Let New Haven’s Tweed Airport Have More Flights

Let New Haven’s Tweed Airport Have More Flights

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New Haveners for More Flights at Tweed started this petition to Senator Holder-Winfield and

People across the New Haven region are coming together to demand that the Connecticut State Legislature allow New Haven's Tweed Airport to lengthen its runway.  This move would create 7 more flights per day at the airport, giving New Haven nonstop access to destinations like Chicago, D.C., and Florida.  Expanding the runway at New Haven's Tweed Airport would make it cheaper and easier for people in the New Haven area to fly, and would add 300 jobs and $32 million to the region’s economy.

Join us in demanding the Connecticut State Legislature pass H.B. 7143, which would allow New Haven’s Tweed Airport to expand its runway.

*Scroll down for more background information on the issue.*

Co-Authors:

Anthony Allen

Harriet Friedman

Sarah Fritchey

Andrew Giering

Margaret Kellogg

Ivan Lima-Bravo

Dan McLeggon

Lauren Pittman

Michael Rady

Michelle Lee Rodriguez

Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent

Thomasive Shaw

David Valentino

Devon White

 

Further Background on the Issue:


There are only 2 commercial flights that depart from New Haven’s Tweed Airport each day, and both go to Philadelphia. There’s demand for many more flights than this, reaching places like Chicago, D.C., and Florida. Four million travelers live closer to Tweed than any other airport, but have to drive to Hartford, New York, or New Jersey to catch a flight. Expanding Tweed’s runway by 1,000 feet would allow more types of planes to take off from Tweed, and would bring more destinations within our reach. State law needs to be changed to allow Tweed Airport to lengthen its runway.


Join us in demanding the Connecticut State Legislature pass H.B. 7143, which would allow New Haven’s Tweed Airport to expand its runway.


Lengthening Tweed’s runway would be a huge stimulus and job-creator for the city. At its current size, the airport supports 500 jobs and $55 million in the Greater New Haven area. The expansion would likely add another 300 jobs and $32 million to the region’s economy. This is no small change. If New Haven had those millions at the start of this year, the widely-abhorred property tax increase it levied would likely have been lower, and less burdensome for homeowners.


Moreover, many of the jobs created by a Tweed runway expansion - plane machinists, pilots, baggage carriers - would be airport jobs, which pay decent, middle-class salaries. New York’s area airports have the highest minimum wage in the country: $19 per hour. The base rate for airport workers in a smaller city, Seatac, Washington, is $15 an hour. The airport expansion would spur growth in other New Haven industries as well, such as healthcare, technology, education, and the arts. A New Haven that’s just 90 minutes from Chicago and D.C., and only a few hours from Orlando, would be able to better compete for top talent and investments.


A runway expansion would occur entirely within the airport’s current footprint, so the project would not eliminate any New Haven green space. Of the 100+ environmental groups in Connecticut, not one opposes the proposal.


An expanded Tweed would make air travel more accessible to New Haveners who don’t have the money or time to reach faraway airports. Those without the funds to pay for a ride to Bradley or LaGuardia, or who can’t leave work early enough to catch a 7pm flight out of JFK, are often stymied from visiting family, attending a funeral, or competing in a weekend sports event. A local airport - with routes to multiple hubs - would make air travel less expensive and time-consuming for many New Haven area residents.


Given the many benefits a more active Tweed would have for New Haven, it makes sense that the plan to lengthen the runway has widespread support. New Haven Mayor Harp, Hamden Mayor Leng, West Haven Mayor Heller, and leaders of 8 other neighboring towns voted for a regional council of governments resolution in support of expanding the Tweed runway. The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce endorsed the plan. Dwight neighborhood Alder Frank Douglass delivered an impassioned plea advocating for the runway expansion earlier this year, and soon afterward a majority of the New Haven Board of Alders voted in favor of a resolution advancing the initiative. Governor-Elect Lamont approves the proposal. And according to New Haven State Representative Roland Lemar, 80 percent of residents within the airport’s vicinity support the expansion of the runway.

 

Moreover, a quick look at the history of flights at Tweed Airport reveals that we have the capacity to host more flights.  In the mid-90s, before most commercial planes started to require slightly longer runways, New Haven's Tweed Airport served 130,000 passengers annually.  That's over 3 times the number of passengers that currently use the airport.


Regardless of the fact that an expanded runway would only be bringing Tweed Airport back to its earlier usage levels, the city has taken steps to ameliorate potential impacts that a runway expansion could have for nearby residents.  As part of “The Good Neighbor Program,” the city is in the process of spending $5 million on installing central air conditioning, heating, and soundproofed doors and windows in over 180 East Shore homes. These upgrades cost $35,000 to $40,000 per house and cut back on noise from incoming and outgoing planes. One East Shore resident was stunned by how silent the upgrades made her home. Kim Makres told Fox 61, "I wasn't able to hear the 6 AM flight, which I usually hear every morning over coffee."


Expanding Tweed holds enormous promise for New Haven’s future. A longer runway would mean more flights to places like Chicago, D.C., and Florida, and would bring good-paying jobs to the Elm City. A strong, experienced educator from out-of-state would more likely apply for a teaching position in a city with a reliable airport than one without. Greater access to flights would break down barriers for New Haven public school students to participate in science fairs, athletic tournaments, and Model Congress simulations in cities across the country.


Connecticut legislators: It is time to let New Haven have the 21st-century airport it deserves. Residents support it. Businesses support it. City leaders support it. Now, we ask you to support it.


Sign now to demand that the State Legislature pass H.B. 7143, which would let Tweed expand its runway.

 

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