DHL, Possibly New Air Carrier Coming to Stewart Airport

John Jordan | November 2016

Stewart Airport General Manager Edward Harrison

TOWN OF WALLKILL—While Stewart Airport has made headlines with the recent revelation that Brooklyn Brewery may be building an $80-million facility at the airport grounds in New Windsor, several other major developments at the airport operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey could be in the offing as well.

At a breakfast briefing of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce held at the West Hills Country Club on Nov. 9, Stewart Airport General Manager Edward Harrison revealed that global logistics firm DHL had signed a 10-year lease for approximately 21,000 square feet of space at the airport.

He said DHL will spend nearly $500,000 on the project and that when operational in early 2017, the firm will add 30 new jobs at the airport. He noted that airline industry officials have told the PA that Stewart is the only airport where all the world’s three major logistics companies—Federal Express, UPS and DHL—have operations.

Harrison praised Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus for his support of the DHL project and said that the county executive helped close the deal and also praised him for his work to bring the New York Air Show to the airport this past September, which attracted about 40,000 patrons.

He said that the Port Authority is a finalist to secure a new international airline carrier at Stewart Airport. He said that a decision could be reached by the first week of December.

“There is a competition out there, you know how these things go,” he said. “It isn’t fair to say we are adding a new airline, but we are in the middle of a serious negotiation.” He later described those talks being with a “major new airline.” While not revealing the specific carrier, Mr. Harrison did note that if the negotiations are successful, “You will be going to Europe.”

At the Chamber event he also revealed that Allegiant Airlines has committed to adding frequency to Myrtle Beach, SC and expanding the flight season there. In addition to Allegiant, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Delta Connection offer passenger services at Stewart.

He said that in terms of cargo, Stewart is having a “great 2016” with cargo handling 15% higher in July and in August 20 percent higher. He said the airport would surpass its initial projections of 14,500 tons for 2016. Year-to-date cargo operations increased approximately 20 percent as compared to last year. In 2015, cargo operations at Stewart supported 400 jobs and resulted in $25 million in wages and $75 million in sales, Mr. Harrison noted.

When all operations at Stewart are factored in (cargo, passenger service armed services, real estate development, independent helicopter services, Stewart International Airport is the second largest employer in Orange County behind the U.S Military Academy at West Point. Employment at Stewart totals approximately 2,700 workers and $450 million in economic activity to the region.”

“Cargo is doing great and as cargo grows so will our economic impact,” Harrison said.

New to the airport this year in the general aviation sector, Signature Flight Support, the world’s largest Fixed Base Operator, began operations at the airport in July. The launch of operations at Stewart marked the 200th global location for the FBO. Signature has FBOs at Westchester County Airport, Newark-Liberty and Teterboro airports. He noted that in the 12-month period that ended Aug. 31, 2016, there were 32,000 general aviation flights at Stewart Airport, an increase of nearly eight percent from the previous year.

Harrison said that since the Port Authority took over Stewart Airport in 2007, the authority has spent approximately $200 million involving 33 construction contracts. A total of 18 of those contracts were awarded to local construction firms, valued at about $116 million.

 

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth