Port Authority's plan to take over Stewart airport takes off

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Stewart International Airport in Newburgh is on its way to becoming a transportation hub for the tri-state area.

The board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey authorized a $78.5 million deal to assume a 93-year lease of the airport. The plan involves expanding Stewart airport in an effort to ease congestion at the three major airports, LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International. The Port Authority wants to explore adding more parking and a new passenger terminal to the airport. The agency is expected to take over operations by October, pending the approval of both the Federal Aviation Administration and the state's transportation department.Last year, officials say Stewart airport saw about 300,000 passengers. But Port Authority officials say it could easily handle 1.5 million. Officials say Stewart airport is ideal because it sits on 2,200 acres, giving it plenty of room for expansion.

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