Westchester County Airport Updates

Sun, Sep 17, 2017 • Westchester Airport

Here are some updates about activities concerning the Westchester County Airport and the County’s ill- conceived privatization plan.

Action Steps Underway:

1) Efforts

PEPA is working as part of a coalition led by CRCA, an organization founded by two concerned Purchase neighbors who reside near the airport. Citizens for a Responsible County Airport (CRCA) works to stop any expansion at the airport. Further, they aim to maintain quality of life and prevent negative impacts of airport development by bringing citizens’ voices to the process.

A white paper with the coalition’s arguments against airport privatization and concerns about the airport master plan has been sent to the Board of Legislators. It can be found on the CRCA website here.

The primary goal of the coalition is to support efforts to persuade individual Westchester County Board of Legislators to secure their word that they will oppose privatization. The way it works is 12 of 17 Legislators must vote yes (supermajority) to approve the deal. Therefore 6 votes are needed to oppose to shoot down privatization.

2) Sponsoring Public Forums

The next informative public forum on the privatization of Westchester County Airport and the airport master plan will take place on September 26, 2017

Forum Moderator, Ellen Weininger, Grassroots Environmental Education will describe the proposals, and the panelists will be presenting the background and details of the proposals, then discussing the issues and concerns revolving around them in our community. County Legislator Ben Boykin (District 5 - White Plains, Scarsdale, West Harrison), member of the task force considering bids for privatization, will attend the forum and describe the process. The forum will spend most of its time on the open question & answer period.

Tues September 26th 2017
7PM - 8:30PM
Ethical Culture Society, 7 Saxon Woods Road, White Plains, NY

Panelists include:

  • Carolyn Cunningham, Federated Conservationists of Westchester County
  • Jonathan Wang, Citizens for a Responsible County Airport
  • Martin Rogowsky, Purchase Environmental Protective Association (PEPA) and former Westchester County Legislator for District 6

Sponsored by Citizens for a Responsible County Airport, Grassroots Environmental Education, Federated Conservationists of Westchester County, Purchase Environmental Protective Association, Westchester for Change, and Sierra Club Lower Hudson Group

For more information: general@crcairport.org

3) Opposing the County’s Airport Master Plan 

PEPA’s long-held position on the airport has been to oppose further expansion and thus, limit the airport’s increased environmental impacts on drinking water quality, airport noise, and air pollution. Therefore, PEPA calls upon the County, as a high priority, before any Airport related actions are even considered, including the master plan, to reaffirm its 2003 statement of County Policy that there be no expansion at the Airport.

Please visit the CRCA website to read a summary of the airport master plan and an analysis of the proposal to privatize the airport.

In short, the CRCA analysis reveals the County’s Airport Master Plan:

  • Predicts a 68% increase in airline flights by 2032
  • Calls for a 50% increase in overnight parking for airliners to allow more early morning departures
  • Recommends adding two new gates to the airline terminal
  • Calls for $153 million in public funds to build and renovate facilities for corporate jets, including 3 new hangars. $115 million of this would come directly from County taxpayers.
  • Calls for $49.5 million in public funds to build two new parking garages next to the airline terminal, tripling capacity

CRCA analysis also reveals the airport master plan not only predicts a 68% increase in flights, but it also calls for a 50% increase in overnight parking for airliners to facilitate more early morning departures. It details two new terminal gates, two new parking garages next to the terminal, and new and renovated facilities for corporate jets. The Terminal Use Restriction, commonly known as the passenger cap, will not prevent expansion, since it does not apply to private or charter flights, which make up at least 85% of all flights at the airport. Moreover, the Airport Master Plan ignores this cap. The county legislators could change the law in the future, given the right incentives to do so. More air pollution, motor vehicle traffic, and much more aircraft noise will surround us. Property values will fall.

4) Encouraging Noise Complaints

Noise complaints, are vital to document that a noise problem exists that could lead to noise mitigation. However, before any noise mitigation program can begin, we must demonstrate that a noise problem exists. If you experience airport noise please register a noise complaint by calling (914) 939-8484 or by using this online form.

Thank you for your interest and support. Please mark your calendar now, to attend the Sept. 26 Public Forum. Together we make a difference.

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