NEWBURGH – Planners and visionaries met all day Friday in a think tank to discuss how to grow New York Stewart International Airport into an economic catalyst for the entire region and in particular for the City of Newburgh, just four miles down the road.
With the rebranding of the airport as a New York metropolitan area transportation hub, officials said continued growth in airline service and cargo operations will make that happen.
Airport General Manager Ed Harrison said Stewart is definitely in a growth mode that will benefit the region.
“I think the best thing that we can do at New York Stewart International is keep growing the business, keep growing air service, keep creating jobs, then they will have the critical mass,” Harrison said.
Newburgh City Councilman Anthony Grice is all about taking incremental steps to reach the goal of the rebirth of the city.
“I think that if we make a strong connection with Stewart Airport that it will help start the economic engine for the City of Newburgh,” Grice said.
Participants at the “Aerial Futures: Newburgh Enclosures” think tank noted the interstate highway network in the area as a major attraction to spur growth.
Architecture graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania studied the Newburgh area and proposed a food and leisure hub at the site of the Shortline transportation center on Route 17K in the Town of Newburgh, just up the road from the airport.