Give A Foot, They Take A Mile

(Opinion) —  Here we go again. The now-annual expansion campaign by Tweed New-Haven Airport is looming over the East Shore, Morris Cove, and East Haven. Tweed boosters are rushing to Hartford on March 4 to ram through House Bill 7143, which would remove any restriction on airport expansion. This is New Haven democracy at work — introduce legislation at the state level before residents and taxpayers can have any input or are even aware of the proposal.

This year, the tone is even more confrontational and indifferent than in 2018, with Mayor Harp ripping up the 2009 agreement after deciding the city isn’t bound by it. At Tweed board meetings, it has become clear that airport management has nothing but disdain for residents. When expansion was rebuffed last year, “Looney’s legions” were blamed by airport head and then-State Sen.r Larson for “screwing” Tweed. Neighbors are consistently said to be holding the airport “hostage”. One board member suggested ignoring the surrounding community because we’re too “unreasonable”.

There is another interpretation. Tweed and City leaders have already heard the reasonable objections of the surrounding community, loud and clear, but will continue to bully us until we submit to airport expansion. Even if we ignore the long and protracted legal battles that preceded Tweed’s last expansion in 2009, residents have come out in force in 2014, 2015, and 2018 to halt the airport’s advancement.

The same arguments for airport restraint still apply, but with even more urgency. As readers of the New Haven Indy know, our City and State are still in a fiscal crisis, with New Haven borrowing money to shovel debt far into the future. We should be grateful that taxpayer money was never wasted on a doomed expansion last year. It would have come not only at the detriment of local residents and neighbors, but also at the expense of the environment.

Since Tweed’s impact is never taken into account in either Yale or New Haven’s environmental reports, we don’t even have estimates of its contribution to Climate Change. Though a glance at a map reveals an obvious impact on humans and coastal ecosystems from Tweed, claims from neighbors about their health and that of the environment are dismissed as hysteria. So, time and again, we’re asked to limit discussion to the fiscal toll of a runway that abuts our homes and the Morris Creek Nature Preserve. Either we keep quiet about commonsense and personal observation, or we run the risk of dismissal as “NIMBYs”.

Tweed boosters will no doubt weigh in and claim that the cost of expansion will be shouldered by federal grants and that construction will be limited “inside the current fence”. Both claims are disingeuous, and ignore two important facts: Federal grants must be paid back when conditions aren’t met and Tweed’s own documents set the “break even” point for the airport at 240,000 enplanements. That’s a far cry from current (generous) 28-30K numbers.

If an exponential increase in air traffic is necessary for success, the drumbeat for expansion will need to be continuous. This is consistent with the airport’s internal plans for 2030. If the airport remains a financial albatross, as the past two decades and industry trends suggest, millions of dollars in Federal grants will have to be repaid.

For this reason, and others, the 2009 Budget Review Panel recommended that the city “make transferring ownership of Tweed… an urgent priority”. It also stated that “the citizens of New Haven receive no quantifiable benefit from Tweed”, “there is no direct financial upside to Tweed”, and “Tweed represents a significant potential financial liability for New Haven.”

Airport Director Larson’s departure and the Connecticut Airport Authority takeover proposal have been spun as a bright new future for Tweed but are, in fact, an admission of failure. Tweed is not viable as an independent airport and the CAA, a pseudo-public entity that operates most of Connecticut’s other airports, must intervene to save it. That’s why Tweed superfans, watching the CAA announcement in January, were calling it “armageddon”.

Now that Mayor Harp has tossed out the “historic” 2009 agreement that could have ended decades of conflict between New Haven and East Haven, there are no credible grounds for mediation. Tweed and the City have dispensed with the smokescreen of goodwill and can’t meet with the community in good faith, for any agreement or “benefits package”.

Last year, East Shore and Morris Cove residents were promised improvements and maintenance we already need, taking into account the current impact of Tweed, and we were repeatedly told we weren’t being blackmailed for support of the airport’s legislation. If these “benefits” weren’t quid pro quo for airport expansion, why has there been nothing but silence about them since? Will the same “benefits” again be held in front of our faces in 2019, in another carrot-and-stick maneuver?

Tweed expansion is not forward thinking, 21st Century innovation. It’s the same, tired trope of 20th Century “urban renewal”, threatening the health of vital wetlands and salt marshes on New Haven and East Haven’s vulnerable coastline. But we don’t have to tell you that. We have told you that already, time and time again.

We’ll do what we always do, bringing new energy to the grassroots coalition that will continue to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). It will no doubt get ugly, as it has in the past, and attacks will continue to be very personal. Our homes will be called into question, with people telling us we’re selfish for living in them and blocking “progress”. At least now we know for certain that there can be no negotiation, that legal agreements will be ripped up on a whim by our politicians.

Please join us and submit testimony against H.B. 7143, write and call your State of Connecticut, City of New Haven, and Town of East Haven politicians, and help us remind them what they’ve already been told: Tweed-New Haven Airport must not be allowed to expand any further. Give a foot of runway and Tweed will take a mile.

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posted by: Noteworthy on March 3, 2019  6:17pm

Excellent piece. Well written. And the Tweed maniacs will be silent at the local level while telling everybody in Hartford, neighbors of Tweed are uninformed NIMBYS who don’t care. Most of Tweeders will undoubtedly come from the suburban elites who don’t pay a dime to support Tweed, will not fork over a nickle for traffic improvements or noise studies or environmental impact assessments. They think New Haven taxpayers and the magically state and federal government will just pay. No, we have and we will be forced to swallow their self-absorbed inspired expense to homes and New Haven taxpayers.

posted by: steve on March 3, 2019  6:36pm

@ Sean,To assign climate change to Tweed is nonsense and you know it. Tweed is a low volume airport and the nearby highways,I-95 & I-91 give off much of the hydrocarbons in the area, not Tweed.Over 77,000 flew from Tweed in 2018 and the 2019 numbers should be higher, so there is a market for air travel in the New Haven metro area. What you never mention was that the 2009 MOA had more than just the runway numbers, it also allowed for up to 6 airlines and 30 daily flights,these numbers can never be met due to the runway numbers and the MOA allowed either side to walk away from it as both sides were well aware of.
Allegiant airlines has said they would offer N/S weekly flights to Florida pending the runway upgrade and American airlines in May is upgrading its flights to larger planes due to the response of the flying public. Tweed has been an existing facility since 1931 and yet you and others have moved in knowing the airport preceded you, and rail against the airport always painting it in a negative way. With more flights the airports income will rise and keep more of the travelers money in the local area, not Hartford.
Your comments are your own personal views and depend on the unfounded claims of a few area disgruntled residents, you ignore that Tweed has a larger population base surrounding it than does Bradley, its close proximity to I-95 & I-91 make it handy for many as opposed to the trek almost to Massachusetts to Bradley.
The fear you are trying to incite that Tweed will become a large operation and overtake the cove area is wrong. Tweed has a limited amount of land its growth will not be unlimited and one more point, in one of your past comments you stated that you and I both know Tweed will not stop with the current runway plan,but will come back to ask for more. Absolutely wrong, the current plan will meet the needs of airlines coming to Tweed. No international flights and no jumbo jets mean no more runway will be needed. Just the facts please!!!

posted by: Jstorres486 on March 3, 2019  6:55pm

Sean, i can already tell this is killing you badly.. to know that tweed will expand and all you can do is write an article that is 95% lies… shame on you!! Tweed will expand and so will the economy of New Haven… tweed joining CAA is to work together and offer more flights out of HVN… By the way this Year HVN is overall doing better and will continue to do so… the enplanements are up and will continue to go up once the runway is expanded… it will happen the runway will get expanded and you will be mad once again and try to write another article full of lies… people if you read this go vote and go vote in favor of TWEED expansion! Thanks

posted by: Cousin Vinny on March 3, 2019  7:28pm

SO’B is worried about Tweed’s contribution to climate change? Versus JFK and La Guardia, Bradley, or even the traffic of the Pearl Harbor Bridge, which I’m sure he’s used often? That’s like the F. B. I. taking in the John Gotti’s gardener for parking too close to a fire hydrant.
Ever hear of the saying, “An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure?”
Mr. O’Brien, it seems you’d rather treat the symptoms rather than the disease. You’d be doing a REAL service by advising prospective homebuyers of the airport’s proximity so THEY don’t get snookered by “say anything, do what it takes, just make the sale” realtors who at best “forget” to mention the airport and at worst downplay its presence. Let’s end this mishegas at its very roots.

posted by: Pedro Soto on March 3, 2019  7:53pm

I don’t get it. If Tweed is destined to failure no matter what, why oppose the runway expansion?

It’s because the expansion will make Tweed a viable airport, and Mr. O’Brien know this.

posted by: Patricia Kane on March 3, 2019  9:07pm

Please add Fair Haven Heights to the list of neighobhoods impacted by Tweed, although not quite so severely.
I will contact the entire New Haven delegation to register my opposition to the attempt of a small, self=interested group’s attempt to bypass the residents of New Haven most impacted by the airport.
Agreements drafted before predictions of our EXTINCTION as climate warming escalates should not be blown off so casually.
How many of you guys have a direct interest in more flights? I’d like disclosure before you put out more propaganda.

posted by: smarcus on March 3, 2019  10:34pm

I agree that NH could have done a better job in structuring community forums along the way, but Tweed itself needs to be recognized as an asset and the runway paving should be approved. It will mean a longer runway but still within the airport property. It’s great now that we have quieter jets and starting in May they will be larger. On the American Airlines flights through Charlotte and Philly people have gotten bumped off of full flights due to the weight restrictions.  The runway paving is supposed to address the weight restrictions and will bring in more destinations.

posted by: 1644 on March 3, 2019  10:51pm

If we care about the environment, we should encourage people to take mass transit.  In order to encourage people to do so, we need to make mass transit convenient.  Convenience means things like parking near railroad stations, and airports near where people live.  Making people drive to BDL or LGA does not lessen our impact on the environment.  More commercial options out of Tweed might also lessen the demand for private aircraft, which are generally noisier, more dangerous, and more polluting per seat mile than commercial regional jets. (As far as noise, though I live in the flight path, I am never bothered by the RJ’s which are much quieter than the DASH-8.  What shakes my house are the helicopters flying low and slow.)

posted by: steve on March 4, 2019  12:15am

@ Patricia Kane, “How many of you guys have a direct interest in more flights?” I use Tweed as it is the most convenient airport to use. Most times I need to be dropped off or picked up and it works a hardship on those giving me a ride to go to airports outside of Tweed. Looking at airports like Laguardia, JFK, Newark, and Bradley and then looking at Tweed, there is no comparison in the number of daily flights Tweed handles or will handle in the future. Tweed will never be a major source of pollution as its number of daily operations are very small. In fact, most of Tweed’s daily operation numbers are comprised of private and charter aircraft and that will continue regardless of the runway length. Tweed’s users are not a small self interested group as you say, but many, many thousands use Tweed yearly including many city residents. The fact that American airlines is increasing service shows that the public finds Tweed to be the airport of choice, its nearby, hassle free and reduces the dependence on Bradley. Just to set matters straight, Tweed’s market would be service by 3-4 airlines with a limited number of daily flights to hub airports such as Philadelphia, Charlotte, Detroit, Atlanta and Washington DC. We are not talking about planes taking off & landing every few minutes, but 2-4 flights to the cities listed spread out over the course of the day. The exception would be Allegiant airlines which would operate several weekly, not daily flights to Florida. Its sad that so much misinformation is being disseminated by ones with no knowledge of airports and airlines and the fear they are trying to generate. 
Don’t buy into the “sky is falling” mantra some are pushing, but look at other small airports that are providing good air service to the local area and see that it does not work a hardship on area residents, Roanoke, Va, Allentown, Pa, Charlottesville,Va, Elmira,Ny, Erie,Pa, etc. Don’t drink the Kool aid some are peddling, Tweed is not the enemy.

posted by: steve on March 4, 2019  12:53am

@ SEAN O’BRIEN, “Give A Foot, They Take A Mile.” Tweed’s runway has not changed since the late 60’s, so where is the foot given? It was 5600 feet back then and still is. As far as taking a mile, the planned overrun paving project will use 1400 feet of the overruns which is slightly over a quarter mile. This new math is not very accurate and the Mr O’Brien is not being truthful.
It seems it would be easier for the few who oppose the airport to move to greener pastures and let those near Tweed who enjoy the ease of using a close by airport be among the tens of thousands who use Tweed every year and the numbers are climbing. Problem solved.

posted by: Stylo on March 4, 2019  2:32am

Agh, there’s so much wrong with this opinion piece, I don’t even know where to begin.

I’ll just address climate change: aside from being a tiny regional airport, I’ll leave you with one example where I believe airports like this can HELP with climate change.

I travel for work a few times a month. I usually go into LGA. That’s 65 miles from my house. 130 miles roundtrip. I use a car service because work pays for it and public transportation takes twice as long.

Don’t you think a 12 mile drive each way would be less damaging?

That’s how regional airports can actually HELP the environment.

As for the neighbors, a handful of people can no longer hold back the prosperity of a region of almost 1 million. If you think other hugely successful small to medium cities in this country would’ve gotten there without a viable airport nearby, you’re delusional.

posted by: NHNative on March 4, 2019  8:40am

I think expanding the runway at Tweed is a good idea.  It would spur economic growth, create good paying jobs, and improve our tax base.  The status quo isn’t working; time to embrace change.

posted by: 1644 on March 4, 2019  9:58am

PK:  Under No scenario will climate change cause our extinction.  There are eight billion of us now, are than double the number when you and I were young, and eight times the number about a century ago.  We are highly adaptable, able to survive in virtually every climate, from the arctic to the Arabian deserts. Right now, the earth’s temperature is about what is was a thousand years ago, before the Little Ice Age.  (Some theorize that calling was caused by the mass die off of native Americans, although it could also have been driven by the Black Plague.  If those theories are correct, a die-off, but not extinction, on our part, would cool the planet, so should be welcomed by those concerned about global warming.)
  Note: of course I have a direct interest in more flights.  Everyone who flies, which, post-deregulation, is virtually everyone but the very, very poor, has an direct interest.  Do you never fly? 
  Besides, as Stylo says, if you are concerned about global warming you should welcome the expansion of mass transit service from New Haven, rather than push people onto the roads.  Tuesday, my wife’s 0605 flight to PBI was cancelled, so she rebooked from BDL at 0545 to catch the same connection in PHL.  Result:  instead of a 5 file roundtrip to HVN leaving our house at 0515, we had to leave at 0330 to for a 60-70 mile round trip.  Note: while it wouldn’t be fun with luggage or in the rain,  in a pinch, we can walk to Tweed, as you could from Fair Haven Heights. That’s a nice option to have if there are no taxis, etc. I have actually done it once or twice.

posted by: LookOut on March 4, 2019  10:03am

great comment NHNative. 

We need more local flights.  If New Haven is going to become the city that it can be, it needs air service.  Look at all of the places in the region that have decent air service and smaller populations.  Syracuse, Albany, White Plains, Burlington, Manchester, Atlantic City,  Harrisburg, Allentown, Hartford….come on, we can do better.  As was stated earlier, let’s give a payment to anyone who moved there before 1931.  Everyone else moved knowing there was an airport (and got a discount in their real estate and their taxes because of it.)  Let’s move in the direction of Providence with our air service, not in the direction of Oxford (not slight intended)

posted by: RHeerema on March 4, 2019  11:35am

We know a lot more about the effects of airplane emissions on asthma rates than we did even 10 years ago. We know more about the impact of leaded airplane fuel on children and elders and all living things. We know more about the effects of sound levels on heart health. We know more about climate change and the rising sea levels—Tweed’s southern runway level is 6 feet above sea level, and a 2019 study shows CT coastline communities under water within 20-40 years. Speaking of underwater, New Haven’s budget and the state budget are under water as well.  It’s all wet to think that further paving of the wetlands at the edge of Morris Creek Nature Preserve—which flows right into Lighthouse Park’s swimming beach—is a win-win proposition.  There are other less poisonous ways to build our economy.  As a matter of fact, more flights have flown out of Tweed without additional paving.  Even though Tweed boosters had said that was impossible.  Economic development is certainly possible without paving more wetlands and harming New Haveners in the process. Do we all want to get a cheap local flight? Of course, we do. Many of us also want to eat sugary breakfast cereals in the morning. It’s just not good for us.

posted by: Noteworthy on March 4, 2019  11:44am

Let’s Get This Straight Notes:

@SteveNemerson - You must cut and past your comments. They’re redundant.

All the rest of you boosters - how many live in New Haven? Thought so. It’s not your airport. It’s ours. If you’d like to help pay for it - we welcome your money. Make your checks payable to New Haven City Hall. Our local contribution is something like a million dollars a year.

Economic Booster - there is no greater BS argument than the one that Tweed will boost the economy. The economy in New Haven is working just fine with Tweed as is. What’s holding our economy back - what’s holding homeownership back in New Haven - is state and local taxes. They’re confiscatory.

Lamont uses the same argument for his blanket of tolls across the entire state - “for the economy.” Itreminds me of the myriad of non-profit events I go to - and during the auction, when they’re trying to boost the price of what you’re bidding on - “it’s for the children.”

The city - and it’s legislative hohos - are going about this all wrong. You start local first. You stop the lies, the strong arm tactics - you craft a long term plan and one that you’re not going to try an undo five minutes after it’s ratified - one that includes and addresses the neighborhood (taxpayers) concerns - and only then, do you go to the state to undo the law we all found necessary precisely because of the years of lies and broken promises. You claim you’re innocent while picking the lock and the handcuffs while you’re in the back seat of the cop car.

posted by: LookOut on March 4, 2019  12:25pm

@Noteworthy:  I live in New Haven and know enough of the other posters to say that we are a majority.  If your rant is based on that not being the case, then the remainder of your post should be deleted.

posted by: steve on March 4, 2019  12:28pm

@ RHeerema, “more flights have flown out of Tweed without additional paving.” Tweed picked up one more weekly flight and that has been affected by weight restrictions due to the short runway, two weeks ago the Charlotte flight had to deplane 8 passengers. As far as you saying you know more about the ills Tweed causes, your past quote was an outright false fabricated statement. ” Heerema focused on environmental dangers: She spoke of how a six-foot drop from the northern to the southern ends of the paved runway already creates a “water chute” that channels soot,& carcinogens like deicing agents & leaded gas,into Morris Creek Nature Preserve, then into New Haven Harbor by the main beach area of Lighthouse Point Park.” All untrue, 1. the elevation difference of 6 feet works out to 7 inches per 560 feet of runway, hardly an incline to cause your “water chute”. 2.The runway is grooved from side to side causing water to flow to the sides of the runway, about 2 miles in length, not to the end of the runway. 3. Aircraft are not de-iced on the runway & any fluid leak would ground an aircraft. Your interest on this issue appears to be getting 15 minutes of fame. Your photo in the local media & being part of a panel seem to elicit a smile from you. “Heerema bought her house in the Cove in 2012 based on an assumption: Tweed would remain a small airport without expanding with more commercial flights.
She made that assumption based on a peace treaty struck in 2009”  You never bothered to read ALL of the MOA which stated a limit of 6 airlines and 30 daily flights. The MOA did allow for expanding more commercial flights and now you want to say that did not exist. Never any facts but just made up statements regarding pollution which you cannot verify. Tweed is not & never will be a major source of pollution, air pollution is not a problem at larger airports such as Bradley and Providence.Do some research & know the subject so as to make verifiable statements, facts only please!

posted by: 1644 on March 4, 2019  12:40pm

RHeerema:  Jet fuel doesn’t contain lead, so you should welcome additional jet service to Tweed.  The CRJs and its CF34 engines exceptionally quiet with very low emissions as well.  Old, piston engines do need leaded avgas, although it should be phased out by 2023.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avgas#Phase-out_of_leaded_aviation_gasoline
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lead-in-aviation-fuel/

posted by: RHeerema on March 4, 2019  1:14pm

@Steve, facts then:
1. there is an elevation difference, as you acknolwedge
2. the runway is grooved, but heavy rains also flow down the tarmac.
3. in cases of snow, rain, and fog, particulate matters such as leaded gas fumes condense to the tarmac, flowing downhill.
4. my interest in this matter is (a) my own and my neighbors’ health, (b) the wetlands including Morris Creek Nature Preserve and Lighthouse Park—stormwater runoff, migration of birds, hurricane mitigation by wetlands, (c) concerns about throwing away good money after bad.
5. I have read the MOA. The MOA states no increase in paving. That’s my focus: not one more foot of paving. Not one more dollar of debt.
6. Tweed is a source of pollution—air, water, and noise.

@1644, small craft fuel contains lead. More paving will not decrease the number of flights by small aircraft, and may in fact increase numbers. The flight school has been reinstated.

posted by: Patricia Kane on March 4, 2019  1:35pm

@LookOut: If you believe you are the majority, why not put it to a vote in both New Haven and East Haven?
  You can never have too much democracy.
@1644. Unless you are a climate scientist, I’ll stay with those who are. There are a zillion predictions, but the fact is that the deterioration of species and the planet is accelerating faster than anticipated. Had we started to reduce carbon emissions in the 1990s, only a small reduction would have been needed. That amount increases every year we have capitalists in denial as they wring the last profits out of the planet.

posted by: Patricia Kane on March 4, 2019  1:41pm

@Steve aka Nemerson, Look Out et al: Why don’t all you guys just admit you are pushing a Chamber of Commerce/ Yale/ YNHH agenda and stop hiding behind pseudonyms?
  You are the voice of the special interests, not the voice of the people.
  You will be thrilled and delighted to know that all of us can register our opinions to the State Legislature by email. Write .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). by today, even though voting will not be until around March 25. There are instructions on https://stoptweed.org
    Thanks for the opportunity to post this.

posted by: steve on March 4, 2019  2:50pm

@ RHeerema “the runway is grooved, but heavy rains also flow down the tarmac.” Not true, the grade is so slight water will not flow down 5600 feet but the entire runway is grooved so water exits the sides of the runway.  Tweed is and always be a low volume airport and will not create the type of pollution you speak of. Using your reasoning,Bradley field must be a bio hazard area but its not. Also planes are not fueled on the runway. With all the ills plaguing the world, is this the best you can involve yourself with?
@  Patricia Kane, I have no involvement or affiliation with the Chamber of Commerce/ Yale/ YNHH, but Tweed is the nearest airport and I have used it for years and it seems many others are discovering that having a close by airport is a good thing and American airlines agrees, they are replacing the 50 seat planes with larger ones in May.
Quote,” Develop Sikorsky’s site” Classic case of not knowing your subject. Sikorsky’s runways flood over at times and the runway is 1000 feet shorter than Tweed’s and lacks the room to expand the runway and add overruns are required by the FAA. And I am not Nemerson.
@ Noteworthy “@SteveNemerson - You must cut and past your comments. They’re redundant.” I copy and paste past posters when they present false and misleading statements such as the ones above.
I am not Steve Nemerson.

posted by: George Polk on March 4, 2019  4:20pm

If Tweed is destined to fail than why include the animation with a new terminal and runways longer than called for in the plan? Are you more afraid Tweed succeeding than your neighborhood actually becoming part of LI Sound? The state should oversee Tweed along with Bradley and other smaller airports. The state is looking to merge school systems why not airports? One candidate for mayor wants to outsource New Haven’s homeless. If Tweed can offer flights to places people want to go at a fare with in the cost of transportation to get to New York, Hartford, Boston or Providence than Tweed can take succeed. I don’t see the impact on traffic will be any less than a hot summer day when Lighthouse is filled to capacity. I live on the east shore and favor Tweeds expansion. I’ve flown out of Tweed when it works its a great asset for New Haven but apparently like Union Station its only for New Haven.

posted by: ItsGettingBetter on March 4, 2019  4:39pm

Yes for runway expansion! Your op-Ed backfired SOB. See all comments save your neighbor and the loveable Noteworthy. I agree with Rachel that we should put this to a vote in New Haven. Having never met someone anti-Tweed outside of the Cove it’s hard to believe that the haters would win. Our economy needs this. get out of the way.

posted by: ItsGettingBetter on March 4, 2019  4:43pm

OMG. Just listened to the garbage techno soundtrack matched to the PowerPoint. Barf. I’d rather watch and listen to jets from your front lawn SOB.

posted by: 1644 on March 4, 2019  6:37pm

PK:  I don’t know what “deterioration of species” is, but it’s not “our extinction”.  I suppose, we and all life here will become extinct when the sun burns out in 4 billion years, but our Co2 emissions have nothing to do with that climate change.  If you know of a climate scientist who says that the CO2 driven global warming will cause “our extinction”,  I would love to see your citation.  Unless, of course, you and I our not both Homo sapiens sapiens.  By “our”, did you mean Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal?

posted by: steve on March 4, 2019  6:39pm

@ Noteworthy, “There was never a community benefits package worth a tinker’s damn.” What benefits should be forthcoming, how many would get the benefits, who pays for the benefits? All I keep hearing is that some residents who bought homes near the airport now have a problem with it and think they are entitled to special treatment. The planned runway project is to take place on airport property, no roads closed and I don’t see anywhere near the problems that some expound such as severe health problems, massive amounts of pollution and Tweed being a cause of global warming. All these comments made by those who hate the airport and have vivid imaginations, and in turn fabricate doom & gloom scenarios. I could point to dozens of airports that are adjacent to residential areas and they are both doing fine. The Northeast population seems to have a mindset that if you don’t like something, you protest and make demands that you get your way no matter how it affects those on the other side. The 10’s of thousands use Tweed apparently are not the protesting type but they get their point across by flying in increasing numbers on Tweed’s flights. It would be better for the few who rant and rave to pull up stakes if you are that unhappy and live your life elsewhere with less stress and let the greater number benefit from increased air service.

posted by: RHeerema on March 4, 2019  8:24pm

@Steve, in response to your most recent comment:
1.  “All I keep hearing is that some residents who bought homes near the airport now have a problem with it and think they are entitled to special treatment.” Yes, we have a problem with the violation of the MOA and proposed runway expansion. Tweed leadership has promised community benefits to offset their about-face. This is their idea of special treatment, but has not materialized.
2.  “I don’t see anywhere near the problems that some expound such as severe health problems, massive amounts of pollution and Tweed being a cause of global warming.” Then do more research, and you’ll see the health impacts of small airports. The information is widely available and has been published by Stop Tweed Expansion advocates.
3.  “I could point to dozens of airports that are adjacent to residential areas and they are both doing fine.” – Again, check your research. Pollution causes long-term health and environmental issues.
4.  “The Northeast population seems to have a mindset that if you don’t like something, you protest and make demands that you get your way no matter how it affects those on the other side.” Yes, we have the audacity to participate in democracy!
5.  “It would be better for the few who rant and rave to pull up stakes if you are that unhappy and live your life elsewhere with less stress and let the greater number benefit from increased air service.” By the same logic, you can choose to move to a community closer to a major airport, since that’s your preference.

posted by: Claudia Bosch on March 4, 2019  10:34pm

Some facts for Steve et al.

According to Tweed’s own economic analysis, the airport is ONLY self-sustaining if planes, the size of an A 320 or Boeing 737 land and take off. This is the same economic analysis that promises jobs and an economic positive impact.
http://www.flytweed.com/files/SH&E_FINAL_Econ_Impact 2-15-11.pdf, p. 21
Why believe the good - but deny the bad?

  The current runway is too short to service these airplanes. This is why the safety zones need to be paved, this is phase 3 of the master plan from 2002. Phase 1 were the extended runway safety areas 1,000 feet in length, phase 2 included improvements such as tree removals around the airport. Now, Tweed is trying to get Phase 3 and 4 realized. The master plan: “Phase 3 involves paving the runway safety areas created in Phase 1 … This action will allow for 6,500 feet for takeoffs and 5,600 feet for landing in each direction. Phase 4 calls for an actual runway extension of 600 feet to the south end of Runway 2-20 and construction of a new 1,000-foot safety area for Runway 2. This will result in a 7,200-foot runway for takeoffs and a 6,200-foot runway for landings in both directions.” The result: Tweed will go beyond its current footprint. Has to. Why believe one part, but deny the other?

posted by: steve on March 5, 2019  9:28am

@Claudia Bosch, its been 8 years since that report was compiled and much has changed in the airline industry since then. Small airports are mostly serviced by regional jets, not the mainline jets such as the 737 and 320. Even Bradley has much of its service provided by regional jets and these are the aircraft that would be assigned to Tweed, much like American airlines is doing. As far as the planned overrun paving project, the southern overrun would be paved at a distance of 1000 feet and the northern end 500 feet. This would result in runway 20 having 6250 feet for landing and runway 2 having 6100 feet for landing. This would meet the needs of airlines looking to start new service. There would be no need to go beyond these figures and as far as master plans go, back in the 70’s, a master plan was complied that showed a 60,000 square foot terminal, it never happened. The newer regional jets are more runway efficient that the earlier 50 seat models which are being drawn down and replaced with 65-90 seats models like the ones American airlines will introduce to Tweed in May. At present regional jets can operate at Tweed but many times weight restrictions imposed on aircraft due to the limited runway mean some passengers have to denied boarding and that’s what hurts Tweeds efforts to secure more service. The present flights at Tweed have caught on with the flying public and even some who live near Tweed have voiced their approval of having a nearby airport. Allegiant would be the only airline I see that would use the A319 with several weekly flights to Florida and they could operate off the planned runway much like they do at the Trenton New Jersey airport with its 6000 foot runway. I look forward to Tweed offering more flights and being the airport of choice for the greater New Haven area. After decades of being held down, Tweed’s time has come.

posted by: LookOut on March 5, 2019  10:44am

does anyone have an update on how the hearing went?  Would be great if we could make some progress.

posted by: Sean O'Brien on March 5, 2019  3:55pm

You folks think you’re clever calling me SOB etc… not a single comment about the internal Tweed documentation I link to, just the same old tired tropes.  Let the hate flow through you :D

posted by: steve on March 5, 2019  4:29pm

@  Sean O’Brien, don’t include me in your last comment regarding some calling you SOB. I always referred to you by your proper name. Some of your material was dated many years ago and since then, the airline industry has been using regional jets in large numbers, these are the airliners that would service Tweed. Back when United served Tweed, it was either 737’s or small prop planes such as the Dash-8, Beech-1900, Saab A340, etc, there were no regional jets,but now that’s changed. The small props were very limited in range, usually about up to 300 miles whereas RJ’s have a range of up to 1500 miles and fly higher and faster. With American airlines upgrading all of Tweed’s flights to larger RJ’s in May, that indicates the market for local air service is high and when the runway project is complete, area travelers can use Tweed as opposed to Bradley field.

posted by: Patricia Kane on March 5, 2019  5:04pm

It’s one thing to advocate for extending the runway, but it’s out of bounds to tell people they should just move if they don’t like it.
Why do I suspect that most of you who feel this way would explode with outrage if an affordable housing complex were proposed for your neighborhood or a half way house or a drug treatment center.
Of course they are not the same as an airport, but in terms of the impact on people who have a vested interest in their quality of life and the value of their health and their property, the impact is comparable.
Argue your points, but don’t attack people for wanting to live as they are accustomed to doing.

posted by: 1644 on March 5, 2019  6:25pm

PK:  No one is proposing building a new airport in your neighborhood.  It’s fair that when one buys a property, one has expectations as to nearby uses.  Sec 8-30g blows these up, but otherwise, if I buy in an area zoned for single family houses, that’s what I should expect, and my opposition to multi-family or a half-way house is reasonable.  On the other hand, if I buy near an existing affordable housing complex, it’s not reasonable for me to oppose it’s continued operation, even if that means a few changes to make the complex workable.  The airport has been there since 1931.  It’s had jet service before, and far more flights to more destinations.  Lengthening the runway would just allow the airport to operate in the way it has in the past. BTW, it’s obvious from the comments here that the StopTweed people want the airport shut down completely, with no even small, private aircraft (hence the complaints about lead). We had a similar issue in Branford with folks who moved near a quarry wanting it shut down.

posted by: steve on March 5, 2019  8:46pm

@ Patricia Kane, a few people need to step back and examine their motives. Should a relatively few people deny the thousands who would benefit from more flights at Tweed? Did you buy your home near Tweed hoping it would never grow? To hear the comments of some who paint a dark picture by adding more flights, why would you want to stay? More air pollution comes from nearby I-95 & I-91 than Tweed. The newer regional jets have cleaner burning engines & are quieter. All I am trying to say is let the airport offer more service, it will not cause the armageddon some are predicting, but will improve the travel of many & have a positive effect on the local economy. By your way of thinking, I-95 should never have been built due to the displacement of some and the increased noise some hear who live near the highway. It caused some upset, but the highway served millions over the years & life goes on for the highway’s neighbors. Now compare the I-95 experience with Tweed perhaps having 15-20 daily flights spread over the course of a 14 hour day, 6am to 8pm, the average noise window for planes landing & taking off is 20-30 seconds. From 10pm on, no airline would schedule late night flights, but trucks roll all day & night on highways. So far those opposed have not shown any reasonableness but only say no negotiation. Does that sound like people who are willing to work things out? Are they holding out for a cash settlement? Should the few outweigh the many? For decades Tweed has operated with a short runway & has lost out on gaining new service while losing service from United & Delta due to weight restricted flights. Tweed is an under utilized asset that lost out on an Canadair east coast service center with high paying jobs, a daily Fed-Ex flight along with more jobs and Northwest airlines operating flights to Detroit.An improved airport will not be the demise of the local area & some living near the airport have said they welcome more flights. Tweed is not the enemy.

posted by: Patricia Kane on March 6, 2019  1:06pm

@Steve: If you read my posts, I live in Fair Haven Heights. Perhaps you don’t live in New Haven and don’t know the neighborhoods. My home is not next to the airport, but Fair Haven Heights has become part of the flight path. We now have low flying jets going over the Quinnipiac River and a nature preserve, as well as an oyster farm.
  The disruptions are not limited to the immediate airport neighborhoods, but are spread over several others.
  Neighborhoods are communities and have a right to preserve their quality of life.
  Maybe you should live in the neighborhoods for a year before you lecture people on what is good for them.

posted by: steve on March 6, 2019  3:07pm

@ Patricia Kane, you live in a inner city location, can you expect to have an idyllic country setting with no trappings of city life? There are many who live in the flight path of many airports and it was their choice to do so. By the way, there is another flight path that also has landing flights, so the landings are shared with landings from the north and from the south. I’m thinking of the Providence R.I and Westchester,NY airports, just two of many airports that have residential areas surrounding the airport and that have many times more flights that Tweed has or will ever have and life goes on in those areas. Why do some think Tweed has no right to grow while other airports are growing and adding flights. Now Tweed has the opportunity to add new service to meet the demand of the local market, I’m not talking about flights arriving and departing every few minutes, but a number of flights that will make travel easier, have a positive effect on the local economy and make the airport more self sustaining which will make some people happy. Your complaining about 3 daily jet flights is a bit over the top, Tweed is a commercial airport and that’s what airports do, have planes landing and taking off. Even after the runway is upgraded, Tweed will NEVER approach the number of flights at Bradley, Providence, White Plains or smaller airports provide. New Haven is an underserved city as far as airline flights are involved and the demand needs to be met. The world does not revolve around any one of us, but much good for the greater can be accomplished by a meaningful number of flights at Tweed. We need to look beyond ourselves and the feeling that all that matters is just us, also not being self-absorbed, self-centered, self-concerned. Sad to say that’s the way the world is now.

posted by: Patricia Kane on March 6, 2019  3:43pm

@Steve: According to you airports have more rights than people.
And what urban area do you live in????

posted by: steve on March 6, 2019  5:43pm

@ Patricia Kane, you choose to live at your present location knowing full well the airport has been in operation since 1931. Do you expect the airport to roll over and die because you don’t like its operations? Should thousands be made to travel much greater distances to reach an airport because it irritates you? Metro areas like New Haven all across the country have full service airports and no great harm comes to the locals, but apparently you feel your are unique and that your wishes should override the will of the many. Where I live is were I choose to live and guess what, there are things that irritate me but it comes with the territory. I sometimes gripe, but I don’t expect area functions that have been there for many years and preceded my arrival to go away. In all the comments that have been made, it seems there are only a few who are so vehemently opposed to the airport, so I ask you, what should you and the few do? What options do you have? I only see two, 1.Put up with what you perceive as a bad situation, however the majority do not feel as you do, or 2. Find a new location not near any airport. If Tweed bothers you that much with just 3 daily flights, there must be other situations that irritate you much more, the noise and smoke from diesel pick up’s, loud motorcycles, cars with loud sound systems, etc.These occur many times during the day and night.
Tweed is here to stay as it has been for decades and with some tolerance by the few, all parties can get along and move on with their lives.

posted by: 1644 on March 7, 2019  12:51pm

Pat:  Genocide is the killing of a people, such as the Nazis attempted with the Jews, or the United States with various American Indian tribes.  Climate is not a people, so it cannot be the object of genocide.  Moreover, your article says nothing of planet extinction.  It does predict large changes in sea level, but nothing we have not survived before, when we had far less ability to cope. (E.g., the flooding of Doggerland, and the conversion of the Baltic from a fresh water lakes to salt water sea.)
https://www.nationalgeographic.org/maps/doggerland/
See also: Black Sea:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_hypothesis

posted by: Patricia Kane on March 7, 2019  1:05pm

@1644: I didn’t write the headline, but human extinction has been predicted. Do a Google search and you can nit pick while the planet expires, one species at a time.

posted by: 1644 on March 7, 2019  1:38pm

Pat: As I have said, all life will end in about 4 billion years, when the sun dies out.  After that, the sun will become a black hole and earth will become extinct as it is sucked in.  As far as human driven climate change though, as mass-die of humanity will render the human driven change self-correcting.  It possibly happened with disease driven post-Columbian, American die-offs and with the European plague, both of which may have led to the Little Ice Age.
  Setting aside the topic of our demise, if we beleive that CO2 emissions cause global warming, and want to slow it, we should want people to travel by efficient mass transit means vice automobiles.  As Stylo and I have said, the lack of good options form Tweed causes people to drive more, increasing warming.  Flying underweight aircraft due to runway limitations also increases global warming.  A fully load aircraft more efficient than one in which people must be bumped.  Those who want to slow climate change should support the runway extension.

posted by: TTBoi on March 8, 2019  9:45am

Sean Obrien and Rachel..here’s the thing. The MOA was not agreed upon with Tweed reps or the FAA. This was an agreement made between two mayors who know nothing about aviation and requirements. So your telling me if the runway as is stays, you people who oppose would be ok with everything else written in it? I hate to tell you, but its hogwash and much of it made no sense! I’ve always lived on the boundary of the airport all my life. I know the noise and it doesn’t bother me. Rachel you keep throwing up in the argument of Athsma. So you guys are ok with Harley Davidsons, trucks , traffic etc. ? 10 to 15 extra flights a day are not going to disrupt your life and will never mount to the fumes of 95 or the oil or the sewage plant. You know what this all is…this is prejudice against planes and change and entitlement, control. This Airport is good for this area and will create jobs, lure business and convenience. Maybe it’s you guys who shut out and are blind sighted to good changes, automatically claiming negative opinions , making up your own facts!

posted by: Sean O'Brien on March 8, 2019  3:46pm

@TTBoi Tweed was in fact a party to the contract: https://stoptweed.org/pdf/NH-EH-MOA.pdf

At the time Tweed’s management and the City were quite clear that they would never need a longer runway, including Tim Larson.

There is no reason to believe that this is about “a few feet of pavement”, and that Tweed expansion will remain inside current fence borders.

1. HB 7143, like last year’s HB 5537, *removes all restrictions on Tweed’s size* and effectively nullifies the Tweed-New Haven Airport Authority Act.  Now that the MOA has been thrown out, there will be nothing in writing about any runway size.

2. No one can settle on the number of feet (6,000? 6,600? 7,000? 7,200? more?), and there is no number in HB 7143, as with past attempts to expand.  Why isn’t there a number in the bill, if the intent is limited paving?

3. Agreements are thrown out on a whim by Mayor Harp… why should we believe anything that comes from this administration?

What’s obvious:

1. History has shown that Tweed and the City cannot negotiate/mediate in good faith.  Agreements and statements about restraint and limited construction mean nothing.

2. Tweed is already pursuing areas outside of its fenceline: purchasing land around it, demolishing houses, and clearing trees and land.

3. The Tweed Master Plan and the other planning that preceded the 2009 agreement have always been the goal, and now that all limits have been removed it’s quite clear they will be followed (since, well, they were never thrown out).  In fact, much of the impetus for pushing this in 2018 and 2019 is because the Master Plan has a 20-year limit that ends in 2019: https://stoptweed.org/pdf/Tweed Impact Final Report.PDF

4. Regardless of what happens with the runway, Tweed is planning a new terminal on marshland on the East Haven side, as they’ve said publicly, in board meetings, and in last year’s community workshops (as well as the 2006 planning document).  At the very least, East Haven residents should know.

posted by: steve on March 9, 2019  7:35pm

@ Sean O’Brien Quote,” No one can settle on the number of feet (6,000? 6,600? 7,000? 7,200? more?”. The current plan is to pave 1000 feet on the southern overrun & 400-500 feet on the northern overrun. Even though the overruns will be paved, they will be marked as overruns & landing aircraft will not be able to touch down on these portions of the runway. At present departing aircraft at times take weight restrictions causing flights to depart leaving passengers behind. The above figures will eliminate that problem along with diversions to other airports during heavy wet conditions. The landing footage for runway 2 would be 6000-6100 feet & runway 20 6250 feet. There would be no further need for more runway, if one looks at the runway requirements for regional jets, its obvious that the above numbers would suffice. Tweed is & always will be a domestic airport, no international flights & no wide body airliners. Even Bradley has a hard time offering international flights & is having to pay up to 13 million in state grants for several weekly flights to Ireland. The runway numbers you quote are for different configurations, total pavement would be 7100-7200 feet counting the overruns, all done on airport property. Sean, tell me why you think Tweed would go beyond the above numbers? What real situation would cause Tweed to add to the runway? As far as master plans, they are guidelines & show what might be done, nothing guaranteed. Back in the 70’s, a master plan showed a 60,000 sq. foot terminal, it never happened. The proposed runway upgrade would be similar to the White Plains runway & it works fine for them. Again, there is no operational need to go beyond what is planned as far as runway footage because nothing would be gained by going further. When one looks back on past airlines at Tweed, it is and always was the limited runway that caused airlines to curtail service and United stayed for almost 5 years,but could not sustain the loses.