Home Aviation New grassroots group opposes planned expansions at Tweed Airport

New grassroots group opposes planned expansions at Tweed Airport

A grassroots organization opposed to the expansion of Tweed New Haven Airport has been launched.

Tweed airport entrance. Photo by Phil Hall.

The group, 10,000 Hawks,  takes its name from the migratory raptors who pass through the region. According to organizer Rachel Heerema, 10,000 Hawks will seek to call attention to the negative impacts that an airport expansion would have on the surrounding communities.

“10,000 Hawks addresses quality of life issues, including air quality, noise pollution, traffic calming, walkability, habitat, long-term thinking, and planning for our neighborhood, children, and grandchildren,” said Heerema in a statement announcing the organization’s creation.

“The immediate threat is the proposed expansion of Tweed New Haven Airport with additional runway paving and siting a new terminal in East Haven wetlands. These environmental degradations will have generational impacts.”

Heerema said that 10,000 Hawks is seeking a public meeting to highlight the details of the public-private partnership behind the airport’s expansion. The group also launched an online petition drive seeking more information on the partnership.

In May, the airport announced a facility expansion that will include a 74,000-square-foot terminal on the East Haven side of the airport, along with an extension to the runway to accommodate more commercial traffic.

AvPorts, the management company that has been in charge of operations at Tweed since 1998, will finance the expansion, which is budgeted at $70 million. It anticipates the result to include the creation of up to 11,000 jobs and $47 million a year in local and state tax revenue.

On Tuesday, an updated lease between the city of New Haven and the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority was publicly released. Among the new provisions in the lease are an extension of the airport authority’s $1-per-year lease of the city-owned airport land through June 30, 2064; a new sub-lease between the airport authority and AvPorts; the extension of the main runway from 5,600 feet to 6,635 feet long; and the gradual phasing out of the city’s annual $325,000 operating subsidy of Tweed.

The city and airport authority also presented a proposed ordinance amendment to repeal a city law prohibiting airplanes weighing over 160,000 pounds from using Tweed. The updated lease and ordinance will need to be put before a public hearing before New Haven’s board of aldermen will vote on the proposed changes.

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Phil Hall's writing for Westfair Communications has earned multiple awards from the Connecticut Press Club and the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. He is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News and the author of 11 books (including the upcoming "100 Years of Wall Street Crooks," published by Bicep Books). He is also the host of the SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," host of the WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog, Profit Confidential, The MReport and StockNews.com. Outside of journalism, he is also a horror movie actor - usually playing the creepy villain who gets badly killed at the end of each film.


  1. Yawn! The neighbors of that Airport are owed nothing! They all purchased those homes knowingly near an Airport that has been sitting there since 1931. Their tantrums and hissy fits, are nothing more than another futile attempt at inflating the real estate values of their aging homes. Meanwhile, the people in this neighborhood, have held the entire New Haven area and shoreline, hostage, forcing everyone to drive to Bradley, the Hartford/Springfield Airport 6 miles from the Massachusetts border, Providence, Boston, New York’s Kennedy, New York’s LaGuardia, or New Jersey’s Newark Airports. How many of us have had the pleasure for years of having Connecticut Limousine extort the equivalent of another plane ticket for a multi-stop joy ride down I-95 to LaGarbage? Enough! Not only are you seemingly selfish, greedy people causing hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors to be greatly inconvenienced, you are halting the progress of New Haven and Southern Connecticut. Airports and Airlines bring jobs! If you don’t like the progress that is finally happening, sell your houses and move. That Airport didn’t just happen, like the giant Walmart that suddenly pops up across the street. Enough with the 10,000 whiners.


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