Air Transport World

Alternative on the Hudson. (Stewart International Airport)

Stewart international thrives as a regional airport but potential of its site in populous upstate New York pleases FAA.

Newburgh, N.Y.-The previously untapped potential of Stewart International Airport, north of New York city, now is at least being tapped. The cargo carriers came in several years ago with New York city-bound payloads. But now, finally, there is passenger service at Stewart, though it is more of a regional operation, tapping the nearby population rather than drawing traffic away from Newark, LaGuardia and Kennedy. However, many of the passengers using the facility previously would have used those congested airports. It's a start.

The FAA-backed scheduled service at Stewart, located 65 mi. north of the city in Newburgh, is intended as an alternative to the three big New York-area airports, which despite the adjustment of schedules by air carriers and the upgrading ATC and landing systems continue to be congested. And congestion, of course, both of airports and airspace, is one of the most complex issues facing the airline industry. Carriers and regulatory authorities have tried to combat the problem but in dense terminal areas, a basic lack of room in the sky and on the ground confounds many of these efforts. In a metropolitan area as large as New York, the problem is magnified.

What has become apparent to frequent fliers is that airside delays are only part of the time-consuming gauntlet involved in using the three major New York-area airports.

Horrendous vehicle-including taxi-traffic and parking congestion adds hours to a trip. Amtrak uses these barriers to its own benefit to market its Metroliner rail service as an alternative between Manhattan and Washington, D.C. Total time of the Metroliners'door-to-door service is less than air for most business travelers. For the several million people who reside within a 100-mi. …

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