Monday, February 12, 2018

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Stewart family threatens legal action if airport name is changed

The name battle not likely to end with Thursday's
PA board meeting

NEW YORK – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board is expected to vote a name change for Stewart International Airport when it meets on Thursday and the Stewart family is threatening to take the agency to court over it.

In effort to promote the airport as a New York metropolitan facility, the Port Authority wants to change the official name to New York International at Stewart Field.

Passengers flying into the airport from Europe may now access New York City via the Stewart Express, a dedicated Coach USA bus service.

The name change would be disrespectful to his family, former Governor David Paterson, who stated the name will not be changed, and to “all ordinary citizens who perform acts for the public good,” said Stewart family spokesman Thomas Hafer, the grandson of airport benefactor Thomas “Archie” Stewart.  “Frankly it illustrates the distain that those in power have for the common man,” Hafer said. “If the airport were named Rockefeller Airport or Cuomo Airport, there would not be any consideration of changing the name.”

Hafer noted the contract with the Port Authority, inked over 10 years ago, said the name shall remain Stewart International Airport, but he also noted that the City of Newburgh, which sold the land donated by the family for airport purposes, to the army for $1 back in the 1930s, the airport would always be called Stewart.

The Port Authority board is also expected to approve funding and construction of a Federal Inspection Station at its Thursday meeting.

With the advent of international service to Europe by Norwegian Airways, the passenger terminal needs permanent facilities to separate international and domestic passengers. At present, a movable wall separates the two.

The proposal would appropriate $30 million to design and build the addition on the passenger terminal and authorize “actions necessary to change the airport’s name.”

 


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