The next time you take a flight out of Orange County’s only international airport, it may go by a different name — well, sort of. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently announced that Stewart International Airport will soon be renamed New York Stewart International Airport, as part of a $37 million initiative to upgrade the facility.
Given its close-ish proximity to Manhattan — 70 miles north, to be exact — officials hope that by highlighting its location, the name change will put Stewart on the map as a secondary airport for those looking to travel to the New York metro area.
The airport was named after Archie Stewart, who convinced his uncle Samuel to donate 172 acres of their family farm to the City of Newburgh in 1935. Later, ownership of the land was passed on to New York State, expanding the size of property to 2,400 acres. An earlier proposal suggested that the airport be renamed New York International at Stewart Field, which Stewart family descendants strongly contested against. Though Archie Stewart died twenty years ago, for now, the airport will continue to bear his name.
Following a 2017 Norwegian Air initiative to implement service from the airport to various destinations in Europe, plans to upgrade Stewart will also include a new customs inspections area to keep up with the recently heightened flow of international passengers. This expansion is expected to generate 140 jobs, and allow for up to 400 passengers to be screened in an hour.