Growing Stewart Airport Gets New Name

Real Estate In-Depth | July 2018

ALBANY— New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on June 29th what he termed as the beginning of a new era for Stewart International Airport in New Windsor with its official name change to “New York Stewart International Airport.”

The governor said the formal adoption of its new name builds on the airport’s significant growth and makes it more attractive and identifiable to travelers around the globe.

New signs located on major roadways leading to the airport and in and around the terminal were unveiled to welcome fliers to New York Stewart International Airport. The move comes following the one-year anniversary of air carrier Norwegian’s commencement of international service to the airport, which drove an increase in passenger volume of more than 60% in 2017.

“We are continuing to transform New York Stewart International Airport into a state-of-the-art transportation destination,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This new name will help promote the entire Mid-Hudson Valley region and build on the remarkable passenger growth over the past year by attracting additional flight service and new visitors to New York.”

“Adding ‘New York’ to the airport’s name will not only raise the geographic profile of the airport and its visibility, but offer another travel option to the metropolitan region while preserving the airport’s historic ties,” said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton. “New York Stewart has become the nation’s fastest growing airport, and we’ll further support that growth with the expansion of facilities for international travelers which will break ground later this year.”

The governor and the Port Authority, which operates the Orange County airport, have made broadening the appeal and usability of New York Stewart International a priority. The rebranding initiative is coupled with a $30-million investment to build a permanent new 20,000-square-foot U.S. Customs federal inspection station, replacing a temporary station and increasing the airport’s potential to grow flight activity and passenger volume. The expansion will also greatly enhance the airport’s ability to handle domestic and international passengers arriving simultaneously. Although the airport has a new name, its three-letter airport code, SWF, will remain the same, state officials noted.

In June 2017, Norwegian launched its first transatlantic non-stop daily flight to the Orange County airport from Edinburgh, Scotland. Passenger traffic at New York Stewart International rose more than 60% last year with Norwegian’s overall service to five European destinations, as well as the expansion of Allegiant Air’s domestic service. The new U.S. Customs facility will offer the capacity to screen up to 400 international passengers hourly.

The partnership between Norwegian and New York Stewart International has created 230 new jobs and generates an estimated $36 million in annual economic activity.

Since the start of Norwegian service in June 2017 through the end of April 2018, the airline has operated 779 outbound flights and carried nearly 215,000 total passengers.

Overall last year, the airport—whose airlines also include JetBlue, American, Delta and Allegiant—served nearly 450,000 commercial airline passengers, including 141,000 international fliers, which is up from approximately 275,000 total passengers in 2016. Already this year through April, New York Stewart International has served 181,153 passengers, a 104% increase over the same period last year.

Additional significant projects at New York Stewart International include:

RFP Released to Develop Solar Panel Carport Rooftop

A 450-space carport, featuring a solar panel rooftop to produce 1.9 megawatts of power that will be used to offset energy costs at the expanded terminal, further advancing the Governor’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and goal to achieve 50% of electricity to come from renewables by 2020. The cost of the project is estimated at $7 million, which is expected to be privately financed based on a long-term power purchase agreement with the Port Authority.

A Request for Proposals was released by the Port Authority earlier this year seeking a company to develop, build, own and operate a solar carport photovoltaic system at New York Stewart International Airport, as directed by the governor in his 2018 State of the State address. The time for submissions has closed and an award has yet to be made.

The Stewart Airport Express

To improve the customer travel experience, transportation to Manhattan via private bus carrier CoachUSA has also been enhanced. For $20 each way, the carrier provides direct service with 80-minute travel times between the airport and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown on a schedule corresponding with Norwegian’s arriving flights. The buses, operated by CoachUSA, have been branded with New York-themed colors to support the airport’s overall marketing efforts to boost tourism in 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 Department of Transportation. The Port Authority purchased the remaining 93 years of a private company’s operating lease for $78.5 million from NYDOT in 2007.

Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said, “We are proud of the Hudson Valley’s rich history, especially here in Orange County, and by paying homage to the past and the future—the airport’s new name will help our communities flourish. I am thrilled to invite more businesses and visitors to our community as we build on increased air travel from this past year and thank the governor for helping support our economic growth now and into the future.”

Orange County Partnership President & CEO Maureen Halahan said, “As the Orange County Partnership continues to work to bolster the business landscape of our diverse county, the renaming of the region’s airport will further support our efforts. I applaud Gov. Cuomo for seeing his vision through and supporting the transformation of this transportation hub. We hope to invite more businesses and visitors to our downtowns and look forward to welcoming them for years to come.”