Stewart: The Little Airport That Couldn’t


Stewart International Airport is only an hour and a half drive from Midtown, but it’s the least popular commercial airport in the New York area. The New York Times reports the oft-ignored airport was again largely overlooked during a meeting held by transportation officials last week. Like almost anything named “Stewart,” it’s getting no love.

The Ballad of Stewart International paints a lonely picture:

Today, only JetBlue, Delta and US Airways serve Stewart, and only about a dozen flights depart from there each day. On Friday, when the three big airports were crowded with travelers whose itineraries were complicated by the snowstorm that had struck the city the previous day, all was calm and quiet at Stewart.

Customers trickled in to a Quiznos sandwich shop in the terminal while the Hudson News store nearby was empty.

Holy crap, it has a Quiznos? If a Beef, Bacon & Cheddar Toasty Torpedo can’t lure travelers, can anything?

The Port Authority plans on pumping in $450 million in renovations — in addition to the $50 million already spent — but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently nixed plans for a tunnel that would connect Manhattan to Stewart via rail (has anyone told him there’s a Quiznos?).

Lack of a direct rail line hasn’t hurt La Guardia, but that’s probably because “La Guardia” sounds sexy. Clearly all Stewart needs is a name change. Its Wikipedia entry (which was probably written by a man) says the airport was named for a prominent dairy farming family. With apologies to them, here are a few names that should give Stewart International the traffic it deserves:

  • Newburgh Wi-Fi Hotspot and Quiznos
  • The $500 Million Hudson News
  • Stu International Airport

An Airport Whose Time May Not Come [NYT]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 31, 2011

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