Fourth New York Airport Eyed

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has set aside $150 million to invest in a fourth major airport to serve the metropolitan area over the next 10 years and the favored location appears to be Stewart International Airport, about 50 miles north of the city. The airport is a former Air Force base and boasts a runway almost 12,000 feet long. Itís currently an Air National Guard base. There is scheduled air service by several airlines (including a shuttle to JFK). But despite these significant attributes, thereís another factor the Port Authority might find hard to ignore. The community seems to actually want the airport. The enthusiastic account of the Port Authorityís interest in Stewart by the local newspaper, the Times Herald Record, is accompanied by poll results that indicate overwhelming support for the idea among its readers. Of more than 1,500 people who responded to the poll, 79.2 percent were in favor of the airport development. Airport operator National Express Group has announced it wants to sell the 99-year lease it has on the airport, and the Port Authority has confirmed itís among those interested in buying the lease.