Stewart International Airport in Orange County, New York, will undergo a major expansion with the addition of a US$30m US Customs inspection area, dedicated to handling the increasing number of international passengers at the airport.
The expansion will add nearly 20,000ft² of space to the existing terminal, while improving travelers’ experience by allowing concurrent domestic and international flight arrivals. The new federal inspection area will provide capacity to screen up to 400 international passengers per hour.
Currently, Stewart lacks a dedicated area to process passengers from international flights, which are handled by using a moveable wall to section off part of the terminal. This creates an inconvenience for domestic passengers using the terminal at the same time.
Passenger volumes at the Hudson Valley airport rose 62% year-on-year, having served 450,000 passengers in 2017, including 141,000 international fliers. This was up from 275,000 passengers in 2016.
The board of commissioners for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has also given permission to potentially change the airport’s name as part of a rebranding initiative aimed at increasing its appeal as a travel option to the New York metropolitan region.
Other future enhancements include a parking garage with a solar panel roof covering 450 spaces. The green initiative will create 1.9MW of power that will be used to offset energy costs at the expanded terminal.
Kevin O’Toole, board chairman, PANYNJ, said, “Economic development is one of the Port Authority’s fundamental missions and expanding Stewart International Airport to handle more international customers does exactly that. Since taking over the airport in 2007, this agency has now invested more than US$200m in the airport’s infrastructure. Today’s approval further underscores our commitment to giving customers at Stewart a higher level of service, while providing the opportunity for further growth and tourism in the Mid-Hudson Valley and New York metropolitan region.”
Jeffrey Lynford, board vice chairman, PANYNJ, said, “Expanding the terminal supports Governor Cuomo’s vision of an airport that increases flight activity and passenger volume, and provides the level of service and amenities that should be expected of a world-class facility.”
The expansion is expected to have immediate and lasting regional economic impact, with the projected creation of 140 on-site jobs and US$10.6m in wages.