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By PATRICK McGEEHAN
Published: January 25, 2007
The plan to create a fourth major airport that could relieve crowding and delays in the metropolitan area will take a leap forward today, officials of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said yesterday.
The Port Authority plans to acquire a 93-year lease on Stewart International Airport, a sleepy and underused facility 60 miles north of New York City, for $78.5 million and begin expanding it starting in the fall, said Anthony R. Coscia, the agency’s chairman.
With the expected approval of the agency’s board today, the acquisition could help solve a problem that has bedeviled aviation officials for almost 50 years: where to send some of the travelers and cargo that are starting to overwhelm Kennedy International, La Guardia and Newark Liberty International Airports.
“The region clearly needs additional capacity for air travel,” Mr. Coscia said. “It’s undeniable. This is intended to remedy exactly that problem.”
The agency has already budgeted $150 million for improvements to Stewart that could include additional parking and the construction of an international passenger terminal, he said.
A converted Air Force base whose commercial use has never met its potential, Stewart is bigger than Newark’s airport, with 2,400 acres and a 11,818-foot runway. Two low-fare airlines, JetBlue Airways and AirTran Airways, began offering flights from Stewart recently. Three other carriers operate limited service from there.
Passenger traffic at Stewart increased 33 percent last month, compared with December 2005, and it could triple this year to about 900,000 passengers, said Tanya Vanasse, general manager for marketing at Stewart. Although Stewart is a small cousin to the region’s three main airports, which together handled more than 100 million passengers last year, that is expected to change.
Mr. Coscia said that by drawing more of the travelers who live north and west of New York City, Stewart could serve more than three million passengers a year within five or six years. Most of that traffic would be diverted from the three big airports, which had been projected to reach capacity by 2020 without considering any expansion at Stewart, he said.
Some of the cargo that arrives at those other airports and some of the private aircraft that now clog the short runways at Teterboro Airport in northern New Jersey could also go to Stewart, Mr. Coscia said.
The plan to acquire Stewart reflects a significant shift in Port Authority politics. The Pataki administration was unenthusiastic about the plan, despite Mr. Coscia’s persistent push to take control of Stewart and link it to New York City’s crowded transportation system.
But now the plan has the support of Gov. Eliot Spitzer, as well as New Jersey’s governor, Jon S. Corzine, said Anthony E. Shorris, whom Mr. Spitzer appointed to be executive director of the Port Authority.
“We’re viewing this as a major milestone,” Mr. Shorris said. “My sense is when you have very strong support from two governors on this — now, two governors on this — you’ll see a concerted effort to make it happen.”
Making it happen will require legislative change in Trenton because the Port Authority’s bi-state charter limits its operations to a zone that extends 25 miles in all directions from the Statue of Liberty. In 1967, lawmakers in Albany passed a bill allowing the authority to have one airport outside that zone in each state. But New Jersey never passed its own version of that legislation.
Iloveboeing From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3033 times:
I think it would be good to make Stewart NYC's 4th major airport. It's got a lot of potential and it's an excellent facility. They could also work on expanding Long Island/MacArthur as NYC's 5th major airport. That could definately help relieve traffic at EWR, JFK, and LGA.
AlexPorter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2941 times:
Strange that NYC would try to make SWF it's fourth airport rather than ISP or HPN. Well, I know HPN would have NIMBYs run amok if they tried that, but at least ISP and HPN are legally in the New York metropolitan area (MSA), but SWF is not. SWF is really more of a Poughkeepsie airport.
Tsnamm From United States of America, joined May 2005, 626 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2858 times:
Wasn't there a move by the PANY&NJ to buy ISP?...what ever happened there? Considering the ramp construction fiasco for WN @ISP, it seems that running an airport is beyond the sciope of local Suffolk County commisioners, and allowing the Port Authority to buy and operate ISP would be a very good idea. As far as SWF is concerned, being so far north of most of the NYC metro area, I don't see it becoming anything more than a saftey valve for the other 3 airports, reducing some growth pressures on LGA & EWR...JFK still has room for growth, as long as the accessablity issues continue to be addressed.
New York: 18 million people in metro area, JFK, LGA, EWR, ISP, HPN, SWF, TEB (GA)
Tokyo: 36 million people in metro area, NRT, HND, Chofu, Oshima, Hachijojima, Miyakejima, Tokyo Heliport. Not sure which of the ones I didn't supply codes for are/aren't GA.
Nycaross From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2589 times:
I am originally from New York City. For a city the size of New York,
La Guardia is far too inadequate to handle the majority of domestic flights from New York. The runways are too short and planes have ended up in Bowery Bay, not to mention the traffic and congestion.
Something needs to be done.
FoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2984 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2557 times:
With the addition of a rail link providing a one-seat ride from Manhattan, and the right financial incentives to airlines (i.e., lower costs at SWF and higher costs at LGA, JFK and EWR), SWF could become NYC's equivalent of STN--a major hub for discount airlines. It's still a long way off, but it's possible.
Quoting STT757 (Reply 11): There's a poll on NY 1 asking people would you fly out of Stewart airport, so far the results are not favorable.
This is perfectly understandable, because there's no easy way to get there. Add a one-seat rail connection, however, and this problem goes away. To illustrate my point, just a few years ago I would have said the same thing about EWR, but now that I can get there quickly and cheaply on NJTransit, it has become my airport of choice.
CODC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2388 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2449 times:
The Metro-North Port Jervis Line, operated by NJ Transit, has trackage approximately three miles south of the airport property. This is a diesel (non-electrified) line into Hoboken, with transfers available to New York via NJ Transit at Secaucus, and the ferry or PATH at Hoboken. I'm sure a rail spur could be built to the airport, but a direct one-seat ride into Manhattan would require THE Tunnel to be built (with access to NYC for NJT's Main and Bergen Lines), and electrification on the MNBN and all the way up the PJ Line past Salisbury Mills to the airport. Alternatively, dual-mode locomotives could be used to save the cost of electrification (up to $1,000,000 per mile in some instances). Either way, THE Tunnel must be built to increase capacity to Midtown, and a SWF link could sweeten the deal.
Either way, the service must be fast (running time of 1 hour or less), must make very few stops, perhaps Ramsey and Harriman, have frequent service (hourly or better), and inexpensive (~$15 each way) to be a viable alternative from the New York area. A rail link using standard diesel service following existing schedules would take in excess of 100 minutes from New York, requires a transfer in Secaucus, and really would only be attractive to those seeking dirt-cheap airfares from NYC or people in Bergen, Passaic, Orange, and Rockland counties, due to their proximity to SWF and the rail line.
As for SWF, I would look greatly expand cargo facilities, offer a link to nearby CSX railfreight lines, improve highway access, and try to entice smaller cargo operators there, away from EWR or JFK. I would also look to land an anchor LCC tenant to stimulate demand for the airport, attempt to bring major carrier service to more distant hubs (AA to DFW, CO to IAH, NW to MSP, US to PHX/LAS), and offer free parking at the facility for a period of time. I would try to entice the up-and-coming low-cost/long-haul sector to select SWF as their US entry point, with dirt-cheap fees and incentives to offer service. The market within 50 miles of SWF is virtually limitless, and to make it work, you need:
-Easy, multi-modal access (car, train, bus)
-Access to major hubs and key O&D markets with sizeable operations
-Greater LCC penetration
-Products that offer a unique, viable alternative to NYC airport, as opposed to unattractive, overlapping service with regional affiliates (LCC long hauls, O&D small cargo operators)
-A broad-based marketing campaign to generate interest, especially in NYC, North Jersey, and Upstate NY.