HARTFORD – State Representatives Tom Delnicki (R-14) along with State Reps. Christie Carpino (R-32), Tami Zawistowski (R-61) recently toured Hartford-Brainard Airport and met with leadership of the Airport Association to discuss the future of the 101-year-old airport.
Recently the City of Hartford has explored options for closing the airport and redeveloping the site – which sits between a trash-to-energy plant and a sewer treatment plant – for residential and commercial purposes.
“Brainard is a vital hub to the region and the state’s economy. The airport generates $3.36 million in state taxes annually and helps attract businesses to the greater Hartford area,” said Rep. Delnicki. “Hundreds, possibly thousands of jobs depend on the airport staying open and relevant. Brainard-Hartford Airport has relationships and shares its space with Connecticut State Police, the Civil Air Patrol (search and rescue and cadet training) and Life Flight medical transport. Hartford Hospital has a strategic partnership with the Airport which ultimately helps saves lives in the Hartford area.”
In 2016, the legislature’s Program Review and Investigations Committee studied the issue and found that the overall benefits of Hartford-Brainard outweighed the costs. Additionally, site remediation due to contamination and the need to infrastructure improvements would make the area poorly suited for residential development.
“As the third busiest airport in the state, Brainard is an important asset for Hartford and the region as a whole,” said Rep. Zawistowski. “Aviation is a core industry in Connecticut, closing the airport would mean a loss of jobs and removing commercial tenets such as flight schools. Additionally, Bradley International would not be a good fit for many of specialty functions offered by Brainard such as Life Star, organ deliveries to Hartford Hospital, Civil Air Patrol, and even corporate flights for Hartford businesses.”
Hartford-Brainard Airport supports $54.8 million is direct economic output, hosting three flight schools, CT Areo Tech School, and more than 400 connected jobs. As part of the state’s technical and career education system, CT Areo Tech trains students in the in-demand and high-paying field of aviation maintenance.
“Brainard-Hartford Airport provides the surrounding community with great economic, workforce, and public safety benefits. The airport is much more than just a travel hub. It offers workforce development, a variety of different employment avenues, and is a critical resource in emergency situations,” said Rep. Carpino.
More information about Hartford-Brainard is available through the Connecticut Airport Association website: ctairports.org/airports/hartford-brainard.