NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The New Haven Board of Alders voted unanimously Thursday to approve a new long-term lease agreement between the Elm City and Tweed Airport Authority.
The board called the agreement a 'critical step towards plans to expand operations at the airport.'
"This landmark vote brings us one step closer to transforming Tweed New-Haven Airport into a true economic driver for our region through creating new local jobs and offering nonstop flights to a continuously growing list of destinations," Executive Director Sean Scanlon said.
Mayor Justin Elicker also applauded the vote, saying he strongly believes it is a dramatic improvement for the surrounding neighborhood and the city as a whole.
"I want to thank the Alders and many within the community for supporting a plan that will make Tweed more attractive to prospective air carriers, more convenient for the traveling public, eliminates the need for state and City subsidies, provides improvements to the surrounding neighborhood and generates much-needed jobs and economic activity in the region," Elicker said.
Before the vote, Alders amended the lease agreement to include new provisions reflective of community feedback. Those changes include:
- A detailed, $5 million Community Betterment Plan that includes local traffic mitigation, noise abatement, and new community projects in New Haven and East Haven.
- Creation of a new Carbon Offset Program aimed at giving passengers the ability to offset their proportion of an aircraft's carbon emissions on a particular flight by investing in various carbon reduction initiatives.
- Removing references to the use of eminent domain, and expressly stating that the Airport Authority “does not have the power of condemnation.”
- Prohibiting the airport from expanding cargo or freight service without first obtaining certain approvals from the City of New Haven.
- Requiring the airport to work in coordination with the City and FEMA on a new flood map, with a goal of reducing flood insurance premiums for nearby homes and businesses.
Jorge Roberts, CEO of Avports which has operated of Tweed New-Haven for over 20 years, said the company is extremely appreciative that the lease was approved.
"Avports believes in the long-term future of HVN and its ability to serve more flyers from the surrounding region," Roberts added. "We’re already hiring for new jobs at the airport to support increased activity from more direct flights to more destinations. The future is very bright for Tweed New-Haven Airport."
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