A federal court has ruled that a state law limiting the length of the main runway at Tweed New Haven Airport is invalid.

A three-judge panel ruled that federal aviation law preempts a 2009 state law limiting the length of Tweed's main runway to 5,600 feet.

Tweed New Haven runway
Tweed New Haven Airport's main runway is one of the shortest commercial runways in the country.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals in New York ruling overturns the 2017 decision by a federal magistrate in Hartford upholding the state law.

Airport officials want to expand the main runway to 7,200 feet on airport property.

Tweed Authority executive director Matt Hoey said the decision was "a big step forward for job creation in the city of New Haven and the state of Connecticut."

American Airlines currently offers daily flights to and from Philadelphia and weekly flights to and from Charlotte, N.C.

Hoey said Allegiant Air has told airport officials it would provide service to and from Orlando if the runway is expanded.

Lamont Supports, Senate Leaders Oppose

State Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven), whose districts include the airport and surrounding neighborhoods, called for Attorney General William Tong to appeal the decision.

"The strong residential neighborhoods around Tweed must be protected from any damaging impact caused by the potential overruling of state law," Looney said.

However, Gov. Ned Lamont said he believed Tong should not pursue an appeal, calling the runway expansion important to the state's economy.

"I think a modest expansion of Tweed Airport, working closely with the neighbors, is going to be a big part of Connecticut's economic future, especially in that part of the state," he said.

Tong has 90 days to appeal the ruling. He said his office is reviewing the decision.