Mid-Hudson Valley Airport’s Name Becomes Official Today – Creates Stronger Links to Region and Builds on Rapid Passenger Growth Over the Past Year
Rebranding Complements $37 Million Modernization and Expansion Program Will Enhance International Passenger Service
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the beginning of a new era for New York Stewart International Airport by formally adopting its new name which builds on the airport’s remarkable growth and makes it more attractive and identifiable to travelers around the globe. New signs located on major roadways leading to the airport and in and around the terminal were unveiled today to welcome fliers to New York Stewart International Airport. The move comes following the one-year anniversary of Norwegian’s commencement of international service to the airport, which drove an increase in passenger volume of more than 60 percent in 2017.
“We are continuing to transform New York Stewart International Airport into a state-of-the-art transportation destination,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new name will help promote the entire Mid-Hudson Valley region and build on the remarkable passenger growth over the past year by attracting additional flight service and new visitors to New York.”
“Adding ‘New York’ to the airport’s name will not only raise the geographic profile of the airport and its visibility, but offer another travel option to the metropolitan region while preserving the airport’s historic ties,” said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton. “New York Stewart has become the nation’s fastest growing airport, and we’ll further support that growth with the expansion of facilities for international travelers which will break ground later this year.”
The Governor and the Port Authority, which operates the Orange County airport, have made broadening the appeal and usability of New York Stewart International a priority. The rebranding initiative is coupled with a $30 million investment to build a permanent new 20,000-square-foot U.S. Customs federal inspection station, replacing a temporary station and increasing the airport’s potential to grow flight activity and passenger volume. The expansion will also greatly enhance the airport’s ability to handle domestic and international passengers arriving simultaneously. Although the airport has a new name, its three letter airport code, SWF, will remain the same.
In June 2017, Norwegian launched its first transatlantic non-stop daily flight to the Orange County airport from Edinburgh, Scotland. Passenger traffic at New York Stewart International rose more than 60 percent last year with Norwegian’s overall service to five European destinations, as well as the expansion of Allegiant Air’s domestic service. The new U.S. Customs facility will offer the capacity to screen up to 400 international passengers hourly.
The partnership between Norwegian and New York Stewart International creates 230 new jobs and generates an estimated $36 million in annual economic activity. Norwegian’s vast global network allows the carrier to serve as a vital gateway for the region to Europe, and is a key supporter of New York’s tourism industry.
Since the start of Norwegian service in June 2017 through the end of April 2018, the airline has operated 779 outbound flights and carried nearly 215,000 total passengers.
Overall last year, the airport – whose airlines also include JetBlue, American, Delta and Allegiant – served nearly 450,000 commercial airline passengers, including 141,000 international fliers which is up from approximately 275,000 total passengers in 2016. Already this year through April, New York Stewart International has served 181,153 passengers, a 104 percent increase over the same period last year.
Additional significant projects at New York Stewart International include:
RFP Released to Develop Solar Panel Carport Rooftop
A 450-space carport, featuring a solar panel rooftop to produce 1.9 megawatts of power that will be used to offset energy costs at the expanded terminal, further advancing the Governor’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and goal to achieve 50% of electricity to come from renewables by 2020. The cost of the project is estimated at $7 million, which is expected to be privately financed based on a long-term power purchase agreement with the Port Authority.
A Request for Proposals was released by the Port Authority earlier this year seeking a company to develop, build, own and operate a solar carport photovoltaic system at New York Stewart International Airport, as directed by the Governor in his 2018 State of the State address. The time for submissions has closed and an award has yet to be made.
The Stewart Airport Express
To improve the customer travel experience, transportation to Manhattan via the private bus carrier has also been enhanced. For just $20 each way, the carrier provides direct service with 80-minute travel times between the airport and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown on a schedule corresponding with Norwegian’s arriving flights. The buses, operated by CoachUSA, have been branded with New York-themed colors to support the airport’s overall marketing efforts to boost tourism in the region.
In 1930, Thomas “Archie” Stewart, an aviation buff and descendant of prominent local dairy farmer Lachlan Stewart, along with his uncle, Samuel Lachlan Stewart, donated 220 acres of land to the City of Newburgh to be used as an airport. In 1970, Stewart Airport was acquired by the State Department of Transportation. The Port Authority purchased the remaining 93 years of a private company’s operating lease for $78.5 million from NYDOT in 2007.
U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney said, “International travelers already know JFK and Newark, but if you’re looking to come to the New York City area from Europe, you may not be as familiar with Stewart and its proximity to the city – that’s why the name of the airport should reflect its location. We’ve already seen an increase in flights to the airport and more jobs created as a result. We need to build on that momentum, which is exactly what this will do.”
Senator Bill Larkin said, “This is a significant milestone in the state’s efforts to modernize and upgrade the Hudson Valley airport, which has already seen increases in passenger rates thanks to the addition of new flights. I commend the Governor’s focus on upgrading transportation infrastructure in this region and across the state, and look forward to the completion of renovations at New York Stewart International.”
Assembly Member James Skoufis said, “By rebranding Stewart Airport and including New York in its name, our Orange County airport will help attract even more visitors to the region all the while continuing to pay respect to the Stewart Family’s donation many years ago. I thank the Governor for supporting our region’s tourism and business growth with this move as well as with the forthcoming investment into the airport. I look forward to welcoming even more travelers to the Hudson Valley for decades to come.”
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said, “We are proud of the Hudson Valley’s rich history, especially here in Orange County, and by paying homage to the past and the future – the airport’s new name will help our communities flourish. I am thrilled to invite more businesses and visitors to our community as we build on increased air travel from this past year, and thank the Governor for helping support our economic growth now and into the future.”
Orange County Partnership President & CEO Maureen Halahan said, “As Orange County Partnership continues to work to bolster the business landscape of our diverse county, the renaming of the region’s airport will further support our efforts. I applaud Governor Cuomo for seeing his vision through and supporting the transformation of this transportation hub. We hope to invite more businesses and visitors to our downtowns and look forward to welcoming them for years to come.”
Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress President and CEO Jonathan Drapkin for said, “The efforts of Governor Cuomo to increase access to the Hudson Valley and beyond are exactly what is needed to continue strengthening and advancing our region’s economic climate. I am thrilled for the official unveiling of the airport’s new name, and invite businesses and tourists to fly to New York Stewart International Airport and see all that this region has to offer.”
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