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Author: The BCW

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Big Changes in Store for Westchester County Airport

In a bold move that could have a major positive impact for our members and businesses across Westchester as well as travelers and taxpayers, County Executive Rob Astorino has proposed an innovative public-private partnership to operate the County Airport. BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon represented the Westchester business community at the press conference held last week at the Signature Air hangar overlooking the runways.

The airport, one of Westchester’s most important economic assets, gives our county a significant economic advantage. The proposal is a creative strategy that will not only help the county’s immediate revenue needs, but will position the airport for the capital improvements that are needed moving forward. The county would receive $111 million over the 40-year contract with Oaktree Capital Management, which will run the airport. The company has an excellent environmental track record and already operates many airports, including San Juan International Airport in Puerto Rico. Oaktree Capital Management will spend $30 million to make capital improvements, and the plan will free up a $20 million airport fund that can now be used in the general fund to help pay for other county needs.

The BCW has long advocated public-private partnerships in our Legislative Agenda. It’s smart public policy. It also helps reduce the financial burden on the county’s businesses and taxpayers, while allowing private investment in improvements to public facilities that otherwise would not be possible. The BCW has been a strong proponent of the County Airport and its positive impact on the economy. For example, the BCW was instrumental in lobbying the County Board of Legislators to approve a long-term lease for Million Air to expand and upgrade its corporate aviation facilities at the airport.

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