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January 28, 2011

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Study says Stewart could handle 7 million passengers in 20 years


A lot needs to happen before this terminal begins to fill up

NEW YORK – A Regional Plan Association study released Thursday said with New York’s big three airports rapidly nearing capacity, airports like Stewart, in outlying areas, should be relied on more.

The report also lists MacArthur Airport on Long Island and Monmouth Airport in New Jersey as potential relievers.

The RPA report said that Stewart could potentially handle 7 million passengers a year by the 2030s, but it still miniscule when Newark, LaGuardia and Kennedy combined are expected to handle 150 million by then.

Stewart has very little air service now, and it will be difficult to grow that, said RPA spokeswoman Neysa Pranger.

“The airlines need to provide the flights there, but passengers also need to be able to use Stewart in order for the airlines to do that, so it’s a slight chicken and egg situation,” she said. “We do know that there is some potential gain for the New York airports if there can be a greater use of Stewart International Airport and we think that can happen over the next decade or so, that that growth can take place.”

Three plans – short-term, mid-term and long-term – are discussed as potential ways to grow Stewart.

In the short-term, improved express bus service from New York City and continuation of the Metro-North Beacon station service are worth considering, the study said.

For the mid-term, the study findings consider an option of an exclusive busway from the Salisbury Mills train station to the airport, which would attract 800 air passengers a day, and cost roughly $120 million to $150 million to construct.

In the long-term, the study recommends an extension of the rail service from Salisbury Mills to Stewart be considered. That would attract 3,700 riders a day, according to the report.

 


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