The Transportation Committee held a public hearing on Monday on legislation that would extend the runway at Tweed New Haven Airport, making it viable for more commercial flights.
“Many of our economic drivers are innovation-based industry, and these are people that are high talent, high skilled and mission driven, so they travel around the country. And the mission for Tweed is to support them and collaborate in other ways to invest not only locally, but around the world,” explained Michael Piscatelli with the New Haven Economic Development Office.
New Haven-area business leaders said expanding the runway will make the Greater New Haven area more attractive to companies looking to grow jobs and profits.
But there is opposition. Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano said this goes against a deal cemented around a decade ago by the Town of East Haven, the City of New Haven and legislative leaders.
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“We are not going to allow them to go in there and expand this airport without getting consideration from the community in East Haven and New Haven,” Sen. Fasano said.
That allowed the construction of an emergency runway, but not an expanded runway for more commercial flights.
State Rep. Roland Lemar, whose district includes parts of New Haven and East Haven, supports the expansion plans, but believes neighbors in the area must be taken care of.
A clear articulation of the net benefits needs to be in with consideration of how to mitigate the traffic in the surrounding area. Noise-proofing needs to be a core component for those in the surrounding area and the serious environmental issues,” he said.
Additional legislation would put the management of the airport in control of the Connecticut Airport Authority, the body responsible for operating Bradley International Airport and the state’s five general operation airports.