Governor Andrew M Cuomo has unveiled proposals to invest $34m in a package of measures to modernize and expand Stewart International Airport in Orange County, in New York state. Cuomo is calling on the Port Authority to approve the investment, which would include the construction of a permanent US Customs and Border Protection federal inspection station (FIS) at the airport. This will enable the airport to handle both domestic and international flights, while improving passenger experience for all travelers. As part of this modernization, the airport will be rebranded New York International at Stewart Field. The airport has experienced low passenger rates in recent years, and it is hoped the renaming coupled with the commencement of scheduled trans-Atlantic service in 2017 will result in the airport attracting more travellers seeking for alternative, efficient transportation.
“By transforming Stewart Airport into a state-of-the-art transportation destination, we are providing an inviting gateway to the region and supercharging an economic engine for the entire Mid-Hudson Valley,” Governor Cuomo said. “This international transportation hub will provide a world-class passenger experience, attract new visitors and businesses and continue to move the Mid-Hudson Valley forward.”
New York International at Stewart Field currently has a temporary FIS, which requires staff to assemble moveable walls when international passengers arrive to create a sterile area to process travelers. When this temporary facility is in place, it restricts the airport’s ability to handle domestic flights. Constructing the permanent FIS will support the airport’s potential to grow flight activity and passenger volume, while fostering the continued growth of economic development and tourism in the Mid-Hudson Valley region.
The airport began to be used for trans-Atlantic flights in June with service to Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dublin and Shannon in Ireland and Edinburgh, Scotland. The Governor expects the airport’s partnership with Norwegian Air International will generate $36m in economic activity and create 230 new jobs in the region. It is expected that the expanded FIS will support continued passenger volume growth from the new international flights, and increase bookings. The permanent facility will feature add nearly 20,000sq ft of space to the existing terminal and have capacity to screen up to 400 international passengers per hour.
To support the anticipated growth in traffic the Stewart Airport Express bus service, which provides links from the airport to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan, will be enhanced and rebranded. Schedules will be coordinated with Norwegian flights, and the service will be branded with New York-themed colors and promoted to support the airport’s overall marketing efforts to boost tourism in the region.
Photo: Governor Cuomo has proposed a $34m upgrade to Stewart Airport in New York state. (Office of the Governor)