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Agreement Reached on Sikorsky Airport

The historic accord will fix flooding on Main Street and reduce the size of airport by approximately 45 acres, according to this press release from the mayor's office.

Mayor John A. Harkins has reached an historic agreement in principle with Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch that will reduce the footprint of Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, correct the frequent flooding on Main Street, and provide many additional positive benefits for the residents of Stratford.

Talks between Stratford and Bridgeport began in earnest after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in Washington this past July. The agreement is subject to approval by the Stratford Town Council. The Bridgeport City Council approved the agreement at a special meeting on Oct. 22

"For decades, the residents of Lordship have been wrongly denied access to their homes because of high tides and average-sized rain storms. Not only from a convenience standpoint, but in terms of public safety concerns, this agreement will bring welcomed relief to the people of Lordship," Harkins said of the agreement.

"Additionally, by reducing the overall footprint of the airport and locking in the length of the runways, we can assure the residents of Lordship that the airport will not be expanded now, or in the future."

Harkins continued, "I'd like to thank Secretary LaHood, Mayor Finch, Commissioner of DOT James Redeker, as well as our federal delegation, including Rep. Rosa DeLauro, for all of their assistance and support making this historic agreement possible. The time has come to move on and make progress in a positive way. By setting aside years of bad will and focusing on working together for the common good, we have been able to reach an agreement that will benefit Stratford, as well as all of the other stakeholders, for years to come."

In exchange for Stratford's cooperation with the installation of the runway safety zone, the following accommodations will be made for Stratford's benefit:

  1. The length of both runways is locked in at current lengths. Runway 6-24 will never be increased or exceed 4,677 feet, and Runway 11-29 will never be increased or exceed 4,761 feet in length.
  2. Through the State of Connecticut, approximately 45 acres of airport property -- including the Long Beach West parking lot and wetlands and marsh -- will be conveyed to the Town of Stratford, assuring a permanent buffer zone for residents of Lordship for decades to come.
  3. Tax revenues generated from any new structures or expanded private operations at the airport will go to the Town of Stratford.
  4. As part of the road relocation, a yet-to-be-determined amount of Raymark waste will be remediated and transported out of town, thereby reducing the footprint of Raymark contamination in Stratford.
  5. Upon execution of the agreement, Bridgeport will develop an action plan to permanently address all blight issues at the airport.
  6. Upon completion of the safety zone project, the State of Connecticut will convene discussions about ownership and governance of the airport, including possible regionalization.
  7. Bridgeport agrees to relinquish any claims to the Long Beach West parking lot.
  8. Bridgeport will complete wetland mitigation of approximately 45 acres, which allows Stratford the ability to preserve this precious asset and resource into the future.


The agreement allows the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to install a safety zone (EMAS) which will require a slight realignment of Main Street. However, these ongoing negotiations have enabled this realignment to be a far less substantial move than originally proposed by the FAA.

The Town also agrees to withdraw pending legal actions with regard to the 1978 agreement between the two municipalities in the on-going dispute, resulting is substantial savings in legal expenses for Stratford taxpayers.

Mike Reynolds October 23, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Waiting to hear from all the know it alls in this town and Stratford's Complainer at Large to kill this deal.
RMK October 23, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Honestly, it actually sounds like a good thing for Stratford. Mr. LaHood has been good in his role in the administration, and let's give Mayor Harkins, Rep. DeLauro and Mayor Finch credit where it's due.
Mike October 23, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I read in the Connecticut Post this morning that Main St will be relocated, but by twenty feet. How does it happen that Main St can be moved twenty feet, and before it would have been moves hundreds of feet? And the safety zone will be paved with EMAS. Can someone explain to me why EMAS is being used if it only works with jumbo jets? What happens when a small plane, like the type used at Sikorsky, lands on EMAS? Anything at all? Or is it just a runway extension? And what arrangement has been made for servicing the sewer line that runs under the safety zone?
Walt October 23, 2012 at 02:32 PM
That's nice of Bpt to give Stfd the long beach parking lot that Stfd has been taking care of for decades.
Robert Chambers October 23, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Please, this should have been done years ago! I've been inconvenienced by the flooded road more times than I should have. The incessant pissing match between Bridgeport and Stratford have benefited nobody but the lawyers. I'm sure we will hear from PYE and other associated groups complaining that they like the old fashioned ford in the road but I hope this happens and happens soon.
Mike Reynolds October 23, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Mike you are incorrect. EMAS does not only work with jumbo jets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineered_materials_arrestor_system
Shirley B. Backus October 25, 2012 at 03:51 AM
I'm just annoyed that the Airport gets its way again. They agreed many years ago that they would seek no more expansions, and got away with this one by claiming that, because the runway itself wouldn't be any longer, this was not an expansion. I hope the new contract is worded differently this time: It should say no more LAND period! I understand that this agreement will help eliminate the flooding problem, but what is it going to do for the dense fog problem? What the Airport needs is the Army Engine Plant being developed into a tourist attraction or business that will be flying people in and out of Stratford.The last thing we need are more houses; ie more people who can't find jobs locally and will have to go to Stamford or Norwalk to find work, increasing the congestion on I-95.
Mike Reynolds October 25, 2012 at 11:07 AM
And Stratford's Complainer at Large is finally heard from. Your last shred of credibility was lost when you asked, "what is it going to do for the dense fog problem?" If you want to get rid of the dense fog problem I suggest you petition for Long Island Sound to be filled in.
Robert Chambers October 25, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Haha, I can just imagine what kind of tourist attraction the SAEP would be.. we could sell Tee-shirts "I visited the SAEP and all I got was this lousy tee shirt and asbestosis" For someone who appears to be very anti-airport why are you trying to find ways to get MORE traffic into/out of it? Mike Reynolds is right about the Fog thing, that did make me chuckle. Fog is a natural occurrence - when the temperature and dew point (the temperature at which the air becomes saturated with moisture at the current humidity) become equal you have fog. So, how to fix the fog? either raise the temperature or decrease the humidity. Not sure how moving a road will accomplish either unless it emits so much heat that it raises the ambient temperature of the surrounding environment... nice idea in theory... at least you didn't propose giant fans to blow it away.

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