Interstate Access, Plenty of Parking at the “Green” Airport

During his State of the State address, Governor Spitzer claimed that his administration is "turning Stewart Airport into an economic engine for the Hudson Valley and an environmental model for the world: the very first carbon-negative airport." In this morning’s New York Times, we see the Port Authority, touting SIA as an air congestion reliever for metro NYC, making similar claims about the airport’s green credentials.

Though there is talk of "terminals, baggage equipment, offices, stores and restaurants that do not produce greenhouse gas emissions," and even "produce or support enough green energy to begin to offset the emissions generated by the planes," the one attraction to be confirmed so far is ease of parking:

”Stewart can be kind of a beacon for a lot of things,” said Anthony Shorris, executive director of the Port Authority, which has a 93-year lease on Stewart and runs the other three airports. ”An anchor for growth in the Hudson Valley, a major reliever of the other airports, a cargo and job-generating facility for a new economic growth pattern, and a demonstration of the potential for sustainable development in aviation.”


Change is already unmistakable: A new exit off Interstate 84 and wide new access roads now lead to the airport. A 350-space parking lot went up in three weeks and new chairs abound in the baggage claim area.

Shorris foresees 3 million annual passengers using Stewart within a few years. The attractions will include an easy trip to the airport, plenty of parking, comfortable terminals and flights taking off on schedule, he said.

Dan Hurwitz, a 60-year-old math teacher at Skidmore College, recently drove 100 miles to Stewart from his home in Saratoga Springs because a flight to Sarasota, Fla., was cheaper from Stewart than from the Albany airport closer to his home.

”Parking was really easy in the credit-card lot,” he said. ”They told me to be here two hours early but everything’s fast. I could have come an hour later.”

  • anon

    How about some high speed rail as an alternative to LGA, JFK, and EWR?

  • Jonathan

    It would be nice if trips123‘s transit planner could help you figure out how to get there. I’ve both flown out of the airport and dropped off people there (in 2004) and it’s a small suburban airport, easy to get around in. The White Plains airport (HPN) is another option that’s closer to the city than Stewart, even though it’s not operated by the Port Authority.

  • ” an anchor for growth in the Hudson Valley”

    What sort of growth will be generated by an airport?

    Obviously sprawl rather than transit-oriented development. No one wants to cluster uses near an airport because of noise. Even if they did want to, an airport requires so much land for runways and storage of planes that clustering is impossible.

    And the emissions from the planes will be even worse than the emission from the sprawl that is generated.

    If you want to be green, build high-speed rail, which will substitute for some airplane trips. A trip by high-speed rail generates only about one-sixth as much CO2 as the same trip by plane. And you can actually have walkable development rather than sprawl around the train stations.

  • drewo

    A NYCC ride I led years ago went by the “backside” (Western edge?) of Stewart Airport, on/or near a Drury Road I believe. If we were lucky, one of those gigantic dark military cargo jets would be coming in, at what seemed to be about 25mph, blackening the sky, it’s engines obliterating all other sound. Pretty cool.

  • galvo

    i think Stewart airport is one of the biggest in the country, it has one of the longest runways , i think it is the only airport in the area that can handle the landing of the c5a galaxy.
    there is a popular mountain biking area that adjoins it, i hear you can get seriously lost in there.
    they need public transit to that area.

  • Sprawl Bomb

    Green governors do not promote super sprawl spewers like this.

  • Bill

    Stewart Park and Reserve Coalition has a map showing the western lands/Drury Road area and the I-84 interchange: http://www.frontiernet.net/~sparc/

  • momos

    Stewart Airport “Green”??

    It will become the hub of new slew of endless fossil-fuel guzzling exurbs.

    If it draws travelers from the south it will add to the fossil-fuel guzzling gridlock around NYC.

    It it draws travelers from the north it will cannibalize Albany’s already faltering regional airport.

    It’s absurd to think this project is in anyway “green.” And it’s questionable on economic grounds.

    The real GREEN solution to airport gridlock in NYC is not Stewart. It’s taking that $500 million and investing it in high-speed rail from DC to Boston. The capacity savings at the airports can then be used for far more valuable long-distance widebody flights.

  • Hilary

    If you want to hear something really sickening, Stewart Airport is where the Hudson River Valley Greenway project I’ve been on for 3 years meets. Everyone in the valley drives at least an hour to get there. The barracks are used for NYS offices.

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