FAA Denies Appeal to Keep Tweed Open; Communicates Decision Through a Press Release
(3/22/2013) (New Haven, CT) – Today the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced, through a press release, that the Tweed Regional Airport air traffic tower will close, along with 149 other air towers across the country, as a result of sequestration on April 7, 2013
“It’s unfortunate that important public policy decisions, that have significant impact on our economy and public safety, are being made as a result of sequestration,” said New Haven Mayor John DeStefano. “This tower closure will do little to help grow Tweed which is fast becoming an economic engine within the region.”
New Haven and Tweed had appealed the FAA decision to close the contract tower on March 11, 2013. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, along with Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, jointly signed a letter endorsing Tweed’s appeal of the FAA tower closure, based on the negative impact the closure would close to public safety, the regional economy and national interests. A response to the Tweed appeal was not received; the City of New Haven and Tweed Airport were informed about the tower’s closure through a FAA press release this afternoon. The FAA’s press release listed the 149 air towers that will close as a result of sequestration, as well as the 40 that will be kept open.
Tweed Airport is one of the only small airports in New England to have commercial service. Tim Larson, the Executive Director, of Tweed, said that US Airways has confirmed that it will continue service at Tweed and flights will not be interrupted. “The FAA decision is not ideal because it will negatively impact how quickly Tweed can grow and become more of an asset for the regional economy. But it will not end our commercial service.”
“We need to step back and make the decision about whether we want to be a first-class region or a second class region. If we want to be a first class region, we need government, business and institutional leaders organizing to move grow Tweed and move it forward,” noted Mayor DeStefano.
Tweed was dedicated on August 29, 1931, as the New Haven Municipal Airport. It was renamed Tweed in 1961 in honor of John H. Tweed, the first manager of the airport. Air service was provided by American Airlines, beginning service in the 1930s, and later by Allegheny Airlines. Tweed Regional airport has approximately 40,000 enplanements and around 70,000 unique flyers each year.