Tweed-New Haven Airport will be allowed to proceed with a plan to lengthen its main runway to 7,200 feet.  

The U.S. Supreme Court declined March 23 to hear an appeal by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

Tong was appealing a federal appeals court decision overturning a 2017 decision upholding a state law that limited the length of the main runway at the airport to 5,600 feet.

With the U.S. Court of Appeals decision left in place, the airport may now expand.

Tweed is currently one of the smallest commercial airports in the country. Extending the length of the runway will make it possible for airlines to provide convenient service with larger jets in and out of the airport. 

A viable airport in the New Haven area will serve south-central Connecticut and is critical to the area's growing biotech, medical technology, and software industries.

Long Battle

Tweed has sought to expand the airport for years.

In 2002, the Federal Aviation Administration approved Tweed's master plan that included the runway extension.

A 2009 state law included in a budget bill limited the length of the runway and precluded expansion.

The law addressed concerns voiced by area lawmakers that more air traffic would adversely affect nearby neighborhoods and the environment. 

The appeals court decision invalidated the state law that limited the runway length.

The appeals court ruled that federal aviation law preempted the 2009 state law. 

Appeal

Following the appeals court decision, 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 Tong to appeal the decision.

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

Tong petitioned the Supreme Court in December to address whether Tweed had standing to sue the state and whether the Federal Aviation Act preempts state law. 


 For more information, contact CBIA's Brian Corvo (860.244.1169).