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Tweed New Haven Airport runway expansion moves forward

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Tweed New Haven Airport has cleared a major hurdle when it comes to an expansion, something that’s been talked about for years as a way to boost the local economy.

One of the big obstacles that’s been preventing Tweed from expanding is the length of the main runway. It needs to be longer in order to attract more airlines, their aircraft, and possibly new routes.

That main runway is currently 5,600 feet. The goal is to lengthen it by another 1,000 feet. The issue was that ten years ago, a state law was put into place that limited the length. So the city of New Haven brought the matter to court and won.

The second circuit court of appeals in New York ruled in favor of Tweed, saying the state law is invalid and that no referendum is necessary to extend the runway, adding that FAA regulations basically supersede any state statue.

At least three carriers are already interested in adding service to Tweed.

  1. Allegiant Air made a commitment early on to potentially bring service to Florida
  2. Southern Air, which recently added seasonal service to Nantucket is evaluating adding potential routes within the northeast this fall
  3. Jetblue has expressed interest

City leaders are happy about this because of what it could mean for business in this part of the state. Not to mention, possibly more options for travelers. However, people who live near the airport are concerned about what this will mean for them.

“It’s kind of dangerous sometimes scary because the planes are coming out right next to your house,” Chris Montana, New Haven resident.

“We have airport people parking on our street so it’s a little annoying,” Gary Spaziani of New Haven.

Dorothy Popoloski’s mother bought her East Haven home in 1941.

“Don’t tell me that I should’ve known that the airport was going to expand this much,” Dorothy said.

Dorothy also expressed her concern for the wildlife making their way back to East Haven.

“the songbirds and the marsh birds that have moved back in and will be disturbed, nevermind the coyotes and the bobcats and the deer that have moved back in,” Dorothy said.

“The airport was here before there was one house built. So no one built or bought a house without knowing that the airport was here,” New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

The airport says it’s been a good neighbor to those who live nearby, taking into consideration noise and other issues over the years. Keep in mind, that attracting new routes to and from any airport takes time.

Senator Martin Looney said, “We just want to make sure that the neighborhoods that closely abutt the airport are not sacrificed for economic development.”

Web Extra: Martin Looney pursuing Tweed Respecting Constituent Wishes

An airline needs to make sure it’s a smart and sustainable business decision. There are a lot of different factors that need to play out. This airport could hit a snag if the state decides to appeal the recent court decision. Right now, it’s unclear if that will happen.

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