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East Haven Mayor Puts New Haven On Notice About Tweed New Haven Airport Runway

East Haven mayor says any movement to expand the paved airport runway will be opposed by the town.

File photo
File photo
Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. wrote a letter to New Haven Mayor Toni Harp discussing East Haven's position on the possibility of paving of the runway safety areas at Tweed Airport. 

Maturo makes it clear the town is prepared to take any an all action necessary to ensure the area of paved runway is not expanded. He says in his letter than any movement to expand the runway could adversely affect East Haven residents' quality of life. 

Here is Mayor Maturo's full letter:

Mayor Toni Harp

165 Church Street

New Haven, CT 06510

Tweed New Haven Airport Authority

155 Burr Street

East Haven, CT 06512

Re: Failed Proposed House Bill  139 - Paving of the runway safety areas at Tweed Airport

Dear Mayor Harp and Airport Authority Members:

Kindly take this letter as  a follow-up to this year's state legislative session and to the introduction during that session of legislation which proposed allocating funding for the paving of the runway safety areas at Tweed Airport.

As you are likely aware, on March 16, 2009, the Town of East Haven, the City of New Haven, and the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority entered into a memorandum of agreement regarding Tweed New Haven Airport which concluded years of both State and Federal litigation amongst the parties (hereafter, the "Joint Agreement." 

The first substantive provision of the Joint Agreement pertains to Runway 2-20  and provides that "[t]he Town and City agree Runway 2-20 shall be limited to the existing paved runway length of 5,600 linear feet.' Additionally, the Joint Agreement increased East Haven's representation on Tweed's board of directors from two to five members. The Joint Agreement also provided that the parties would work with legislators to have various terms of the Joint Agreement enacted as part of an amendment to the State statute that governs and addresses Tweed New Haven Airport (Title 15, Chapter 267a of the Connecticut-General Statutes). As a result, C.G.S. Sec. 15-120j(c) presently provides that "Runway  2-2A of the airport shall not exceed the existing paved runway length of five thousand six hundred linear feet."

However, on February 18,2014, a group of seven legislators introduced a bill (HB 139) which called for an appropriation of $2 million dollars per year in State funding for Tweed New Haven Airport and also called for the amendment of state statutes to allow bonding for the taking of nearby trees and the paving of existing runway safety zones. That bill was transferred to the Legislature's Joint Committee on Transportation on February 27, 2014 and became known as bill number 339. Ultimately, the bill was not acted upon during the legislative session. As a

result, it was not passed. Let me begin by saying that I find  it disconcerting that there was virtually no collaboration by the authority, legislators, or the City of New Haven with the Town of East Haven regarding the proposed legislation. This legislation would have undoubtedly had a profound impact on the Town of East Haven and it is alarming that our community was not invited to be involved  in

discussions regarding this proposed  bill. With that said,  I wish to make it clear that it is the position of the Town of East Haven that any bill which contemplates or authorizes the paving of the runway safety areas at Tweed Airport is a violation of the Joint Agreement and in conflict with the provisions of C.G.S. $15-120j(c),  both of which expressly limit the length of runway 2-20 to 5,600 linear feet.

Specifically, the Town is of the opinion that the runway safety areas are integral parts of the runway - albeit, unpaved parts at the present time. lt  is the position of the Town of East Haven that the inclusion of the word "paved" with regard to the length of Runway 2-20 was deliberate and intended to limit the paving of the runway safety areas - which would obviously extend the "paved" length  of the runway beyond 5,600 linear feet.

With that said, kindly take this letter as notice that, in the future, the Town of East Haven will pursue any actions necessary to enforce the runway length limitations of the Joint Agreement and C.G.S. 51 5-1 20j(c).

Also, kindly let this letter serve as the Town's formal request to be included in any future discussions regarding the paving of the runway safety areas or expansion of the runway at Tweed Airport.

It is without question that Tweed Airport is a valuable regional resource. The Town does not intend to obstruct the lawful and reasonable operation of the airport. However, at all times, the airport's operations must be balanced with the interests of the residents who live around the airport and who have legitimate quality of life concerns about the airport's future operation.

As a result, the Town believes that any discussions regarding the future  of the airport, especially those pertaining to the expansion of Runway 2-20, should be collaborative and should include the Town of East Haven.

I look forward to fruitful discussions about this important resource with you.

Sincerely, 

Joseph Maturo Jr. 

East Haven Mayor


Sam Giglio July 09, 2014 at 07:37 AM
When Mayor April was in office she worked hard to get this agreement with the Airport Authority. Glad to see Mayor Maturo taking a stand, We need to support him with this issue.
Robert Limoncelli July 09, 2014 at 08:25 AM
Mayor Maturo is right to doubt the very unfriendly democrats in New Haven. Don't let them bully us Joe.
Richard Poulton July 09, 2014 at 08:47 AM
While I totally agree with what the Mayor wants to do, we all must know where this is going. Bigger question is what stance will Albis take? Will he side with his fellow (D) NH buddies that want this or with the residence of EH? Interesting!
Sam Giglio July 09, 2014 at 08:59 AM
Richard James will do whats right for East Haven, But you need to reach out to Senator Len Fasano and see were he stands. Its not a party thing its about our Town and our way of life.
Richard Poulton July 09, 2014 at 05:27 PM
I know where Sen. Fasano falls but as to Albis, only time will tell. Will he follow his (D) buddies from NH, that's the question?

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