Governor Calls on Port Authority to Approve $27 Million Investment to Expand International Passenger Service in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Albany, NY - January 2, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled the 17th proposal of the 2018 State of the State: invest $34 million to modernize and expand Stewart International Airport in Orange County. The Governor is calling on the Port Authority to approve the investment, which would increase access to world-class destinations and attractions throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley by supporting the construction of a permanent U.S. Customs and Border Protection federal inspection station. The new FIS will allow the airport to handle both domestic and international flights, while providing an improved passenger experience for all travelers. Additionally, as part of this modernization effort and to improve its name recognition, the airport will be rebranded as New York International at Stewart Field. The airport has experienced low passenger rates in recent years, and with this renaming and the addition of regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic service in 2017 for the first time, New York International will attract more travelers from the Metropolitan area looking for alternative, efficient transportation.
"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."
This investment will support the Governor's ongoing efforts to expand transportation infrastructure across the entire state, while helping to connect residents and visitors to businesses, recreation, and tourism destinations throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley.
This transformative proposal includes the following investments and actions:
Rebrand Stewart Airport as New York International at Stewart Field
The airport's current name does not communicate to travelers and visitors booking flights to the region where the airport is geographically located. The Governor's proposal to change the name to New York International at Stewart Field will help attract additional flight service to the region and increase name recognition among residents and visitors.
This proposal has already received strong support from the local community as it preserves the heritage of the Stewart family name in the Mid-Hudson Valley region.
Expand International Passenger Service
New York International at Stewart Field currently utilizes a temporary federal inspection station, which requires staff to assemble moveable walls when international passengers arrive to create a sterile area to process travelers. When in place, this temporary FIS restricts the airport's ability to handle domestic flights.
Constructing a permanent FIS will support the airport's potential to grow flight activity and passenger volume, while fostering the continued growth of economic development and tourism in the Mid-Hudson Valley region. The airport provides an alternative option for residents and visitors in Mid-Hudson and downstate metropolitan area, specifically traveling to international destinations.
The Governor announced in February a partnership between New York International and Norwegian that will generate $36 million in economic activity and create 230 new jobs in the region. The airport began offering trans-Atlantic flights for the first time in June and July, with service to Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dublin and Shannon in Ireland and Edinburgh, Scotland. The expanded FIS would support continued passenger volume growth from these new international flights and increase bookings.
The Governor has proposed a $27 million investment by the Port Authority to expand international passenger service at New York International. With this investment, project design is expected to be 100 percent complete by third quarter 2018 and construction of the new FIS is expected to be complete by first quarter 2021.
The permanent federal inspection station will:
Enable the airport to offer continuous international passenger service by building a modern FIS that meets U.S. Customs and Border Protection requirements;
Add nearly 20,000 square-feet of space to the existing terminal;
Deliver an improved traveler experience by allowing concurrent domestic and international flight arrivals;
Support the capacity to screen up to 400 international passengers per hour;
Incorporate Port Authority Sustainable Building Guidelines, including energy efficiency and natural daylight; and
Facilitate hardstand operations, including transportation of passengers from terminals to airplanes.
Increasing passenger volume will support the regional tourism industry, as New York International is currently home to the New York Air Show, which already draws tens of thousands of people to Orange County and contributes more than $5 million in economic impact every year. In addition, with the development of LEGOLAND in Goshen, the Resorts Catskill Casino and other regional businesses have expressed interest in flying guests through the airport, which further supports the need to increase its capacity.
Enhance Mobility for Travelers Through the Stewart Airport Express
To provide an improved travel experience for customers, the current Stewart Airport Express private bus carrier will be enhanced and rebranded, providing service from the airport to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. Service will be offered on a schedule corresponding with Norwegian flights. The bus carrier, CoachUSA, offers 80-minute travel times between NYC and the airport via the Stewart Airport Express, which will be branded with New York-themed colors and promoted to support the airport's overall marketing efforts to boost tourism in the region.
New bus "skin" decal will be used to rebrand the shuttles with an emphasis on the new name, New York International.
Install Carport Systems to Support Solar Power
To build on the Governor's achievements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing clean economies, the Governor is calling upon the Port Authority to release an RFP to create a solar "carport" photovoltaic system at New York International, which will be built, installed, owned, operated and maintained by the selected proposer. The solar installation would be constructed over sections of the parking lot outside the main terminal building, utilizing overhead canopies that would support arrays of solar panels. The project could generate 1,100 kW and produce most of the electricity used by the main terminal on an annual basis. The design would meet specific Port Authority requirements that would prevent glare along flight paths and deter control tower disruptions.
The PV system would also support the establishment of electric vehicle charging stations at the airport, allowing New York to meet the needs of the 21st century traveler. Both space to construct charging stations and a booming electric vehicle market, which has experienced an average 32 percent growth between 2012 and 2015, and an increased rate of 40 percent in 2016 - provides the opportunity to develop twenty new charging stations at New York International by 2020. The project would also be consistent with New York State's Reforming Energy Vision energy strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions and the Governor's goal to achieve 50 percent of electricity to come from renewables by 2030.
The cost of the project is estimated at $7 million, which is expected to be privately financed based on a long-term power purchase agreement with the Port Authority. The project construction duration is approximately one year from the award date.
New York airports are the gateways to the Empire State, and in order to continue building on record-breaking numbers of visitors and spending, the Governor's investments are modernizing air travel through with the launch of the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, and redevelopment of JFK and LaGuardia airports in New York City. These state-of-the-art projects are essential to boosting tourism, remaining competitive in today's global economy, and supporting the construction of a new New York.