Flap Over Municipal Airport Purchase

Bridgeport and Stratford have been at odds over the city-owned airport since the first trans-Atlantic flight. It seems that way, at least.

The city owns the airport located in Stratford. The state is poised to buy the facility to transform it into a regional transportation hub with a heavy financial investment. Stratford says don’t start your engines yet, we want a chance to buy it.

Latest from the CT Post:

Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, said he was surprised to see Hoydick’s letter on Friday.

“It is quite late in the game,” he said.

Dillon said the CAA wants to see the property developed, no matter who the owner of it is–whether that’s CAA, Bridgeport or Stratford. He noted in addition to the sale price it would take “tens of millions of dollars to bring that airport up to standards for air service operations.”

He also said that CAA has an opportunity to work with an airline carrier that has expressed interest in the property should CAA become the operator there. Should this opportunity disappear due to delays in process, CAA will no longer be interested in the airport, he said.

Full story here.



  1. Neighbor to Neighbor, shouldn’t Stratford have the Right Of First Refusal over some company from Hartford (CAA) ?

    Right of first refusal (ROFR), also known as first right of refusal, is a contractual right to enter into a business transaction with a person or company before anyone else can. If the party with this right declines to enter into a transaction, the obligatory is free to entertain other offers. This is a popular clause among lessees of real estate because it gives them preference to the properties in which they occupy. However, it may limit what the owner could receive from interested parties competing for the property.
    Or Maybe CAA’s money is a little greener!

  2. Jim, if it was in the contract when the Port first bought the land when the airport had been developed, I guess it could apply. This letter is not serious though. The Town of Stratford is not really interested in running an Airport. It has been a losing endeavor for the Port city’s taxpayers from what I gathered based on what I have read about it here on IOB, to say the least. For the most part, it seemed it was a means to siphon money for gain at the taxpayer’s expense, in one form or another. http://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/airport-driveway-deal-required-layers-of-approval-beyond-riccis-reach/

    If they, the Town of Stratford, really wanted to own and operate the airport they can just take it through eminent domain, I would think. But that’s not going to happen.

    Let’s face it. If the airport is going to thrive and grow for the region it is going to take professionals with knowledge of the industry, not a bunch of local political hacks. It’s going to take a bunch of state political hacks with deep taxpayer money. 🤣

    Keeping with the theme of helicopters, as always, I depart with the prophet M&M-ish. 🙂


  3. Less than four months ago, the Stratford Mayor, Laura Hoydick won office again without significant mention of how Sikorski Airport might fit into the plans of her professional planners to change the status quo of Stratford. Conversations in general often dealt with the former Army Engine Plant that has a plan for remediation but 95% of that work still needs doing and the Shakespeare site where risks to the property were not fully anticipated.
    But Mayor Hoydick essentially did not have a plan going forward or she would have raised her hand in meetings of the Airport Commission in recent months to signal that she wished to speak up for “Stratford and its partners”. She knows that Bridgeport operates the Airport at a deficit year in and year out. Half a million dollars, more or less, lost by Bridgeport to rent some spaces to businesses and plane owners, and fuel up private planes or charter craft. The subsidy by each Bridgeport resident is close to $3 ANNUALLY to each after paying the salaries and other expenses and following up on regulations for operating such a site. And how many planes are owned by Bridgeport residents for this local convenience?
    She calls it a “national historic” general aviation airport. It may be but it is not a museum or organized as such. Ten years ago and more Sikorski could be counted upon to get support from BRBC or others but where does that support reside today. Perhaps Hoydick is looking for some State $$$$?? Possibly the Bridgeport political patronage salaried position of Dan Roach might indicate what obligations other than current expenses attain to the airport if any. When safety improvements were made in the past decade was the $2 million from Bridgeport and $2 million from CT plus $40 Million from Federal government all paid as current expense or funded over time by debt. Is there other money due on past expenses by anyone that is known publicly? What is the value of such land at a time of warming waters and rising tides? Sustainability anyone? Time will tell.

  4. Ever since Ganim-1, there has been an on-going liquidation sale of city-owned assets, even as privately-owned Bridgeport assets were assisted in their liquidation by the same administration (think Beardsley Park/Zoo and UB). The Ganim years, marked by scandal after scandal, year after year of grand list shrinkage (we’re now at less than 15% of the Stamford grand-list value), dysfunction of the BPD in the context of scandal and depleted ranks, the destruction of Bridgeport neighborhoods by the G1- and G2-assisted growth of the SHU malignancy over our border… And on and on, with example after example of the municipal composting of our once great city by its elected and appointed leadership under the auspices of its chief elected official.

    The inability of an administration to take stock of, and at the same time bolster its enviable inventory of assets speaks of the most malign type of governmental failure. City Hall can’t think of any way to make a square mile of airport-designated land at the heart of the economic expansion and population growth in Southern New England/NY-Metro area productive — other than selling it to the state?! The only reason that most Bridgeporters aren’t being taxed out of their homes (yet) is because the City is liquidating itself to make a sick pretense at fiscal viability and sustainability — even while the property-tax rate remains insanely high, albeit with strategic tax-rate control geared to election cycles…

    But, if the truth be known, after the Ganim Administration fire-sale of city-owned property has exhausted its supply of fuel, tax rates will soar and what’s left of the tax-base will collapse as it has been threatening to since Mary Moran had the courage and good sense to file for city bankruptcy (but unfortunately, in the process, ushering-in the ensuing years of auctioneering, corrupt government that has seen Bridgeport pass the probable point of no-return).

    Truly; the relinquishing of the very enviable city asset of a square mile of prime, airport-designated real estate by the present administration can spell nothing but municipal F-A-I-L-U-R-E for Bridgeport. (I would bet that given a writing project on how to generate income from a square mile of prime, airport property, the 6th graders of Bridgeport’s public schools could come up with dozens of viable ideas that would shame the city characters being paid 6-fgure incomes that are charged with overseeing economic development and municipal viability for this city — none of whom deserve the first nickel of such salaries, given their complete and utter failure at the task…)

    PT must be in tears, looking at the deconstruction of the once-economic giant that he planned and nurtured into reality not so long ago…

    1. I hear you, Jeff. But the people generally don’t distinguish the difference between local government local or state control. They only see if the Zoo is still operational. As for UB, that was going under will before G1 was elected. By the mid 80, in the streets, the Port was called little Beirut. Where I believe JG has ancestry, not many people came to the Port (UB) in those days unless it was to buy drugs.

      However, SHU was in discussion at the time to take it over but couldn’t get the law school, so it backed out. ( I believed) So the Unification Church bailed it out and kept it going with foreign students up until its current situation. A university like that needs heavy state support that the Port didn’t have.

      The Ports grand list is not a reflection on the government’s assets, considering they are not on the tax payroll. So I fail to see the fuel supply of tax revenue that will keep the tax rate soaring. I’ll concede mismanagement and governance can keep the tax rates elevated, like running an airport at an annual deficit of $500,000 a year.

      One can argue though JG did increase the Port’s asset with the Arena and Ballpark, now the Amphitheater. Even then, the Port still loses, for the most part. The Arena probably made over its lifetime 30 million in revenue but had to reinvest 30 million for renovation, not including interest

      The same can be said for the Amp when they came back for millions more. No council member demanded an increase in revenue sharing to offset the cost to the tax base. They were either for it or against it, Yet neither side of the debate asked for more revenue to offset the cost. (I believe) Let that sink in people.

      That’s the problem with socialism as the sole form of governance. No one is mining the story, just their political career/interest. They come, they go, no real investment/stake in a business, like private ownership, has. With governance like that, which way do you think the tax base will go, along with the domino effect of a sole socialist governmental system and its people under it? JMO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0BdKkEKTrs

      At any rate, Seaside looks nice, besides the garbage dump mound to the right of the beach. I am sure that would put PT in tears. SMH

      As always, I depart with the Prophet Eminem, and the best ESL class ever. 🙂


Leave a Reply