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Will Airport Agreement Land Safely? City Council Approves Deal

October 22nd, 2012 · 8 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Council, News and Events

UPDATE: www.ctpost.com/local/article/Decades-long-airport-fight-may-be-ending-3972572.php

A special meeting of the City Council will take place tonight at 7 when a vote could resolve a dispute between Bridgeport and Stratford over safety zones at Sikorsky Memorial Airport. The airport is owned by the city, but located in Stratford which is hostile to airport expansion. The city has been pushing for airport safety improvements. The airport has never lived up to its potential as an economic engine as a result of Stratford’s opposition. Council item agenda:

ITEMS FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION:

153-11 Communication from City Attorney re: Proposed Settlement of Pending Litigation Involving Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport, Town of Stratford v. City of Bridgeport, No. 3:10-cv-394 (CHS) and Town of Stratford v. FAA, No. 11-5042 (2d Cir.), FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • John Marshall Lee

    Airport in the news?
    What’s the full story? Or at least what is the propeller-driven spin from the Mayor’s Office across the board?
    You see since Mayor Finch’s first term, Sikorsky Airport has moved from a balanced revenue/expense budget into declining revenues and expanded expenses for a deficit of $300,000 or more. And we keep buying capital items with long-term debt each year … and we are selling off 12 acres and a building for less than $1 million (including a charitable contribution) last week according to the City Agenda (but I did not stay while City Council was in Executive Session, though I’d like to be a ‘fly on the wall’ for one of those sessions, wouldn’t you?).
    Don’t we have a City Councilperson with a job at Sikorsky? How many full-time jobs are out there that are not necessary with an Airport with decreased operations? I am sure the FAA rulebook will be brought forward at some point, however what is the excuse to homeowner taxpayers for this seemingly expensive City facility? Time will tell.

  • Grin Reaper

    Hey JML, when does time stop talking and just start running out? Time will tell?

  • Mojo

    *** As usual, little will come of this meeting towards real overall airport safety measures between Bpt and Stratford. It’s all about the benjamin$ and who gets what in the end! ‘Til there’s a major aircraft accident at this airport, nothing of real importance will be agreed to. *** SAME OLD SONG ***

  • Bridgeport Rising

    How big is Sikorsky compared to Westchester in terms of land size?

    • TheSqueakyWheel

      HPN is 702 acres, and BDR sits on 800 acres. What’s important is the runway length. HPN’s runways are 6,548 ft and 4,451 respectively, meanwhile BDR’s runways are 4,761 and 4,677. That 6000-ft. runway is what makes HPN go. For BDR to be viable it needs longer runways. I’m sure companies like GE would love to fly out of Stratford rather than Westchester or Stewart.

      • Bob

        One of the reasons GE keeps its fixed-wing and rotary-wing vehicles at Stewart Airport is because of the FAA ruling on safety. If the airport would be upgraded and the runway lengthened properly to accommodate larger aircraft, there would be a noticeable increase in revenue and the probable return of commercial air traffic.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Mike Mayko, thanks for two good articles with enough facts to make them interesting reading. However can we track what is going on here?
    ** It appears after all negotiations runways will not be extended, so what potential business is out there in terms of enhanced revenue production?
    ** Bridgeport is ceding (selling?) 45 acres to Stratford as a buffer for Lordship residents, OK, but Bridgeport will be receiving $20 Million for that transaction? Who is funding the $20 Million? Where does that get stashed for the future? Airport funds, as some have suggested because of FAA requirements (in which case Sikorsky Airport will be better funded than the Bridgeport Pension Plans going forward).
    ** And contemplate the other deal where Bridgeport is selling 11 acres and a building for $850,000 plus a $50,000 charitable donation to maintain the Corsair monument at the Airport. 45 acres is to $20 Million as 11 acres (plus a building) is to $900,000!!! Does this make sense? Of course there were appraisals, especially if there are any Federal dollars involved or bond funds. There must be a simple explanation, right?
    ** And if $20 Million comes to Bridgeport for property purchase, does it really stay at the Airport or come to the City general accounts, or replenish the “unreserved, undesignated City Fund Balance?”

    I am a curious taxpayer and as such I ask questions. For instance I have tried to get to meetings of the City Pension A committee in recent months. Missed the July meeting because the date scheduled on the Annual official schedule was advanced one week and I did not see the notice until too late. (But I did mention to Mayor Finch when he came in that day the actual investment reports could be labeled Exhibits and stored with Pension meeting minutes.) I attended the August meeting and that suggestion has not been implemented. Missed the September meeting, but showed up today at 12:50 PM for the 1:00 PM meeting and was held at the first floor desk (new policy at the Annex) while the guard talked to the Mayor’s assistant who told me there is no meeting today. Wonder if that means anything? Financial markets in turmoil and threatening worse, according to some estimates so where are we (with Pension Plan A) according to the actuaries and investment counsel? And Pension Plans B for Police and Fire, what is their status with separate investment managers? And where will their funds be held and invested going forward if new contributions for Fire (and possibly at some date for Police) are going to a State Retirement Fund? Anybody have any answers? Time will tell.

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