Heimbach: “Stewart is not a field”
NEW YORK – The Port Authority Board Thursday voted to change the
name of Stewart International Airport to market it as a New York metropolitan
area facility. Agency Aviation Division Director Huntley Lawrence told
an oversight committee that the name change would retain the local historical
No name was discussed at the meeting; however, authority officials have
said they wanted the new name to be New York International at Stewart
Field in reference to the Stewart Family, which donated the original farmland
that would become the airport.
Lawrence said with the advent of low-cost passenger service, in particular
the first transatlantic flight by Norwegian Airways to five European cities,
the number of people who have been using Stewart have increased significantly.
Orange County Chamber of Commerce President Lynne Cione, Stewart Airport
Commission Chairman Louis Heimbach and Legoland New York spokesman Phil
Royle all spoke to the Port Authority Board supporting a name change.
Thomas Hafer, the Stewart family spokesman, said he has seen no evidence
that a name change would grow the airport. Service, convenience and cost
are what grow airports, he said.
Hafer is hopeful that a compromise name can be agreed upon that will prominently
include the Stewart name.
The Port Board also approved $30 million to construct a Federal Inspection
Station of 20,000-square feet on the north side of the passenger terminal
to segregate domestic and international passengers as required by the
FAA. That is expected to be completed by 2020.
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus released a statement after the
board vote supporting the plan to expand the terminal to make way for
permanent international arrivals.
The board also gave its okay to a contract with Signature Flight Support
Corporation to lease land and construct a hanger and terminal for its