Airport should close after a new study was released that recommends closing part of the airport to open up the land for development.
The report recommends keeping the main runway open and closing the cross runway at the far end of the airport.
Some would like to see the land used for more airplane hangers to expand air traffic while others would prefer the airport shut down completely to develop other projects along the waterfront.
Michael Teiger is the president of the Hartford-Brainard Airport Association
“There is a lot of action that goes on in here, people just don’t know about it… There are three active flight schools that put out almost 100 private pilots a year,” Teiger said. “At the end of the runway we have CT Aerotech which trains or technicians they put out 25 a year, and there’s a huge shortage of pilots and arrow technicians that this place supplies.”
State Sen. John Fonfara (D-Hartford) said the land could be used to add residential, retail, or commercial space.
Fonfara said the airport loses money every year, and that it is time for a complete redesign to build something to attract and keep talent in Hartford.
“Here is an opportunity to create from whole cloth a tremendous opportunity to keep our young people here entertainment, live on the river, work on the river. Look at the Yard Goats and how that has attracted people into the city who don’t come to the city very often, if at all. We can do that on steroids at this location,” Fonfara said.