Yeah, but that alone doesn’t guarantee or justify a lot of service. CAK and CLE are both within an hour’s drive of 1.5 million people, but jetBlue’s closest destinations are CMH & PIT, both a little over two hours’ drive away. The best asset of SWF is that it can be used to take some of the overflow off of the “Big Three” of the Big Apple. Take SWF and the 750,000 people “around” it and plant them farther from NYC, and jetBlue would never even give you a second look. No offense, it’s just the nature of their business.
Stewart/Newburgh(KSWF) is a great airport with big runways, good approaches, decent facilities, etc… It is immediately adjacent to both the New York Thruway (I-87) and I-84. The problem is that to get to the terminal, you have about 10 minutes of driving on surface streets with not much in the way of signage. The last mile or two is on a 2 lane county road! Hardly the recipe for turning this into a valid alternative to the Big 3. However, if improvements can be made regarding access to the airport, good parking, etc… SWF is in an ideal position to steal business away from EWR, LGA, and ALB.
All of which is happening - the direct exit from I 84 is literally days away from completion (the connector road is called…are you ready… NY Route 747…oy)…the Port Authority is promising expanded parking/terminal facilities as soon as it possibly can…one sign something is up is that nearly every major hotel chain is building or planning hotels on or near the site. Stewart survived many years of inept, absentee management, so with a REAL operator, things should, and will get better.
In about a year, one will be able to go directly from the Thruway onto 84, then to the Stewart connector with NO local traffic- the general feeling around here ( I live about 15 miles from SWF), is that once that happens, the joint will bust WIDE open…
(You could be right. It’s just that there are more than a few expensive airport and/or airport thruway projects that SHOULD attract throngs of passengers and airlines, yet they stagnate year after year…)