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Westchester County to update master plan for airport

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Westchester County’s Department of Planning has issued a request for proposals for a supplement to the Westchester County Airport master plan and associated environmental impact study. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires airports that receive federal funding have a master plan in place and update it as necessary.

westchester county airport RFP supplement
A plane takes off from the county airport. Photo by Bob Rozycki

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “When we submitted the master plan last summer to the FAA we did so knowing the plan needed to have a supplement. I’m pleased today that we heard from the public on a variety of issues and are now moving forward with a RFP to create a supplement. The airport is an important part of our county, and while I have no intention of expanding it, we must have a plan to move forward to help business and protect the environment.”

John Ravitz, executive vice president of The Business Council of Westchester (BCW) and founder of the BCW Coalition for Westchester Airport, expressed a hope that preparing the supplement does not delay actual work on airport improvements.

“A great deal of work has already been done in terms of addressing many of the issues that the county executive wants to see studied, particularly with regard to environmental concerns and community transparency. Extensive data gathered for previous proposals submitted to the county has already been thoroughly reviewed and vetted in a bipartisan manner by members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators and should be utilized in any additional reviews. Gathering supplemental information can be useful, but it is our hope that this does not cause further delays than necessary,” Ravitz said.

The RFP seeks the services of a professional consulting firm or team of firms with extensive experience in airport planning, economics and New York state and federal environmental regulations.
Among the tasks are: evaluating the airport as a unique resource and economic generator; developing and evaluating alternatives to improve operational safety and efficiency, including facility modifications and modernizations and continuing to improve environmental performance such as stormwater issues and handling of deicing fluid.

The airport is on 697 acres, has 20 aircraft hangars, is the base for 188 single-engine and light twin-engine aircraft and 94 corporate jets. There are approximately 442 flights each day with 161,146 total airport flights reported in 2017. A 2012 study attributed $735 million in annual economic activity to the airport with 6,328 jobs attributable to airport activity.

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