For a time, it seemed as if Tweed-New Haven Airport would be handling flights without the benefit of air traffic controllers. That altered state of reality was averted – at least for the time being – when Congress intervened, after federal sequestration budget cuts called for eliminating the control tower personnel this spring.
But at a news conference earlier this month, members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation stressed that Tweed-New Haven and other regional airports are not out of the woods yet. That means the facility needs to more aggressively state its case – to lawmakers and the public. Which is precisely what’s being done, with a reinvigorated public information effort including a recently developed website and logo.
Last July, officials at Tweed launched a new user-friendly website to meet the needs of its expanding customer base. The new website www.flytweed.com makes it easier to price and track flights throughout the world. In addition to the website, a new logo was created and Tweed mobile applications were launched.
The initiative to refresh the airport's identity and branding online was aimed at changing travelers' search habits, placing the airport's code ("HVN") into prominence as the first step at accomplishing that goal. The tagline “Southern Connecticut’s Airport” is also featured with the revised logo. The airport is served several times a day by US Airways Express, through connecting flights via Philadelphia to over 130 national or international destinations.
A report issued last year indicated that more airline passengers flew out of Tweed in 2011 than in 10 of the previous 11 years – including a jump of 11% in 2011 over 2010. Figures for 2012 were not immediately available. Total 2011 departures exceeded the average annual number of departures over the last 12 years by a strong 24%. It also marked the third consecutive annual increase in the number of passengers flying from Tweed.
In addition to Tweed, the six airports that would have been impacted by the federal cuts include Hartford’s Brainard Airport and the airports in Danbury, Bridgeport, Groton-New London, Waterbury.
Officials have pointed out that with competitive fares, convenient parking and easy access from downtown New Haven and I-95, Tweed’s popularity has grown from a decade ago. The growth also reflects the increasing vitality of the New Haven business community, reflected in a growing and vibrant retail community and greater demand for residential space in the city. Airport officials have said they will continue working with airline representatives to seek additional service and destinations.