Thursday, January 05, 2017

Stewart Airport international official asks Port Authority to restore $20M allocation for federal inspection station

NEW YORK >> The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has removed a $20 million line item from its 2017-26 Capital Plan that had been earmarked for construction of a federal inspection station in the Stewart Airport passenger terminal.

Stewart Airport Commission Chairman Louis Heimbach wants the authority’s board to restore the funding.

Heimbach, addressing the board at its monthly meeting in Manhattan on Thursday, said that when the allotment was pulled, there was no international passenger service in place or on the drawing board at Stewart. But since then, he noted, Norwegian Airlines has announced it will start flights between the New Windsor, N.Y., airport and European cities by mid-2017. The airline plans to base two jets at Stewart.

The federal inspection station would process passengers arriving at Stewart from outside the United States.

Heimbach told the Port Authority board that $20 million is a small amount compared to the $31.6 billion that makes up the capital plan, and he said the money it is essential for Stewart’s international service to be successful.

Stewart will be added to Norwegian Airlines’ route schedule with initial service to Ireland and, eventually, other destinations, Norwegian spokesman Anders Lindstrom said last month.

Lindstrom said Norwegian currently operates 45 daily routes from the United States and is the fastest growing airline in Europe.

The Port Authority has operated Stewart for just over nine years. It also operates John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark-Liberty airports in the New York City area.

The Port Authority’s 10-year Capital Plan contains more than $5.4 billion for work at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, as well as AirTrain service that will provide rail access to LaGuardia, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

In all, the Capital Plan contains $9.8 billion for New York projects, $9.8 billion for New Jersey projects and $12 billion for interstate projects, Cuomo’s office said.

The statement from Cuomo’s office praised the capital priorities of the Port Authority but made no mention of Stewart Airport.


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