Consultants say longer runway would benefit New Haven airport

14 January 2019 3 min. read
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If Tweed-New Haven Airport’s main runway could be expanded from 5,600 to 6,000 feet, a consultant with ASM North America said, the airport stands to bring in billions to Connecticut’s economy. 

The proposed expansion would allow more airlines access to the airport, potentially increasing the number of destinations reachable from New Haven, as well as lowering fares. As it stands, Tweed is the highest-priced airport for passengers in the area, which includes airports such as Kennedy and LaGuardia, in New York, and Newark, in New Jersey. The consulting firm that provided the advice, ASM North America, specializes in the aviation industry.

“Connecticut needs this to grow,” said Tweed Authority chairman John Picard in an interview with the New Haven Record. “We have to make this happen.” 

A state law currently limits the runway to its 5,600-foot length, as well as the number of departures per day and passengers per year, and several other rules aimed at nearby residents’ quality of life. Officials say 5,600 feet is too short for larger commercial jets, preventing them from landing at Tweed. A May vote by the city’s Board of Alders, revolving around moving forward airport improvements – runway length among them – was delayed.

Consultants say longer runway would benefit New Haven airport

Airports worldwide are looking to expertise from the consulting industry for help. In the UK, London-based Heathrow Airport recently hired a management consultancy to oversee its £14 billion expansion plan, which includes the construction of a third runway. Heathrow is the second-busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic. Also in London, construction firm Lagan Aviation and Infrastructure and engineering consultancy firm Mott MacDonald have been contracted to resurface the Royal Air Force Northolt airbase runway, located near the district of Ealing. The project is worth £23 million.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, consultants are helping Lebanon’s Beirut's Rafik Hariri Airport draft redevelopment plans, while in Oman, German airport consultants are supporting local teams with preparations for the opening of the new Muscat Airport. 

The airline industry as a whole is also enjoying rapid growth. A report from global management firm Oliver Wyman projected that more than 10,000 aircraft will be added to the world’s commercial fleet by 2027.