NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — More than six thousand Avelo flights have now gone in and out of Tweed New Haven Airport, but it was just one year ago, the first flight took off.
Avelo, New Haven and East Haven officials celebrated with a press conference and birthday cake on the tarmac.
Economic Development officials said the city has seen considerable business and housing growth in the last year.
“That’s a testament to the importance of a strong transportation infrastructure: Metro-North, Amtrack, Avelo,” said New Haven Economic Development Director Michael Piscitelli. “This is all part of the proof of concept that New Haven can continue its very meaningful economic growth.”
The year has included some controversy. Neighbors complain the planes are so loud, they violate noise ordinances. You can smell the jet exhaust for blocks. Some worry about pollution in the air and water.
Avelo has grown to 14 different destinations in the first year Avelo has been at Tweed New Haven Airport.
“We’re going to see more destinations,” said Andrew Levy, Avelo Airlines CEO, of what the future will look like for the airline. “We have several in mind that we’re going to roll out this spring and early summer.”
The plan is also to extend the runway and build a new terminal for Avelo. Environmentalists worry that will damage wetlands and increase flooding risks. An environmental assessment is underway to study all that.
“Right now, we are going through it, and we expect that the first half of next year we should have a record of decision from the FAA in order to put shovels in the ground,” said Jorge Roberts, CEO of Avports, the company that manages the airport.
Avelo’s CEO said they have already created around 300 jobs in the area, and future expansion will create even more.