John Ravitz, executive vice president and COO of the Business Council of Westchester, continued to stand up in support of the Westchester County Airport during all three public hearings held this month by County Executive George Latimer.
In his remarks, Ravitz hammered home that the airport is a key economic asset for Westchester County, adding that many businesses not only use the airport, but choose to locate in Westchester precisely because of the airport.
“The airport is a critical tool in the recruitment and retention of businesses in Westchester. It also is an incubator for workforce development, and in and of itself supports thousands of jobs in diverse industries,” says Ravitz. “That’s why the BCW chooses to hang its Hall of Fame plaques at the airport. We want business leaders from all over the country and the world to see the vitality of the business community here in Westchester.”
“No one is in favor of creating a ‘LaGuardia North,’” Ravitz continued. “However, we do need an airport that is up to modern standards, and that can properly service not only the business community, but also the general public who enjoys the convenience of flying from close to home.”
The public hearings were held June 6 in Rye Brook with the focus on the Airport Masterplan; June 11 in Armonk with the focus on governance; and June 25 in Harrison with the focus on operations.
“While the business community supports an open dialogue, the highly negative tone of the comments at the hearings – which were held in communities directly surrounding the airport – is a cause for real concern,” Ravitz says. “The BCW supports bringing in partners who have a proven track record of addressing many of the concerns raised by speakers at the hearings. We are not talking about expanding the airport, we’re talking about enhancing it.”
The BCW will continue to keep its members informed on this rapidly-developing issue, and will continue to advocate on behalf of this economically vital county asset.