Tweed Continues Push for Longer Runway

The state has to provide sign off for the airport to make such a change.

Officials from Tweed-New Haven renewed their desire, once again, to lengthen the runway at the small airport to 6,600 feet from 5,600 feet.

The paving would take place on existing sections of the Tweed property, on areas described as “runway safety areas,” located at each end of the runway.

“Is this going to make everybody happy? No, but it’s going to do a lot of good for a lot of people and I know that the secret to failure is trying to please everyone,” said John Picard, who leads Tweed’s board.

The state has to provide sign off for the airport to make such a change. There are also neighborhood and environmental concerns which have been raised in the past.

A local resident, Sean O’Brien wrote an opinion article in the New Haven Independent alluding to those issues, saying the project, "It’s the same, tired trope of 20th Century ‘urban renewal’, threatening the health of vital wetlands and salt marshes on New Haven and East Haven’s vulnerable coastline."

Monday was the public hearing for the proposal in the Transportation Committee which has been offered for close to two decades.

Supporters include Yale University, Yale New Haven Health, and the chamber of commerce for the city, all arguing that a longer runway will lead to more flights with access to more destinations. Currently, Tweed provides limited services to Philadelphia and Charlotte, just a few flights a day.

Rep. Roland Lemar, (D – New Haven), chairs the Transportation Committee, and represents East Haven, one of the communities with worries about the proposed runway lengthening.

“I think if we’re allowed to pave the runway safety areas then it will provide net economic benefits to the entire region, specifically in New Haven where we’re seeing the growth of biotech and different types of industry we haven’t seen in years,” he said.

Gov. Ned Lamont said during the campaign that he favored more service from Tweed-New Haven.

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