Please plan to attend the next Westchester County Airport Advisory Board Meeting. Parking is free with validation.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Airline terminal, 2nd floor conference room
Westchester County Commissioner of Public Works Hugh Greechan will be giving a presentation about the proposal to repave runway 16/34. As we have previously written, this project would lock in capacity for decades and was being advanced without public input or careful consideration.
The county has stated that the repaving is needed for safety reasons. We are of course not opposed to maintaining a safe airport. However, there is so far no evidence that this work is needed immediately to preserve airport safety. The FAA rates runway 16/34 as in “good” condition, second highest on their scale from “poor” to “excellent.” The “good” rating is typical of major airports with high levels of traffic. All of LaGuardia’s and JFK’s runways are rated “good.”
We believe that the county should undergo a thorough, thoughtful process including community input before proceeding with long term capital projects like the runway repaving. It is highly unlikely that delaying this project until the completion of a new master plan and a comprehensive airport policy to restore balance to the airport’s relationship with its neighbors will pose a significant safety risk.
The Westchester Aviation Association (WAA) has issued a call to action to their members to attend Wednesday’s meeting. The current level of airport capacity would allow substantial increases in traffic for years to come. The WAA wants the county to skip public input and lock in the status quo. This would close off policy options that could be pursued to reduce the airport’s environmental impact.
The county should partner with the public to create a right sized airport. The current level of environmental impact is unacceptable. All options must be on the table to restore balance.