In order to be a major player in the global economy, Connecticut has to be able to move people, products and services to markets more easily and cost-effectively. One of the biggest keys to achieving that goal is having a highly functioning Bradley International Airport.

Most Connecticut businesses, residents and policymakers believe that Bradley has great untapped potential for commercial and personal travel. Its close proximity to Boston and New York markets increases its strategic value.

Fulfilling its potential has eluded Bradley and the state for a long time, but a bill awaiting action in the Senate could change its fortunes. SB 1003 aims to shake up the governance of Bradley International Airport to better equip the airport to maximize its competitive standing among domestic and international competitors.

The proposal creates a nine-member Connecticut Airport Authority that would replace the current Bradley board of directors. On the authority would be representatives from both the public and private sectors.

Most important, the new board would be empowered to act quickly and allow the airport to compete for air traffic--and generate much-needed economic activity.

Also under the panel’s authority would be Connecticut’s other, smaller airports.

Today’s airport and airline industry is extremely competitive and volatile. Bradley’s strategic location should be a big competitive asset, especially with escalating fuel prices and demand for more flights to new and existing markets.

Another key factor in any successful economic strategy is confidence, and Connecticut also needs to keep focused on cultivating a favorable business climate. Lawmakers should do everything they can in the final days of the legislative session to promote bills — such as SB 1003 — that encourage employers to compete and succeed in Connecticut.

CBIA believes it’s critically important for Bradley to achieve its potential as an economic engine not only for the region, but for the state of Connecticut and beyond. We encourage lawmakers to adopt SB 1003 to get the process started.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 or eric.brown@cbia.com.