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Wed, Dec 27, 2023

FAA Approves New Haven Airport Expansion

FAA's Environmental Assessment, Finds "No Significant Impact" For The Proposed Runway And Terminal Expansion

Tweed New Haven Airport in Connecticut has been given the green light by the FAA's environmental assessment, finding "no significant impact" for the proposed runway and terminal expansion. 

The changes will provide more terminal space and a longer runway for 02-20, at a proposed cost of $165 million. The potential environmental impacts are minimal, according to a 25-page study on the project. Tweed was identified as "one of the most underserved airports in the country" according to an airport management master plan. Its central location in Connecticut gives it 2.2 million potential users within 30 miles, a population with plenty of biotech, tech, and information jobs nearby.

According to airport staff, "airlines have expressed interest in serving Tweed; however, the existing 5,600-foot runway length has prevented them from doing so." Allegiant indicated its interest, they continued, but they indicated they needed at least 6,000 feet for consistent service. Avelo launched service to Tweed New Haven in November of 2021, using it as their 1st East Coast base. The carrier expanded its operations, going from 4 destinations to 14 today. Avelo has stated their preference for a longer runway, and as the only airline offering commercial service to and from the field, Tweed staff included their engineering analysis in their FAA report.

The proposed runway improvements will see the addition of 639 feet to Runway 02, and 336 feet to Runway 20, totalling an additional 975 feet. That length manages to add enough extra capacity without impacting nearby tidal wetlands while ultimately granting 6,575 feet for 02-20. The runway's elevation and profile will be adjusted to be compliant with modern FAA standards, with grading, stormwater drainage, lighting, and guidance signs updated accordingly. Runway 02's end will be given an EMAS section, providing deceleration in the case of a runway overshoot for the larger passenger aircraft like Avelo's Boeing 737s operating there today. Finally, the old-fashioned Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System will be removed and replaced with Runway End Identifier Lights for Runway 02.

New aircraft aprons, deicing pads, fencing, and parking facilities will round out the rest of the improvements, allowing a better passenger experience and higher throughput for increased commercial service. Tweed's decommissioned VOR will be removed in order to provide their land for the new East Terminal and apron, with the DME/Localizer undisturbed for the runway's side. 

FMI: www.flytweed.com

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