NEW YORK – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced that Stewart International Airport will be renamed New York Stewart International Airport as part of a $37 million upgrade and modernization of the airport, including a 20,000 square foot permanent U.S. Customs inspection area to better handle and streamline processing of the soaring number of international passengers.
Market research indicates that incorporating “New York” into the name will make it significantly easier for travelers to identify the airport’s geographical location, which is located just one-hour north of New York City. The new name was determined following discussions between the Port Authority and members of the Stewart family to develop a rebranding that honors the family while enhancing the marketing of the airport outside the Hudson Valley.
New York Stewart International Airport is expected to increase the airport’s visibility with residents of and travelers to New York City’s metropolitan region, advancing its goal of attracting new customers and building on the growth of more than 60 percent it witnessed in 2017.
“Studies have shown rebranding the airport with ‘New York’ in its name raises the geographic profile of the airport and its visibility, particularly with foreign travelers,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “While preserving the airport’s history, the goal is to bring more flights and tourism dollars to New York, and ultimately more jobs to the region.”
In 1930, Thomas “Archie” Stewart, an aviation buff and descendant of prominent local dairy farmer Lachlan Stewart, along with his uncle, Samuel Lachlan Stewart, donated 220 acres of land to the City of Newburgh to be used as an airport. In 1970, Stewart Airport was acquired by the State of New York/New York State Department of Transportation (DOT). The Port Authority purchased the remaining 93 years of a private company’s operating lease for $78.5 million from NYDOT in 2007.
In his annual State-of-the-State address in early January, Governor Cuomo called on the Port Authority to pursue the name change as well as approve the investment in a permanent U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection facility to increase access to the region’s world-class destinations and mid-Hudson Valley attractions.
In 2017, passenger volumes at the airport rose more than 60 percent, as a result of new routes and Norwegian Air’s new service to destinations including Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh and Bergen, Norway. Nearly 450,000 commercial airline passengers used Stewart, including 141,000 international fliers, up from approximately 275,000 total passengers in 2016.
The modernization of the airport is expected to have immediate and lasting regional economic impact, with the projected creation on-site of 140 jobs and $10.6 million in wages. The total regional impact is expected to be 230 total direct and indirect jobs, $17.5 million in wages and $45 million in economic activity.
In addition to the construction of a permanent U.S. Customs inspection area, a 450-space carport featuring a solar panel rooftop will be built to produce 1.9 megawatts of power that will be used to offset energy costs at the expanded terminal.
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.