Stewart Wants to Be Called ‘New York Airport’ — But It’s Over 60 Miles Away
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
What do you do if you have an airport with growing international traffic and a runway long enough for the world’s biggest passenger jet, but you are far from major cities and don’t have great ground transportation? Easy: You make yourself more attractive by changing your name to something better known than “Stewart International Airport” — for example, adopting the name of the closest metropolis, New York City. Too bad it’s more than 60 miles north of Midtown Manhattan.
On Thursday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages the airport as well as NYC’s other three — Newark, La Guardia and Kennedy — voted to change the name of Stewart International Airport (SWF) to something else, although it hasn’t decided yet to what. The airport is about an hour and a half (with low traffic) north of New York City and just made a big leap in relevance last year, when Norwegian started trans-Atlantic flights from SWF to Europe.
That’s a long way from the 1930s, when the Stewart family donated land for what became known as “Stewart Field.” Now local authorities are hoping to market the airport as a metropolitan area facility and change the name to New York International at Stewart Field. At least according to Orange County Chamber of Commerce President Lynne Cione.
“It’s 88 years later,” she said. “We have computers; we need to be geo-located. It’s very important for people to know how close we are to New York City.”
Stewart Airport Commission Chairman Louis Heimbach disagreed, stating that a name other than New York International at Stewart Field should be considered because “Stewart is not a field,” he said at a press conference.
“It was a field in the 1930s when it was a grass place and it conjures up barnstormers. Stewart Airport is bigger than LaGuardia and Newark combined. It has one of the longest runways in your system so I think that would be a disservice to call it ‘field’ and I don’t think people from Europe or coming any place in the civilized world wants to land in a field these days,” Heimbach added.
The man has a point, although “bigger” is relative — Stewart may be very large in surface area, but it’s tiny in passenger numbers. SWF had 45,000 passengers in November 2017, while LaGuardia alone moved 2.5 million.
Another big reason that the airport may change its name has to do with Legos — yes, the toy bricks.
Legoland New York spokesman Phil Royle was also at the meeting, because Legoland recently unrelieved plans to open its newest park in Goshen, which is only 16 miles from SWF. Royle said the airport does need to be associated with New York because Legoland plans to bring “2.5 million more visitors to the Hudson Valley from spring 2020,” he said. “They need an airport that is internationally recognized that is marketing in the right way that they can land into,” Royle said.
The board of the Port Authority also voted on Thursday to spend $30,000,000 to build a new facility separating domestic and international passengers, as mandated by federal regulations. The real expense to make SWF truly viable for New Yorkers may have to go into infrastructure, though, to make the airport reachable more easily.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees