Port Authority commissioners endorsed Stewart International Airport near Newburgh, N.Y., as the preferred site for the next New York City-area airport on Thursday when they unanimously authorized the bi-state agency to hire outside consultants to see how the two-runway airport, serving half a million passengers a year, could be made to carry more.
Chairman Anthony Coscia, a New Jersey appointee, said that taking over the Orange County airport, now run by a private company on behalf of New York State, was one possibility, but that the Port Authority may be able to help in other ways.
The move was a blow to Vice Chairman Charles Gargano, a New York appointee who had advocated instead in favor of better technology to expand capacity at the three city airports, and who was absent for the vote. But Coscia said that the increased capacity permitted by technological improvements, which are already under way, would soon be exhausted and that another airport to service the city was needed. Traffic at New York City’s present airports is expected to reach 150 million annual passengers by 2025, compared to an estimated 100 million this year.
– Matthew Schuerman