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Statement on Tweed Airport

Posted on August 3, 2021


In advance of a presentation by Rep. Sean Scanlon to the East Haven Town Council regarding Tweed Airport, Rep. Joe Zullo released the following statement:

“Expansion of Tweed Airport is not a foregone conclusion and decision makers at all levels need to stop treating it as such.  Everyone continues to dance around the issue but it’s very simple – the path to Tweed’s ideal expansion plans runs through the Town of East Haven, which has discretion over key approvals.  It is up to ‘us’ – all of East Haven.

I have repeatedly requested and have yet to receive economic pro formas delineating the exact economic benefits to East Haven.  Proponents of expansion optimistically cite tax and economic benefits to the ‘region’ but we have no guarantees.   East Haven is being asked to bear the traffic, environmental, and logistic burdens of expansion  and decision makers should be demanding to know the precise benefits for the Town, and those particularly in areas affected by expansion, of expanded airport operations.  That we don’t have that information this late in the game is terrifying.  Time is running out and we need answers.

Before any final decisions are made, I not only expect to know the environmental and health considerations surrounding expansion, I expect to be briefed on:

  1. Whether East Haven will receive a percentage of ticket fares generated from expansion?;

  2. Whether State funds currently subsidizing the airport will be reallocated to a special district encompassing those neighborhoods in East Haven and New Haven affected by expansion to address noise and other capital and quality of life issues?;

  3. The precise tax benefits to the Town of East Haven and whether investors, the State, or others are willing to guarantee projected economic benefits in the event they are not realized.;

  4. Case studies from other jurisdictions facing similar situations along with 5, 10, and 20 year economic benefit reviews for the municipalities in which expansions took place.

I am not an obstructionist.  I realize that many are impacted by Tweed expansion and that many others are benefited by it.  I’m not asking for the world.  I am simply asking for the data.  The people of East Haven deserve to know the facts before the town’s leaders make decisions that will affect generations to come.  The people elected me to pose these difficult questions and I will not relent until I have answers.”

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