EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Tweed New Haven Airport is looking to expand flight services. They’re trying to pave the grassy runway safety areas at either end of the main runway to try to land additional air services.
“One end of safety area that is currently grass, we are going to pave 1,000 feet of that, and on the north end we are going to pave 500 feet of that,” said Tim Larson, Executive Director of the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority.
Tweed has 5,600 feet of take off and landing right now. In order to get the commercial service, the airport needs to grow the area to 6,100 feet. Larson says the project would benefit local businesses.
“Several air carriers have come to us because of the dynamic in the New Haven market with Yale University, with Yale hospital, with all of the high tech and bio tech companies coming into New Haven,” he said.
Some residents who drive all the way to New York’s LaGuardia Airport to catch a flight say they need more options when flying out.
“Sometimes we need three hours to go to New York, plus we have to sit three hours before in the airport. That’s six hours of travel to make that,” said New Haven’s Jose Garcia. “If we make something here, that’s very easy.”
Officials hope improving the runway makes other airlines see Tweed as an option for connecting flights to bigger hubs.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro support the plan, but some locals who have lived in the area for years aren’t too happy about the proposed project.
“I think they have to take into consideration the people of the neighborhood,” said New Haven resident Louis Messina.
“We believe we can grow the airport, serve the economy, and lighten the load for the taxpayers of New Haven,” Larson said.
Residents will continue to weigh in on the proposed plan at another public hearing at Tweed Thursday night.