Stewart in a stew as airlines pull

stewart.pngThey’re in a stew up in New York: where the Port Authority’s ambitious plans for making a meaningful alternative at Stewart, some 55 miles from Gotham and up on the west bank of the Hudson, faces real hurdles. The airline crisis, the slowing economy and Stewart’s somewhat remote location have led to a pullout by some of the carriers that went into the airport: AirTran pulls out next month, permanently ending five routes, while JetBlue is cutting back, ending its service to West Palm Beach and dropping Orlando and Fort Lauderdale to one daily flight, while Delta is cutting back from four to two daily flight to Atlanta, both in September. Skybus, a big boost to the traffic numbers, went out of business in April. That leaves US Airways Express and Northwest Airlink. With the loss of 400,000 annual AirTran seats alone, the airport faces a 40% drop in passengers.

The also airport faces the possibility that the few folks who began to pick up the Stewart habit will lose it, and go elsewhere. Or just not fly. In 2007, about 914,000 people used the airport, up from the 309,000 of the year before, many of them drawn by the very low Skybus fares. So, the Port Authority’s one million annual passenger number is very unlikely to be reached. However, the agency did agree that it wouldn’t change the name Stewart, reports The Stewart clan, dairy farmers, gave the land to the state in 1930; at one point, New York’s governor, Nelson Rockefeller, thought that the very noisy Concorde could land there and so disturb cows rather than people.

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2 Responses to Stewart in a stew as airlines pull

  1. Jay Dub Gee August 5, 2008 at 6:03 pm #

    It has been a while, but when I worked for the FAA Stewart ANGB wasn’t a good alternative to NY for the airlines because of the airspace allocation between Boston and NY Centers and NY Tracon. Tracon wouldn’t take southbound Stewart departures beyond one or two per shift and if they did they would hold them down to 5 or 6 thousand feet until they were near TEB or HPN, which is expensive. The preferred atc route was a climbing circle north of West Point until above Boston’s NJ arrivals and then soutwest bound toward NY center’s areas. I can’t remember accurately, but I think that was around 10-14000 feet (above tower routes from N90 areas and below JFK arrivals) that is also pretty wasteful of fuel and airline money. For a while the compromise was to allow the two or three flights to fly south and climb down the Hudson river without any serious restrictions. Other sources instructed controllers to be cautious and to quickly stop departures from LaGuardia and Westchester County (if routed through Washington Center) until the flight cleared Colt’s Neck. Any airline with departures from LGA would be costing themselves even more money at LGA by saving money en route out of SWF.

  2. Kryptonite Legal High November 27, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    I would like to start my own blog one day. This was a really nice blog that you made here. Keep up the success :P

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