September 11, 2005

Tweed Airport Wins Award

Accoording to the local newspaper, DJ Air group is considering New Haven as a possibility for their hub along with Worcester and Trenton (I think). It is always a good thing to find out as much as you can about the competition.

“The Regional Airport of the Year Award, recognizes a regional airport’s outstanding leadership team for demonstrating innovative thinking, tenacity and marketing prowess in attracting new regional carriers, implementing a successful business model, and demonstrating expertise in providing air service and quality customer service. The award honors Tweed New Haven Regional Airport for controlling its own destiny by securing government grants and developing extensive community-based support to boost its air service.

One factor was Delta Air Lines’ decision in May 2004 to begin daily service to Cincinnati from New Haven, service provided on a 40-seat regional jet by Comair. Soon after, US Airways upgraded its service to six daily flights to Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the airport is still courting service to Detroit by Northwest Airlines.” said Tom Smith, editor of Regional Aviation News. “Airport managers, with the help of Yale University, secured 1.6 million in revenue-guarantee money for Delta from the local business community, as well as $250,000 for a marketing campaign. Then, New Haven successfully applied for a $250,000 federal Small community Air Service Development grant to match the local marketing dollars.” adds Smith.

Tweed’s has seen dramatic growth in the past year with the arrival of Delta Connection service and increased US Airways Express services. Tweed has gone from boarding only 16,527 passengers in 2003 to 40,660 in 2004, with boarding expected to increase to 61,000 in 2005. These numbers haven’t been attained since the mid-1990’s. The record high of 130,000 passengers was attained in 1993. "I'm extremely happy.

This is a great honor," said Tweed New Haven Airport Authority Chairman Lawrence DeNardis, president-emeritus of the University of New Haven. DeNardis, with Yale University Vice President for New Haven and State Affairs, Bruce Alexander and airport Manager Rick Lamport, accepted the award.“Thanks are due to a host of people and institutions for Tweed's turnaround, including the mayors of New Haven and East Haven, state officials, area business leaders and particularly air travelers who use Tweed," said DeNardis, a former congressman."

A good transportation infrastructure is one of the ingredients of a region that prospers economically, that creates jobs for its citizens and a strong tax base to support municipal services," Alexander said. "Our investment in Tweed was an investment in economic development." The award, Alexander said, "is a tribute to the partnership that has brought Tweed back to life so successfully." David S. Greco, Director of Marketing

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