NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The New Haven Board of Alders approved a 43-year lease extension at Tweed Airport Thursday night.
“People are excited to get out of their house and go to places like Florida and go see grandma and go on a trip to Disney World. We just haven’t been able to offer that kind of service in New Haven. Starting November, with Avelo, we will be able to do that,” Sean Scanlon, executive director of Tweed New Haven Airport Authority said.
The extension includes new operations owners — Avports — with plans on expanding a runway, upgrading the old terminal, building a brand new terminal, and housing the new airline: Avelo.
“Forty-three years, it’s just the length of time that we believe that we need to make back the money. It’s a $100 million investment that we’re making here at this airport, and we believe that we need 43 years to earn that money back,” Scanlon said.
Expanding the runway has been controversial in years past, with noise and ground issues being some of the concerns, though Tweed’s airport authority must abide by the local noise ordinances.
Avports is making updates noise studies a requirement within five years of FAA approval. They will also invest up to $1.75 million in additional noise mediation programs.
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker issued a statement following the board’s decision, saying in part:
“We heard neighbor and city concerns around traffic, noise, environmental issues, and the city’s subsidy and spent many months negotiating this deal with those concerns at the forefront,” the mayor said. “The result from our negotiations and the Board of Alders’ additional work has resulted in an agreement that I strongly believe is a dramatic improvement for the surrounding neighborhood and the city as a whole.”
“We can offer more flights out of New Haven which is something that we’ve been talking about for years and years and years and thanks to this decision by the Board of Aldermen tonight, we are one step closer to actually making that a reality,” Scanlon said.
The expansion could create up to 11,000 jobs and generate $47 million in tax revenues.