In the last few days, we have heard ALOT about Stewart International Airport. On Thursday, January 4, 2018 World’s biggest passenger jet forced to land at SWF New York airport because of blizzard.
The flight was one of dozens that were diverted as powerful winds and heavy snow closed runways at some of the busiest airports along the East Coast, including several international long-haul flights. The airport’s 11,800 foot runway can easily accommodate the large plane, and the airport even bills itself as an “efficient diversion airport” because the runway is so long.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to expand and rebrand Stewart International Airport.
The governor wants the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to spend $34 million to build a permanent U.S. Customs and Border Protection federal inspection station to allow the airport to expand its international service. Stewart currently flies to Norway, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. The airport currently uses a temporary federal inspection station.
Now, New York Governor Cuomo also wants to rename the airport “New York International at Stewart Field.”
“By transforming Stewart Airport into a state-of-the-art transportation destination, we are providing an inviting gateway to the region and supercharging an economic engine for the entire Mid-Hudson Valley,” Governor Cuomo said. “This international transportation hub will provide a world-class passenger experience, attract new visitors and businesses and continue to move the Mid-Hudson Valley forward.”
Cuomo said the airport’s name does not tell travelers where the airport is geographically located.
On January 6, 2018 we published “HOW AIRPORTS CAN KEEP UP WITH THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL”
Stewart International Airport (SWF) is in the southern Hudson Valley, west of Newburgh, New York, approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of Manhattan. It is operated by the Port Authority Of New York & New Jersey (www.panynj.gov/airports/stewart.html). So it is not just another little airport. It is sometimes billed as New York City’s FOURTH AIRPORT. It has some of the longest runways in the New York area.
The sight of the giant plane, whose 262-foot wingspan is more than double that of a Boeing 737, was unusual for the airport, which is dwarfed by JFK in terms of passenger traffic. In 2016, about 137,000 passengers boarded at Stewart. At JFK, some 29 million passengers boarded, according to the Department of Transportation.
When the first UK tourists disembark at New York’s newest international airport last summer, they were be in for a shock. Stewart International is no bigger than a motorway service station. In fact, it’s probably smaller. And most of the time it’s deserted. Last Saturday afternoon (usually peak time for international travel), it was remarkably empty –and remarkably clean. Indeed, the bathrooms were cleaner than any I’ve seen at any airport.
But the airport’s advantage (being outside the congested airspace around Manhattan) is also its drawback. It is over 60 miles north of midtown Manhattan. And transport options will take a little while to catch up with the airport’s ambitions.
So our conclusion is that some better options than a motor coach (sometimes referred to as “a smelly old bus”) must surface. Yes, rail can be reached from Stewart: (1) shuttle bus across the Hudson River to nearby Beacon then Metro-North to either Penn Station or Grand Central; (2) shuttle to the Port Jervis Line and rail to New Jersey side of Hudson River; (3) Uber or LYFT. They get same killing traffic that busses get.
The obvious solution is to investigate HYPERLOOP. Specifically the “World leader” Virgin Hyperloop One