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Should Tweed New Haven Airport be able to expand?
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – Should Tweed New Haven Airport be able to expand?
State lawmakers are hearing lots of testimony supporting plans to expand the runway.
It could generate revenue and jobs, but some don’t want the plans to take off.
Tweed New Haven Airport is limited with only a few flights going to a few destinations.
Because of the smaller runway, larger planes can’t land there.
"We can go to Philadelphia, we can go to Charlotte, we likely can’t go to Chicago and we can’t go to Florida,” said Mike Piscettili, City of New Haven Economic Development.
The City of New Haven supports plans to expand the runway by 600 feet.
The president of New Haven’s Chamber of Commerce says modest expansion could generate $12 million dollars in economic revenue and create as many as 1,000 jobs.
“More flights increase accessibility to New Haven and the region. With more ways to get in and out, our businesses gain access to market, talent innovations and productivity increases,” said Garret Sheehan, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.
There are some roadblocks. There’s an agreement between the airport and the town of East Haven that says the runway can’t be expanded for commercial use.
Those living near the airport have been pretty vocal.
"A lot bigger aircraft and this means a lot more noise, a lot more pollution,” said Claudia Bosch.
Claudia Bosch and her husband Kevin live close to the runway. They don’t want more noise or more traffic.
“While I believe the future of Tweed is important to the future of New Haven, we need to find a way to allow Tweed to grow. It’s also important to have the neighborhood in the conversation,” said Rep. Roland Lamar.
Bosch is not convinced there are solutions.
"At this point, we can’t trust them. They have violated all the agreements in the past. Every time they say they are going to do something, they will stop at this point and not get any bigger, they go on and try to get even bigger,” Kevin said.
State lawmaers could decide to change the terms of the agreement but that may not go over well with people who live near the airport and it doesn’t look like they will give up easily.