Trump Wanted To Build A Racetrack Here–City Positions To Resume Airport Commercial Passenger Service

Connecticut’s largest city navigates a bumpy flight pattern with the airport it owns. That’s because Sikorsky Memorial Airport is located in Stratford. Really? By the way, the city’s two golf courses are located in Fairfield. Hmmm. Its Parks Department? Well yeah, located in Trumbull … all of the above a long, strange trip with the suburbs. We will get to it someday. But for now …

My former client Donald Trump (remember him?) contacted me one day in 1996, (and I’m paraphrasing) “Let’s build an Indianapolis 500-style racetrack at the airport and fly people into the event.”

Trump jiggered a development fascination with the city’s waterfront that extended west to east (in his helicopter) from Black Rock (nope, it’s residential) to South End (nope, University of Bridgeport owns it) to East End (nope, Pleasure Beach isn’t for sale) to Lordship in Stratford where Bridgeport owns an airport.

To Trump’s way of thinking, we can oval a racetrack at the airport and jet the pretty people there. Okay I say, one minor problem. Bridgeport owns the airport but city officials can’t do a damned thing about it without local zoning approval in Stratford acquiescing a noisy Lordship residential area limiting commercial flights.

Donald Trump, circa 20 years ago, styled a racetrack at the airport.

Trump: How the friggin’, frackin’ (fill in the blank) did that happen?

Me: Happened a long time ago.

Trump: Figure it out!

Me: I call Joe Ganim (remember him?).

Joe: Talk to Ricci.

I call airport manager John Ricci (today Bridgeport’s Public Facilities Director whose department still oversees the airport).


Stratford’s in the way.


Trump (to me): why am I paying you all this money!!!

All these decades later Trump is president of the United States and the city’s still navigating the economic benefits of an airport it owns in Stratford albeit private sector interest to renew long-dormant commercial passenger service.

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

The city is looking for $7 million in state aid to help revitalize Sikorsky Memorial Airport and bring back commercial passenger service.

The goal is for “regular, scheduled service, as opposed to (the existing) corporate or jets-for-hire,” said Danny Roach, an aide to Mayor Joe Ganim who for the past two years has been helping to decide the future of the city’s Stratford-based airport.

The $7 million request for runway upgrades has been submitted to outgoing Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration in the hopes it will land on his final Bond Commission meeting agenda on Dec. 7. The commission authorizes borrowing money for various projects around Connecticut.

Full story here.



  1. Sikorsky Airport is budgeted to lose $400,000 annually under the current operation that depends most heavily on hangar rentals, an inadequate source of revenue for more than a decade. Assume that Bridgeport taxpayers who do not use the facility currently have been making up the losses annually with no administration commentary (until “business specialist” and politically appointed “project manager” Dan Roach gets on the job? And assume that we were responsible for $2 Million , probably borrowed” or more for safety upgrades in the last five years as part of State $2 Million and Federal $40 Million just for safety with no real operating gains? Let’s not forget the “private driveway” for a local contractor despite “PLANNING”!! And now $7 Million from the State for larger runways based on what assumptions? And Stratford’s municipal exec is looking for help for her taxpayers? What new Main Street tenants are assumed to require a commercial airline facility at Sikorski and how is BRBC (where most live in the suburbs) supporting? And what agreement and business plan will be so creative that it takes the residential taxpayer away from the table and operates the Airport with no profit but no look to taxpayer subsidy??? What is the reality of the business plan, Dan? What are you assuming, man? Time will tell.

  2. Honestly, there is nothing that impresses me about this repugnant swine. Dont care that he tried to dip his puny, swollen fingers into the Bridgeport Pie in the 90s.

  3. Come on, JML. The airport makes money. All you have to is get rid of the political patronage jobs that are there, streamline operations, operate on a philosophy to make money and get rid of some of those sweetheart leases and it will make money overnight.

    1. Bob, Perhaps we could return to former days of revenue balancing expenses. I only observe:
      For a decade that has not been the case. Taxpayers have subsidized the annual loss each year. How many use the facility in any fashion? Who benefits? Who represents the taxpayer and can explain the numbers from a potentially beneficial activity that only costs today? Bob, perhaps you can advise who, how, when and where, the compensated authorities are willing to sit down and listen to taxpayers and tell their “plans”? Time will tell.


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