State Expands Partnership With City To Manage Airport–Lamont: Exciting Moment For Bridgeport

The city’s municipal airport, commercial passenger service grounded for 25 years, is receiving a modernization boost from the Connecticut Airport Authority as New Haven’s Tweed airport recently initiated direct flights to Florida.

Sikorsky Memorial Airport is a complex study. The city-owned airport is physically located in the Lordship area of Stratford. For decades the issue was runway expansion, opposed by the town, to attract commercial carriers. Aviation technology has now brought runway length in line for flights to southern destinations.

Bridgeport also pays no taxes to Stratford as long as the airport doesn’t make money. It actually loses money.

Sikorsky is viewed as a potential economic windfall close to Fairfield County travelers who largely use New York airports including Westchester County, just across the Connecticut line.

News release from Connecticut Airport Authority:

The City of Bridgeport and the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) today announced the launch of next steps of capital development and an expanded partnership to maximize the potential of Sikorsky Memorial Airport as a state transportation resource. Following a recent $7 million investment by the State Bond Commission, to be primarily used for pavement rehabilitation on Runway 11-29, construction will soon begin to undertake necessary capital projects that allow for the development of commercial flights at Sikorsky Airport. The City of Bridgeport and the CAA also announced ongoing discussions regarding an expanded partnership to develop and operate the airport.

“This is an exciting moment for the City of Bridgeport and the Connecticut Airport Authority,” said Governor Lamont. “The easier it is for travelers to reach our state, the stronger it makes our state’s economy and contributes to tourism. These steps are necessary to ensure the growth at Sikorsky is sustainable and that we are maximizing this transportation asset to the fullest extent possible.”

“The ongoing partnership of federal, state, and local officials in working to bring commercial flights to Southwest Connecticut has been a model of cooperation,” said Congressman Himes. “There are exciting things happening in and around the Greater Bridgeport area, and the easier we make it for people to get to and travel around the city, the more businesses, visitors, and investments we’re going to see.”

“We look forward to working with the CAA to maximize the potential at Sikorsky. The increase in activity and interest brings positive attention to Bridgeport as a local and regional transportation hub providing micro mobility options, bus, rail, boats, and now air,” stated Mayor Ganim. “There is sure to be a positive economic impact with more professionals seeking alternative options at Sikorsky for travel.”

The City and the CAA have long viewed Sikorsky Airport as a key transportation facility, and one that is poised to capitalize on a very large market for commercial service. Sikorsky Airport’s catchment area, within which many people currently use New York airports, is complementary to that of Bradley International Airport and offers the opportunity to keep that economic activity within Connecticut.

“Sikorsky Airport is an important component of the state’s transportation system, and these initial projects are a key step towards reaching the airport’s full potential,” said CAA Executive Director Kevin Dillon. “Commercial service is within reach at Sikorsky Airport, and the CAA is pleased to continue coordinating with the City of Bridgeport to ensure that the state has the most efficient, cohesive aviation system possible.”

“The CAA plays an important role in organizing the development of airports across the state, and this important partnership will help generate even more economic activity for the state,” said CAA Board Chair Tony Sheridan. “Each new commercial service flight in the state brings visitors from across the country and world closer to our state’s businesses and tourist attractions.”

The CAA has provided management services to Sikorsky Airport at the City’s request in years past, and the City and CAA are now exploring new methods of further enhancing coordination between two of the state’s commercial service airports. The parties are discussing the possibility of the CAA providing advisory services or even entering into a lease agreement and directly investing into the facility to ensure that the City has the resources necessary to capitalize on available state and federal funds.

About the Connecticut Airport Authority
The CAA was established in 2011 to develop, improve, and operate Bradley International Airport and the state’s five general aviation airports (Danielson, Groton-New London, Hartford-Brainard, Waterbury-Oxford, and Windham). The CAA Board consists of 11 members with a broad spectrum of experience in aviation-related and other industries, as well as government. The goal of the CAA is to make Connecticut’s airports more attractive to new airlines, bring in new routes, and support Connecticut’s overall economic development and growth strategy.



  1. I’m disappointed Mayor Ganim’s administration was unable to sell Sikorsky Airport. It’s not too late.
    Here’s what my Magic Wand would do:
    As Bridgeport’s self-appointed “enterprise envoy”, I would immediately arrange a transfer of ownership. I’ve convinced the buyer it’s a one-of-a-kind asset whose value exceeds its $1.4B cost.
    In exchange for $1.4 B, a specific e-commerce mogul would buy Sikorsky airport. 100% of that money would be managed by Duff & Phelps– under a 35-year contract — who would send millions-a-month to Bridgeport’s Finance Director.
    Taxes would be reduced and Bridgeport would now have permanent capital, making it the envy of municipalities nationwide.
    Gimme a chance!

    1. I’m not sure that’s possible given the length of the runways (longest one is short of 4,800 ft). A typical cargo aircraft needs at least 6000′ at sea level. Passenger planes don’t require quite as much as the loads are substantially lower. I don’t know what the value of the airport is, but if it is an asset of significant value, I think it would be better for Bridgeport to have a very specific plan on how to deploy those funds.

      1. Atypical airports require atypical fleets — the kind that are already in use and readily available. The buyer has been introduced to a new and yet unconsidered need for SMA.
        To answer you final sentence, the buyer and his agent have a very specific plan for the funds.

  2. SIKORSKY AIRPORT……”It actually loses money, year after year.”
    How long do we hold our breath (and pay the difference between the expense of operating that airport and the lesser revenue flow) as taxpayers, folks? Why do we pay annually and obligate ourselves with further debt to subsidize a ‘business site’ that has avoided passenger based commercial flights for decades now?
    How many members of the CAA are Bridgeport taxpayers or have specific concerns about our economic development?
    If CAA wants to make airports more attractive, why are they not more useful to average citizen taxpayers? After all when we have a ball park (or not), or other venues where folks from out of town are attracted, the question is often asked, whether there is financial benefit to the businesses of our community? Fair question? What is the answer and is there a project manager who can provide such information? Time will tell.

      1. In any organization of size, oversight is a responsibility. Those performing oversight ask questions frequently and the actual questions are often framed to provide context necessary to get at the issues or concerns. Such framing can use wrong info or incorrect assumptions, for instance.

        That is my reason for writing, after research, and thinking, and not the avoidance of being wrong, because genuine apology is one way to right a wrong. Perhaps a more accurate statement, one that we can debate, for Bridgeport leadership, if you hear no questions, you will never be wrong because of failure to say anything.

        Local eyes, are you looking to be right? Seeking to isolate a fellow ‘messager’ who lives many questions daily and uses these questions in search of relevant truth? Or to be serious about the future of Bridgeport leadership and followership? Time will tell.

  3. An airport for what, New Haven is way ahead of Bridgeport with sir flights. Bridgeport is still waiting for that golden goose of a casino so people can fly in and gamble but that’s going to happen.

  4. Looks a lot like an admission of failure and incompetence by City Hall, with the gentle/diplomatic response from Lamont /Hartford serving as the prelude for more “help” to come — as Lamont/Hartford subtly take over the reins in the failed City of Bridgeport before it causes too much election trouble for Lamont’s gubernatorial run — and other “D” prospects in CT in 2022…

    The indicated Bridgeport takeover by Hartford is happening right now, but it will be done subtly/stealthily so as to minimize political embarrassment and damage.

    Let the takeover begin! Give the process another label/wrapping — or don’t even refer to it in any respect. Just take the reins from incompetents, fix Bridgeport’s shattered municipal government , and send $!

  5. I think the airport makes a lot of sense given the size of the market and dearth of international airports in the state (aside from Hartford). Runway 11-29 is slightly longer than 6-24 (4,761′ vs 4,677′) but 6-24 would have seemingly a much larger right of way in which to expand. A Boeing 737, for example, needs about 6,000′ at sea level to take off & land. But assuming this would be used for smaller aircraft, I wonder how this jives with the adjacent bird sanctuary. Birds can indeed be a significant risk in plane takeoffs; they can lead to engine failure if sucked into the jet engines. But assuming that both this factor, as well as potential concerns from Stratford neighbors about noise, can be addressed, its possible to extend runway 6-24 and make this a truly capable international airport. You could even decommission the other runway and return it to wetland or, could be developed.

    I don’t think the cargo value has that much use. While air cargo tends to be much higher in value, in terms of the physical volume it only accounts for about 1% of imports. Ships on the other hand… Bridgeport has got a little too much bridge and not enough port these days.

    In terms of overall infrastructure assets, the city has everything you could ever ask for, it just hasn’t been utilized or developed yet. It has the busiest passenger rail corridor, and airport that can be expanded, a port that is drastically overlooked, a freight rail spur that abuts the border of Bridgeport & Stratford, and of course highways–too many highways. If it used these assets properly, it the scale of development and investment that could occur here would dwarf that of Stamford.


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