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CT Airport Authority and Tweed New Haven explore partnership to drive growth

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The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) and the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority are establishing a working group to determine how to collaborate on efforts to expand the viability of the shoreline airport.

Tweed airport entrance. Photo by Phil Hall.

The new working group would focus on influencing the legislature to fund capital improvements at Tweed, particularly the expansion of the main runway from its current 5,600 feet to at least 6,000 feet, thus enabling additional commercial flights. The working group would also explore the possibility of either having the CAA acquire Tweed or establishing an operating agreement with the airport. The CAA owns and operates Bradley International Airport at Windsor Locks and the state-owned general aviation airports at Danielson, Groton-New London, Hartford-Brainard, Waterbury-Oxford and Windham.

“This is a positive sign that state and local leaders are moving toward consensus about the overall importance of Tweed and the need to support the greater New Haven business community with commercial air service,” New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp said. “In the coming months, my administration looks forward to this important dialogue. We all agree a viable commercial airport will help attract and retain world-class talent and to grow as a city and as a region.”

Separately, the New Haven Register reported that Harp terminated the city’s 2009 memorandum of agreement with East Haven. The airport straddles the two cities and the memorandum limited Tweed’s main runway length to 5,600 feet, which East Haven sued to maintain. Harp based her decision on the state’s failure to provide an agreed-upon $2 million in annual subsidies to Tweed, adding that the memorandum gave the cities the right to terminate the agreement it “if the state of Connecticut fails to enact the legislative initiates contained in Section II of the agreement in the 2009 legislative session.”

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. acknowledged that the 2009 agreement enabled Harp’s action, but has not determined how his city will proceed. The city had withdrawn its lawsuit regarding the Tweed runway length when the memorandum was approved.

“None of the people involved then are involved now,” Maturo said. “It’s up in the air.”

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