HARRISON, N.Y. -- The county is in the beginning stages of updating the master plan for the Westchester County Airport in Harrison, and is in the process of collecting thoughts and opinions from the public.
The master plan is the long-term strategy for capital and infrastructure improvements to the airport to ensure that it complies with safety and environmental regulations. The last master plan was completed in 1980 and updated in 1987. The Federal Aviation Administration requires that the airport have an up-to-date master plan, and that officials regularly inform the public about its plans.
Officials started the process with a public meeting at the Westchester County Center in White Plains Wednesday night. Information on the airport was provided to the public, as well as an outline of the process of updating the master plan.
"It's important for us to find out what exactly is on the mind of the public," said Patricia Chemka, Westchester's deputy commissioner of public works and transportation. "It's part of the information gathering process. We have to find out their concerns. Do they love it? Do they want to see more commercial flights? Are they concerned about traffic?"
The county will be holding more meetings throughout the process of creating the master plan. Right now officials are collecting data and looking to identify facilities that could use improvement. Chemka said that the master plan should be created within the next eight to 12 months. When it's completed, the plan will outline improvements and upgrades that will be made over the next 20 years.
In 2012 the airport saw 1.9 million passengers, with 161,109 flights. It employs 4,946 people, and officials estimate that it generates $735,879,600 in economic activity.