FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Construction of a new, modern terminal on the east side of the Airport.
- Extending existing runway to allow for more direct flights to more destinations.
- Renovation of Existing Terminal and other infrastructure improvements that will improve safety and mitigate local traffic concerns.
- Key Community Programs for New Haven and East Haven
- $3m in new Sound Protection programs
- $1.5m in new Traffic Management programs
- $250,000 in General Aviation Noise Abatement
The Authority has hired MacFarland Johnson, a nationally recognized and accredited planning, design, and construction administration firm specializing in airport projects to conduct the FAA-funded and overseen Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposed project. The thorough process is anticipated to take one year and will look at all environmental issues surrounding the project including but not limited to noise, air quality, wetlands and wildlife. The public will have many opportunities to engage in the EA process.
There are guidelines for airport operations in terms of design, systems, ramp and taxi movement, and other elements that are prescribed by Airport Carbon Accreditation which is an international global carbon management certification program for airports. It provides six levels of certification. Avports has some experience with this system since Teterboro and Detroit Metropolitian have gone through some portion of the six step accreditation process.
- Baseline Review of Emissions
- Target Setting
- Policy Development and Commitment
- Implementation and Monitoring
- Evaluation and Reporting
- Developing a Quality Management System
A key element of the program is to use a carbon mitigation program. It appears that Teterboro uses carbon offsets provided by The Good Traveler which invests in wetlands, forests, and carbon sequestration efforts.
Terminal Operations – Avports understands that the start of many trips for passengers begins within the terminal. Terminals, unlike other buildings, are typically used 20 hours a day or longer – far longer than most office or residential buildings. We are working to ensure these buildings are reducing their carbon output by building them efficiently so they consume less energy and they are powered with renewable sources. It’s why we’re investing in renewable energy solutions, high efficiency HVAC, and providing more options for recycling to reduce waste.
Flight Operations – Avports is working to reduce the carbon footprint of the airports it manages by improving operations within the terminal, at the gate, on taxiways, and runways. Across our operations we’re building towards a level six accreditation from Airport Carbon Accreditation, the only independent and institutionally-endorsed global carbon management certification program for airports. Airport Carbon Accreditation is the only global, airport specific carbon standard which relies on internationally recognized methodologies.
Water Quality – Avports has long recognized the need to address the impacts of runoff from terminals, taxiways, and runways. We are proud to work with local communities, engineers, and environmental advisors to build runoff capture systems into every project to protect the environment surrounding airports and the communities that rely on them.
The proposed expansion is a commitment to finally bring environmental sustainability to Tweed-New Haven Airport. The new terminal will be built with LEED principles, will replace the old terminal with an energy efficient, carbon-neutral terminal and ground operations, and better traffic infrastructure to decrease vehicle road time. Further, study after study found that, generally, highway traffic releases dangerous pollutants and particulates that stay in the air longer and do greater damage to our ozone. By focusing on air travel over road travel the City will decrease pollution.
The establishment of the Public Environmental Stewardship Committee will consist of three New Haven residents, two East Haven residents and staffed by the city’s engineering department.
There’s a multiparty commitment to a Project Labor Agreement (PLA). The PLA for the West Terminal includes provisions for local hiring prioritization, which is why local labor unions have consistently and publicly supported this project since it was announced on May 6th. It is anticipated that this will result in 200 construction jobs.
While the PLA is between the local building trades council and a private construction company, both the Authority and Avports have given their commitment to the building trades council and said publicly that the runway expansion and new terminal will also be done under a PLA. It is anticipated that this will result in 1,000 construction jobs.
In terms of non-construction jobs, between the airport’s new air carrier Avelo and Avports itself, both organizations announced that they have begun hiring 100 new positions based in New Haven. The new roles will be phased in by the end of this year. Both Avelo and Avports are working with two local job pipelines – New Haven Works and the Workforce Alliance – to fill those jobs and will be holding their first jobs fair in New Haven on September 9th. It is anticipated that this number will grow dramatically once the new terminal opens.
Overall, an economic impact study was conducted which found that the overall project will lead to the creation of 11,000 jobs.
Stormwater management and other resiliency projects will begin in phase two of the expansion. The airport property functions as a bowl, absorbing flooding from the neighborhood. Our plans for a New HVN include funding for enhanced upgrades to the tide gates, as well as the construction of a new, flood-proof terminal and improved flood control. It’s also important to note that the existing terminal has only flooded twice in the last decade. In both instances, the terminal and airport were reopened in less than a single day. In the most recent instance, there were no delays or cancelations whatsoever.
Under the terms of the City Lease, the City will provide the full annual subsidy in this fiscal year and half of the annual subsidy in the next fiscal year. Afterward, the City will no longer be obligated to be the “local share” for FAA grants as Avports has agreed to assume responsibility for the share going forward. Importantly, the City will continue to own the airport but will not be obligated to contribute financially for the duration of the 43 year lease.
Here are key elements of the lease that was approved by the Board of Alders
- The extension of the airport authority’s $1-per-year lease of the city-owned airport land through June 30, 2064.
- The extension of the airport’s main runway from 5,600 feet to 6,635 feet long, as first spelled out in the airport’s master plan.
- The construction of a new four-to-six-gate passenger terminal and a new parking garage on the East Haven side of the airport property.
- The phasing out of the city’s annual operating subsidy of Tweed. This fiscal year will see the operating subsidy stay at $325,000. Next year, it will drop to $162,500. The year after that, and going forward, the city will not pay any operating subsidy to the airport authority.
- Mandatory check-ins and performance reviews between the city and the airport authority every 10 years.
- Mandatory annual community meetings between the airport authority and alders from surrounding neighborhoods. Those meetings must be open to the public, and allow for public comment.
- The creation of an Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee consisting of three New Haven residents and three East Haven residents, and to be staffed by New Haven’s Engineering Department.
- The requirement that the airport authority and airport management company study and, to the extent feasible, implement a passenger carbon offset program.
- A $5 million investment towards mitigating traffic, noise, and environmental concerns in surrounding neighborhoods.
The current runway length results in a significant limitation for today’s common aircraft types to serve the routes the market demands. The runway will extend from 5,600’ to 6,635’. There will be an installation of turn-around areas at both ends and will cost an estimated $16.5 million. The extension will unlock unmet demand for additional destinations, provide economic stimulation, increase airline accessibility, grow passenger traffic, and create a financially sustainable Airport. Construction of the new runway is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023.
The Authority and Avports have no plans to seek eminent domain authority from the City. In the 23 years since the Authority was formed, it has never once sought eminent domain despite language in the existing airport lease that is similar to what’s proposed for a new lease. The proposed expansion, guided by the FAA approved 2021 Master Plan, specifically ruled out the need to expand the current footprint of the airport.
Updates to the West Terminal include additional passenger processing and support space required to accommodate simultaneous operations. Updates will cost approximately $4 million. Updates will include additional ticketing, holdroom, TSA screening capacity on lower level, additional seating and concessions on the second floor. The lower-level of the administration building will be repurposed for baggage claim, airline, and rental car facilities.
General aviation will not be impacted, except Avports has committed $250,000 in “General Aviation Noise Abatement” to assist the community in sound protection.
Before approving the new deal, the New Haven Board of Alders amended the lease agreement to prohibit the airport from expanding cargo and freight services without receiving approval from the City of New Haven.