by Lisa A. Grimaldi | February 16, 2018
Stewart International Airport in New York's Hudson Valley will undergo a major expansion, including the addition of a $30 million permanent U.S. Customs inspection area. The measure, which was authorized by the board of commissioners of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority, is in response to the airport's significant rise in the volume of international passengers since 2017. The new federal inspection area will provide capacity to screen up to 400 passengers per hour.
The board also greenlighted efforts to potentially change the airport's name as part of a rebranding initiative to increase the facility's appeal as a travel option to the New York metropolitan region; a plan also was approved to build a new hangar for private planes.
Last year, nearly 450,000 commercial-airline passengers flew through Stewart, including 141,000 international flyers, up from approximately 275,000 total passengers in 2016. Future enhancements to the airport will include a carport with a solar-panel roof covering 450 spaces; the initiative is expected to create 1.9 megawatts of power that will be used to offset energy costs at the expanded terminal. 
"Economic development is one of the Port Authority's fundamental missions, and expanding Stewart International Airport to handle more international customers does exactly that," said Port Authority board chairman Kevin O'Toole. "Since taking over the airport in 2007, this agency has now invested more than $200 million in the airport's infrastructure. Today's approval further underscores our commitment to giving customers at Stewart a higher level of service, while providing the opportunity for further growth and tourism in the Mid-Hudson Valley and New York metropolitan region."