Runway Quest Lands At Capitol
| Mar 9, 2018 8:58 am
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Posted to: State, 2018 Session, Transportation, True Vote
We need just 1,000 more feet. Then we’ll fly all over, and build our economy.
The Harp administration is making that case to the state legislature.
It’s asking the General Assembly to pass a bill this session to remove language from a statute that limits the runway at Tweed New Haven Airport to 5,600 feet.
Local business advocates have launched an “I Support Tweed Airport” postcard lobbying campaign in support of the bill as well. “Please Lift the Restriction and Create Jobs in Southern Connecticut,” the postcard implores lawmakers.
The Tweed measure is one of several priorities the Harp Administration has identified for this session. The administration’s newly published full legislative agenda also tackles problems outside the APT methadone clinic in the Hill and street safety, among other challenges.
With another 1,000 feet, Tweed would be able to attract jet service to hubs not just in Philadelphia, but Washington and Atlanta, Mayor Harp claimed during her most recent appearance on WNHH FM’s “Mayor Monday” program. She argued that that would help create jobs and build the tax base. For instance, she said she’d been told that Alexion Pharmaceuticals moved its sales force out of town because reps “couldn’t get out of town quickly” enough because of limited jet service. She said she saw firsthand how limited jet service made it hard for people to attend the national mayors’ summit she hosted in December as president of the African-American Mayors Association.
The proposal to repeal the limited-runway language is tucked into a separate proposal about solar power at airports, House Bill No. 5350.
Morris Cove neighbors have fought expansion. They complain about noise from jets. They also cite a deal struck under the previous DeStefano administration for the expansion to 5,600 feet, which included a promise not to seek further expansion.
Harp noted that Tweed has spent $3 million, or $40,000 per property, to insulate neighbors’ homes from noise from jets. She also said the 1,000-foot extension would keep the runway within the bounds of the existing fence.
A new draft report from a state Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth gives the thumbs up to repealing the legislation that limits the runway length at Tweed.
“In Connecticut, air passengers must often travel first to hubs outside the state in order to connect to their final destination,” the report argues. “As a result, Southern Connecticut is one of the most underserved air markets in the country, as most potential patrons of Tweed travel to airports in New York instead. (Read the draft report here.)
The report notes that air travel is critical for connecting local businesses to the global economy. But business travelers are willing to bypass New Haven and Hartford airports because of inadequate service, according to the report.
“Commuter flights out of Tweed would be of significant benefit to biotech and other start-up companies in Southern Connecticut,” commissioners concluded in the report.
Morris Cove Alder Sal DeCola said he does not support having the runway extended because of concerns about how that would impact neighborhoods throughout the east side of town.
“The conversation around extending the runway is always about inside the fence and the economic impact, but there is no conversastion about the impact outside the fence line and the quality of the impact,” DeCola said.
Methadone, Left-On-Left ...
The Harp legislative agenda other top priorities include asking the legislature to:
• Restore the ability for local building inspectors to levy fines for unpermitted construction and code violations. (Read about that here.)
• Allow licensed medical workers to dispense methadone from their offices, so not everyone has to crowd clinics like APT’s on Congress Avenue.
• Make it legal to turn left from one one-way street onto another. “People do it anyway,” Harp said. She argued the rule change would improve traffic flow.
• Drop from five to two the number of delinquent parking tickets that disqualify you from reregistering a vehicle with the state. That would put Connecticut in line with Massachusetts.
• Allow cities to discount assessments on “electric or green eregy vehicles.”
• Add a 15-cent deposit for alcohol miniature “nip bottles,” like that on bigger bottles, to cut down on litter.
• Grant $2.5 million in bond funds to renovate the old Barbell Club/Hill Cooperative Youth Services after-school center in Trowbridge Square; and $3.5 million in bond funds to repair draining problems at the current Wilbur Cross High School athletic field and add a new running track, athletic field, natural turf practice field, and lighting. The home field is currently sinking.
The 2018 Agenda
|HB 5001||In Committee||To impose a fee on transactions involving virtual currency.|
|HB 5031||In Committee|
|To allow students to have equal access to institutional financial aid.|
|HB 5082||In Committee||To provide state funds to assist hurricane victims from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who are living in Connecticut.|
|HB 5126||In Committee||To increase funding to boards of education and family resource centers that provide assistance to students and families from Puerto Rico.|
|HB 5112||In Committee||To permit the retail sale of marijuana and tax such sale to raise revenue for the General Fund and to fund substance abuse treatment, prevention, education and awareness programs.|
|SB 1||In Committee||To expand the sick leave program to provide earned family and medical leave to certain individuals employed in this state.|
|SB 62||In Committee||To provide tuition-free community college for Connecticut residents.|
|HB 5182||In Committee||To require building officials in certain municipalities to establish and assess a fee for the commencement of certain work without a necessary permit.|
|HB 5210||In Committee|
|To (1) mandate insurance coverage of essential health benefits, (2) expand mandated health benefits for women, children and adolescents, and (3) expand mandated contraception benefits.|
|HB 5084||In Committee||To encourage the recycling of nip bottles that otherwise frequently litter urban areas.|
|HB 5350||In Committee||To create a pilot program for shared solar facilities at municipal airports. The bill also would delete the provision that dictates the length of Tweed Airport’s runway.|
|HB 5475||In Committee||To amend statutory provisions concerning a police officer’s viewing of a recording from body-worn recording equipment under certain circumstances.|
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posted by: RHeerema on March 8, 2018 4:56pm
Reality Check #1 - The money spent by Tweed for noise reduction was NOT some kind of a lovely community gift or gesture, it was REQUIRED by the EPA because of the known, well-researched negative health impacts of noise levels generated by airplanes.
Reality Check #2 - Tweed Airport is sited on WETLANDS, which run right into the Long Island Sound. Extending the runway creates major stormwater runoff, directly into Long Island Sound. Look at the size of the paved areas already. The impact of paving more wetlands damages the eco-system and reduces the capacity for storm surges to be mitigated naturally. Climate change, anyone?
Reality Check #3 - the statement “Southern Connecticut is one of the most underserved air markets in the country” only makes sense when you discount the following: Bradley, JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Providence, White Plains and Logan. Yes, I’ve flown out of all of them, traveling from New Haven. We are NOT underserved.
Reality Check #4 - the entire airline industry is going through major economic shifts. Little boutique airports like Tweed are closing all over this country as states and municipalities are focusing shrinking public dollars on viable transportation HUBS. With the state and city budgets in disarray (another discussion altogether), we cannot afford to eminent domain our way to buy up and build the rail, shuttle, bus, and traffic lines needed to make Tweed useful to more than elites.
Reality Check #5 - “we just need 1,000 feet,” is inaccurate. Look at the long-range plan for Tweed. The requests for expansion will continue. This 1,000 feet is phase three of four. Phase 4 involves more eminent domain taking of homes, and more paving.
Reality Check #6 - All impact is NOT in “bounds of the existing fence.” Those who have not driven by the airport in the past several years should do so. Tweed continues to purchase and level homes, and cut down mature trees. These are community and environmental damages which are not publicized.
posted by: StopTweed.org on March 8, 2018 5:13pm
This is nothing but political showboating. ALL of Tweed’s claims have been roundly rejected by the federal district court, and the recent addition of jet service (within the current airport runway limits) further undermines the claims Tweed have made.
The runway length is NOT an obstacle for airport service. This is just another attempt to continue Tweed’s relentless expansion (accompanied by tonedeaf PR slogans like “Pave The Future”).
Full ruling from September: http://docdro.id/fFuzCvD
“The Court agrees defendant’s argument that Conn. Gen. Stat. §15-120j(c) does not interfere with plaintiff’s ability to comply with federal aviation safety standards.”
“The current locations and dimensions of the taxiways are not in compliance with regulations in terms of their distance from Runway 2/20, but this problem can be fixed without extending the length of Runway 2/20. Thus, there is no evidence in the record showing that it is impossible for the Authority to comply with both Conn. Gen. Stat. §15-120j(c) and the FAAct.”
Furthermore, the demand just does not exist for more service, to even fill the seats on current planes. Tweed’s own witnesses undermined their dubious claims that runway length is a limiting factor for service.
“Plaintiff argues that the runway ‘remains too short for almost all commercial aircraft to operate regularly scheduled service in a safe and commercially reasonable manner.’ However, the airport is currently served by American Airlines with a Dash 8 turboprop aircraft that seats between 37 and 40 passengers. According to a letter written by Mr. DeCoster, who testified on behalf of the plaintiff, ‘[t]he current runway length is sufficient to accommodate that aircraft in most weather conditions without a payload hit.’”
The new jets further undermine Tweed’s “need” for expansion.
The City and Tweed lost their court case, and know how badly they did (every argument they made was rejected), so now they’re going to try and bully the legislature.
posted by: anonymous on March 8, 2018 5:34pm
RHeerema wrote about “traffic lines needed to make Tweed useful to more than elites.”
“Elites,” who have made it fairly clear that future service to Tweed is at risk and that they would like the airport to have more than one commercial flight, are the people who decide where companies are headquartered and expanded, which private businesses and non-profits get investments and grants, and where meetings, conferences, and events are held.
Investors don’t want to land at Bradley or JFK and have to spend hours in a traffic jam to visit a grantee here, and despite what the convention bureau may say, the fact is that because of this, New Haven simply is not currently an option for most meetings or conferences.
When we look down on or ignore the needs of these “elites,” we risk losing thousands of jobs, union contracts, hotel rooms, grants, loans, and other dollars that can support the other things that make the community stronger.
These things may not matter in a primarily affluent, older, white area of a couple thousand homeowners such as East Shore. For the hundreds of thousands of young entrepreneurs, hotel workers, and other employees in the New Haven area, they may be an important consideration.
posted by: RHeerema on March 8, 2018 5:41pm
@Anonymous - then we should prioritize funding for better rail travel and shuttle service to these larger hubs! More bang for the public buck for everyone!
posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 8, 2018 5:43pm
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posted by: StopTweed.org on March 8, 2018 6:01pm
anonymous expansion support writes:
“When we look down on or ignore the needs of these ‘elites,’ we risk losing thousands of jobs, union contracts, hotel rooms, grants, loans, and other dollars that can support the other things that make the community stronger.
These things may not matter in a primarily affluent, older, white area of a couple thousand homeowners such as East Shore. For the hundreds of thousands of young entrepreneurs, hotel workers, and other employees in the New Haven area, they may be an important consideration.”
This caricature of East Shore is exactly part of the problem, just like the revisionist history that there wasn’t a neighborhood in Morris Cove when the airport was founded. East Shore *is New Haven too*, though “anonymous” doesn’t consider them New Haveners or neighbors, or even “employees in the New Haven area”.
Maybe if the humans near the airport don’t matter to you, the environment does? See RHereema’s “Reality Check #2”, which you ignore.
Tweed was just punted as some major 21st Century solution to a problem New Haven doesn’t have, by “The Elm City Innovation Collaborative”, as an outgrowth of the City’s PR campaign. “Innovation” is runway and airport expansion? In this day and age, even with the threat of Climate Change looming and an asthma crisis in the City?
posted by: Noteworthy on March 8, 2018 6:44pm
Another Lie Note:
1. Alexion did not leave New Haven after one year over Tweed. That’s a lie. Tepeating a lie is as bad as the first petson who said it.
2. Harp should disclose who told this lie and ask why she repeated it wiyhout verifying it.
3. No to parking ticket and registering a vehicle. The state shouldn’t even be involved. Who gives a damn what MA does? Taxes are lower in NC - want to lower our taxes?
4. And of course, another request for a handout.
5. Just say no.
posted by: Penny Cacace Cafferty on March 8, 2018 6:45pm
I agree 1000% with Rachel’s well written facts. Instead of Mayor Harp raising our mill rate she should cut back on subsidizing Tweed with tax payer dollars. How hard can it be to drive 50 minutes from Hartford? Is there any proof whatsoever that New Haven will become a thriving metropolis all hinging on access to Tweed? Really??
posted by: Pardee on March 8, 2018 8:50pm
Over the years, I sat in on numerous Tweed board meetings. The installation of the noise reduction windows is merely the application of a bandaid to make the airport appear to be a good neighbor. At a board meeting, a member inquired whether the board had any further obligation regarding the installation of the new windows. He was relieved to learn that the board had no further responsibility. It was all on the installers. Tweed had applied the bandaid. The outcome was not their problem. They were done. Ask the neighbors how many times the noise violation complaint line is working!
Further, I cannot believe that the City and the Sate, who are both broke, can afford to pour more money into an operation that loses money or barely breaks even. At a June meeting, the board applauded when it was announced that Tweed would likely end the year in the black. One board member, who actually took his job seriously, reminded the rest that their responsibility was to make money not just break even. Do we really want to hand over more of our hard earned dollars to a group who believes in “if we build it they will come?” Where are their hard numbers that back up their dreams? Airlines “saying” they are interested is not the same as a signed contract.
Airlines are consolidating and pulling out of smaller airports. Reality check. In one report, Logan was listed as a smaller airport. There is also a pilot shortage. Is anyone addressing this reality as they dream of more flights to numerous destinations? Over the years, the lone provider at Tweed has repeatedly cut flights for several months of the year due to low ticket sales. Unfortunately for the Tweed expansion proponents, their dreams do not line up with reality.
This proposed expansion is a waste of our tax dollars and an assault on a fragile environment.
posted by: __quinnchionn__ on March 8, 2018 9:32pm
To me it makes sense why Mayor Harp would want to grow and expand the airport. New Haven is a city that is on the rise and will hopefully become a place where it’s thriving more than it ever did before. For New Haven to be as big as it is Tweed should certainly be much more of a decent airport to all public users.
posted by: LoveNH on March 8, 2018 11:17pm
Way to go, Mayor Harp!!
A viable Tweed runway is the single most important legislative component to New Haven’s long-term success at creating good jobs for our community. It’s the most lasting mistake of DeStefano’s tenure and the biggest legacy Harp could leave for New Haven.
posted by: Elmster on March 9, 2018 6:56am
imagine Referring to the residents of Morris Cove as elites. As opposed to the Business executives and Yale visitors who are the ones who primarily use Tweed for private jet travel. The residents of The Cove, who have lived here in a vital and neighborhood since well before A jet Port was a dream are vastly more important to this city than this joke of a transportation center.
Go ahead Mayor, and continue to eat into the fabric of your tax base, but why doesn’t the city answer this simple question: how much does Tweed cost each New Haven residential taxpayer every single year? Add up the money spent from the city budget, the state budget and the federal budget and then divide by the number of tax paying parcels in new haven this year and tell us all what this place costs us.
Now, take that land, and overlay expanded, vibrant residential streets over the property and tell us how much tax revenue would be generated for both New Haven and East Haven if that land were better used to take what is New Havens most stable and valuable residential asset and allow it to expand over Tweed land.
Tweed should be renamed Humpty Dumlty Airport, because all the myopic city administrators and all the Yale money can’t put the mess that is Tweed back together again.
The city is a fiscal mess, the state has no money, but we should spend more to subsidize air travel instead of asking people to drive OR TAKE THE TRAIN to Hartford?
Come on Toni, you are being manipulated by the selfish Tweed gang. You are far smarter than this.
posted by: Ryn111 on March 9, 2018 7:55am
Aren’t the jets that are proposed less noisy than the current turbo prop planes?
@Rheerema - I don’t think your wetlands argument carries much weight. There are easy mitigation efforts and much larger projects that directly impact wetlands, if you actually cared. The area of runway impact has already been graded. Want to talk about climate change.. how about driving 50 miles to the nearest airport!?
To state NH is not undeserved fails to acknowledge we are a 1 hour drive (on a good day) to the nearest airport… 1 hour. New Haven is one of the few growing cities in CT. A runway expansion is possible and cheap. Sure would faster train service be nice too, yes but the price and timeline for something like that isn’t something we would see in our lifetime. If the economics aren’t there then let that be proven in the market instead of claiming its not a reality.
This local argument is ridiculous…. tweed didn’t pop up over night. The homeowners in this area choose to live here. I suppose if you moved into an apartment above a bar you would complain about the noise there too…..
posted by: Ryn111 on March 9, 2018 11:15am
@elmster take the train to hartford… airport? lol
posted by: Newhallville_E on March 9, 2018 1:10pm
While I am reluctant to jump into this pool, there are times when a believe a little objectivity can improve discourse. Not having quality air service is a barrier to retaining and attracting talent and jobs into the area. And while train service is getting better, if you have a morning meeting in Washington, DC or Boston the train is not a effective option because it simply takes to long to get to you destination and requires you to leave the day before.
Expanding the airport will not be a dynamic job generator, but it does make the greater New Haven area more competitive, because we would become a more accessible destination.
In terms of neighborhood dynamics. I live in Morris Cove. This is not the 80s when there were loud whisper jets. I knew there was an airport in the neighborhood when I moved there. I think other people knew that when they moved into the neighborhood or purchased their homes. Its like living next to the Yale Bowl and complaining that they play football there. Really. Lastly, there are good and bad proposals. Government is often wrong. But as a community, we have to figure out what we want to be for, not just what we are always going to be against. Status quo is not an option. We need to be better, and in this instance I support what Mayor Harp is attempting to do.
posted by: robn on March 9, 2018 2:08pm
By public transit common for New Yorkers
LaGuardia to downtown NYC = 65 min
Newark Liberty Airport to downtown NYC = 65 min
John F. Kennedy Airport to downtown NYC = 75 min
By car common for Nutmeggers
Bradley to downtown NHV = 57 min
posted by: anonymous on March 9, 2018 4:15pm
“New Haven is one of the few growing cities in CT.”
Yes, it is worth pointing out the entire state depends on this airport. It’s not just the immediate New Haven area that is impacted by the fact that we have trouble attracting jobs, companies, conferences, grants, investors, etc., to the area.
The jobs in New Haven are held by workers from all over the state, and the tax revenues generated from this stuff is what makes it possible for the state to continue to run health and other social services in less-fortunate places like Bristol, Willimantic, Torrington, etc.
Regarding “subsidies,” the fact is that all airports are subsidized and we shouldn’t expect airports to “break even,” just as we can’t expect buses, roads, or trains to run just on the fares and gas taxes alone. Places like Indianapolis massively subsidize their airports and that is one big reason why they are adding jobs and attracting events.
posted by: LoveNH on March 9, 2018 4:42pm
I find this an interesting debate. For folks who travel frequently or who are in industries that require colleagues to do so, the need for a viable runway is self evident. For those who like a New Haven of relatively closed off communities without frequent travel, the insult to their preference is obvious.
Those who squawk that the knowledge economy doesn’t need it or that it isn’t viable speak nonsense.
Of course the market can figure out just fine if it’s viable, and a large number of people in lots of different economic sectors want it. For those who want things to stay as they are, that makes sense as a subjective desire, but don’t pretend there’s any other argument other than personal preference behind the vitriol and name calling.
So, what will New Haven’s future be?
posted by: 1644 on March 9, 2018 8:33pm
Robn: You cannot be serious in comparing JFK, EWR, or even LGA to BDL. JFK and EWR actually have long haul flights to places movers and shakers want to go. BDL is essentially a regional airport, with a 2 flights to LA and a few to Toronto. The NYC airports have non-stops to London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Peking/Beijing, Seoul, Moscow, Johannesburg, Rio, Lima, etc. So, while it may take longer to get to the NY airports, one can save hours on a layover by flying from there, something one cannot do from BDL.
posted by: 1644 on March 9, 2018 9:13pm
Robn: I should add, who takes public transit to NYC airports? Thanks to the Port Authority, there is no effective public transit to JFK or LGA (LAX is inching to rail access). While I can take the Underground straight from Heathrow to Mayfair, or a train fro DeGaulle to the Left Bank, the best I can do at NYC is a shuttle bus. So, most folks whose time is valuable take a black car. You may get stuck in traffic, but at least you can relax or get something done while stuck.
posted by: robn on March 10, 2018 5:37am
You can’t be serious comparing Tweed to BDL? BDL has multiple flights daily to Chicago, Dallas, and many other cities in the US as well as European flights. A ride to BDL is a milk run.
PS a black car from LaGuardia to downtown takes 20 minutes on paper but their cockamamie shuttle bus system actually doubles and sometimes triples that. And New Yorkers do take busses and trains BTW, the latter of which do connect to EWR and JFK.
posted by: FGeissler on March 10, 2018 9:18am
HB 5084 Make it a $1 deposit or stop selling NIPs all together. On a short walk I counted 30 nip bottles on the side of the road. Disgusting.
posted by: 1644 on March 10, 2018 9:47am
For advocates of trains, they are okay for travel to close-by cities on the NEC. DC is a long trip, but good air service would require a slot at National, which is unlikely to be allocated to New Haven. Dulles is still a slog, although at some point he Metro will actually reach Dulles. There is, also, of course, no train to BDL, and none is planned. The only close-by airport with reasonable, but not good service, is EWR. But if EWR is my option, I may as well locate my business in New Jersey. For those who only fly a few times a year to visit grandkids/grandma, etc., the hour plus to BDL is negligible. But for people like Alexion’s sales force, traveling constantly, the distance to and limited options from BDL are a major time drain.
BTW, I live under Tweed’s flight path. The jets are much quieter than the old DASH-8. The noisiest aircraft are the helicopters the fly low and slow.
posted by: 1644 on March 10, 2018 1:20pm
Robn: The Amtrak connection to EWR is pretty good. I have used it myself. But the Air Train connection to JFK is absurd. The turf war between the NTA and Port Authority means they couldn’t just extend the A train ( on the old LIRR route) to JFK, but make you not only take a slow subway to Howard Beach, but then change to the Air Train. Likewise, the Jamaica transfer is okay for folks from Long Island, but not from the city or Westchester/CT. If I fly out of JFK, I take a black car myself, so I am sure anyone in the city who values their time does likewise. Not for nothing did Biden call NYC’s airports third world.
Where in Europe can one fly from BDL? It used to be Dublin and Edinburgh, but nowhere actually on Europe, nor any major business cities. And the Scottish flights are cancelled now, anyway, which leaves us with Dublin. (Yes, there was talk of banks moving from London to Dublin, but they didn’t. They moved to Frankfurt.) And the Dublin flight is a money loser.
posted by: Ryn111 on March 10, 2018 6:12pm
Previously ignored but aren’t the prop planes that now run louder than the jets that are proposed? is the argument against frequency of flights? decibels? resistance to change?
Robyn - comparing nyc public transit time to airports vs cars… really? Also 57 min to bradley a good day.
posted by: fastdriver on March 11, 2018 9:58am
I agree with you 100%. Has Tweed ever made a $1,000 profit within the last decade? How much has the state and city funded Tweed?
I think this is a done deal! Have you driven down South End Rd. recently? All the trees and shubbery have been cut down. You can see clear to the industrial park now on Silver Sands Road.
What will they do next- start buying up homes on Roses Farm Rd. and those $300,000-400,000 homes by the beach club? Is Lenny Fasano in favor of paving that runway?
posted by: JCFremont on March 12, 2018 9:49am
Good ol’ Connecticut Keeping up Appearances, can’t pay for it’s promises but promising Puerto Rico to pick up the check. Here’s a new State Motto Connecticut “Still Delusional.” Now about Tweed. Political infighting stalled expansion in the ‘90’s a time which Westchester Airport expanded as is now thriving and have you seen the real estate their flight path goes over? I live on the East Shore off the flight path but can see the planes low in approach the props noise has never been a bother and yes the new jets are quieter. adding 500 ft. to both sides of the runway is not going to cause an apocalypse, it’s not sinking as it seems Wilbur Cross fields are, they’re built on a marsh. The airport and the city needs connections to DC, and Chicago. Right now when I travel I check Tweed at times if you add the cost of travel to NYC the fares are about equal the drawback is the connection. Bradley’s fares are more expensive and most times have a connection. As far as the increase traffic on Townsend try Hemingway to Dodge. @1644 The a big reason subways don’t run to LGA and JFK is due to part of the vision of “beloved” New Haven Native Robert Mosses.
posted by: steve on March 13, 2018 5:46pm
@Rheerema, small airports ARE NOT closing all over the country as you say desperately as you to try to make your point. I can tell you know very little about the airline industry and yet it does not stop you from generating fake facts. American airlines alone is adding two small airports to its route system in June, South Bend Indiana and Panama City, Fla.
With Tweeds limited runway, American is cutting the number of seats it sells on its Tweed-Philadelphia flights from 50 seats to 48 seats in June and a short time later to 47 seats. All other airline hubs are farther than Philadelphia so airlines cannot fly from Tweed to cities like Charlotte, Detroit, Atlanta,etc.
As far as phase 4, that has been dropped from Tweeds future plans as paving just the current overruns will give Tweed a comparable runway that the Westchester airport has and they offer flights to above cities I listed.
A metro area like New Haven is underserved when one considers a local airport currently exists that could service a large population area, but is presently under utilized and so area travelers have to travel a long distance and deal with heavy traffic.
Tweed can surely support more than 3 daily airline flights and American airlines alone has more hub airports that Tweed would to able to reach with an upgraded runway such as Charlotte and Chicago.
The three daily flights at Tweed are doing very well with many flights at capacity which shows a good market for air travel exists and if more service was offered, people would use it and be spared the trek almost to Massachusetts to board a flight at Bradley field or the parking lot known as I-95 to the New York airports.
Tweed for decades has been ignored but the time has come for it to become the areas regional airport and stop the flow of travelers dollars to outside airports and add new jobs.