Tweed Tower Saved
by Staff | May 10, 2013 3:16 pm
Posted to: Transportation
The federal Department of Transportation Friday pulled Tweed’s air traffic control tower off the chopping block, saving the New Haven airport from closure at least until Sept. 30.
City spokesman Anna Mariotti announced that news in Friday afternoon press release.
Tweed airport’s tower had been scheduled for closure as a result of sequestration, the federal government’s deficit-slashing budget cuts. The tower is served by air traffic controllers under contract to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which had its funding cut.
While FAA employees were spared furloughs last month due to passage of the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013, the plight of contract controllers at airports like Tweed was still uncertain.
On Friday, however, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the FAA will be able to keep all contract towers open—including Tweed’s—at least until the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.
Local and federal elected officials had pushed hard for the FAA to fund Tweed’s tower so that the airport could stay open.
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Here is another good opportunity for a:
The article title is misleading. It implies the airport itself is in danger of shutting down. That’s simply not the case. A more appropriate title would be “Tweed Tower Will Stay Open”.
The statements as to the Tweed Tower having an economic impact is a big political lie. It has nothing to do with anything. Commercial flights were going to continue; private planes would continue to land and none of the airport employees would be affected. And here comes the big lie - that Tweed has any more future than it currently has. For more than a decade, we have been promised of a big resurgence. It is a dribble and we are forced to subsidize the travel convenience of the well heeled and well connected including these same politicians. If Tweed has a future, it’s time to produce it, fire the people who keep making promises they can’t deliver and dump the Authority Board members who endorse these promises and then come to taxpayers wanting an annual bailout with tears in their eyes.
Its only been in the last three years that Tweed has been given the attention that it needed for the last forty years. East Haven for years stalled necessary improvements only to have them lose every court case costing them many thousands of dollars in attorney fees.
Twice, Northwest airlines wanted to offer flights to Detroit and both times the runway obstructions would have prevented full flights from departing. American airlines had Tweed on a list for flights to Chicago only to suffer the same fate as the Northwest flights.United stayed for almost five years and left for the same reason. Southwest airlines also surveyed tweed and again the runway was the issue.
Are we starting to see a pattern here?
Some say there is no market in the New Haven area and that’s why no new service has been started. The problem has been the runway obstructions and the safety overruns, both have finally been addressed. When the project is done, then airlines will have the numbers as to what hub airports and aircraft will work from Tweed.
Cities smaller than New Haven have far more service due to the fact that the runways can accommodate today’s airliners which by the way are much quieter than the jets that flew into Tweed decades ago.
The market for air travel is here but due to the limited usable length that for years handicapped the airport, airlines could not offer service and many of the area travelers go to other far away airports and this leads to dollars leaving the New Haven area and going to other cities and states.
The few times I flew united from Chicago to Tweed, the flights were full and they were asking for volunteers willing to give up their seats as the flights were oversold.
People need to understand that it was the deficient runway, not the lack of travelers that has hampered adding new service to Tweed.