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Construction will soon begin on capital improvements needed for future commercial flights at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, officials announced Tuesday.
The planned upgrades follow a $7 million investment from the State Bond Commission, money primarily earmarked for runway work.
Improvements called for under the airport's master plan include upgraded roadways and parking areas, construction of a terminal building, and rehabilitation of an abandoned structure for use as an operations center. Officials plan drainage repairs and designs to accommodate commercial services.
Gov. Ned Lamont called it an “exciting moment” for the city of Bridgeport and Connecticut Airport Authority.
Bridgeport owns the airport, while the CAA provides management services. Bridgeport and the CAA indicated they are looking to expand their partnership to develop and operate the airport.
“The easier it is for travelers to reach our state, the stronger it makes our state’s economy and contributes to tourism,” Lamont said. “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.”
Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim said the city looks forward to working with the CAA to maximize the airport’s potential.
“There is sure to be a positive economic impact with more professionals seeking alternative options at Sikorsky for travel,” Ganim said.
CAA Executive Director Kevin Dillon said the initial projects are a “key step towards reaching the airport’s full potential.”
“Commercial service is within reach at Sikorsky Airport,” Dillon said.
According to Dillon, all of the improvements called for under the master plan are expected to cost roughly $60 million. The airport is seeking government funding and private partnerships. Dillon estimated that all of the improvements would take about two years to complete.
Dillon noted that many Fairfield County area residents typically use airports in New York, rather than Bradley International Airport.
"This is an opportunity to keep that traffic in state," Dillon said.
Southern Connecticut airports have been focusing on improvements and attracting airlines and customers. Tweed New Haven Regional Airport has proposed a $100 million revamp, and has launched new nonstop flights to Florida destinations.
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