FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 25, 2005
Schumer Announces $250,000 for Stewart International Airport
Stewart Airport will use the money to encourage commercial air service to Florida Federal Funds Awarded as Part of the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) Grants Schumer lobbied Transportation Secretary to accept airport’s application
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced $250,000 in federal funds was awarded to Stewart Airport by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The federal dollars come from the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) Grants. The funds will be used to help the airport promote its services to passengers and offer inducements to new carriers. Schumer lobbied the Transportation Secretary, urging his support of Stewart’s application.
"This is great news for Stewart, since its goal of this program is to improve air service and lower prices for residents in smaller communities," Schumer said. "One of the first things businesses look at when they consider moving to a new location is whether there are good air service options in the area. This will be a shot in the arm to the Hudson Valley, and will help by promoting the airport to potential passengers and to new carriers as well."
Stewart Airport will use these federal funds to institute a comprehensive marketing program to recruit low-far service to Florida. Schumer wrote a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Minetta urging him to accept the airport's application for the SCASDP, explaining that bringing new carriers to the airport could lead to greatly improved air service and lower prices for Hudson Valley area residents. In the letter, Schumer wrote, “As the only approved commercial privatized airport operating in the United States, Stewart International Airport has been striving to improve the business climate, economic development and quality of life of the Hudson Valley community through the development of affordable air service. Despite substantial growth in the Hudson Valley area, residents and business travelers continue to use the New York metropolitan airports due to the high cost of regional airfare."
DOT received more than 80 applications for the 37 spots to receive SCASDP grants, which is funded by an FY2005 Congressional appropriation of $20 million. Only those communities with insufficient air service or unreasonably high airfares are eligible to participate in the program. The law limits the eligibility to communities with small hubs and smaller airports. According to the legislation, DOT may use funds to provide assistance to implement measures considered appropriate to improve air service both in terms of the cost of such service to consumers and the availability of such service.
Earlier this week, Schumer urged the Port Authority to support the expansion of Stewart by moving some of the general aviation, private airplane, traffic at Teterboro Airport to Stewart. Schumer asked Anthony Coscia, Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey meet with Stewart Airport’s President and COO, Charles Seliga to forge a partnership that would move some air traffic at Teterboro Airport to Stewart. As has been widely reported, Teterboro is near to, or over capacity and is in need of relief. Schumer suggested those customers who were encouraged to move to Stewart from Teterboro would find the airport very accommodating with a reasonable pricing structure, easy access to the metropolitan area, and an expanding customer base in the rapidly growing Hudson Valley.