Latimer looks for public input into long-term County Airport plan

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RYE BROOK -

Leaders in Westchester called for public input as they prepare to submit a revised master plan for the county airport.

The first of three public meetings was held at Rye Brook Village Hall Wednesday, allowing residents to have a say in the long-term plan.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer presented the existing master plan created by his predecessor, Rob Astorino.

 News 12 has reported that Astorino selected Macquarie Infrastructure to handle operating Westchester County Airport in White Plains. His announcement came just two days after losing his bid for re-election. Astorino said the public-private partnership would net the county more than $1 billion during its 40-year lease.

Macquarie Infrastructure was chosen unanimously by a bipartisan task force.

County leaders are holding these meetings as they look to revise that draft in a way that includes public input. One change Latimer has previously considered is the county maintaining control of the airport vs. selling it to the highest bidder.

Some residents who say the airport is a "bad neighbor" want the new plan to reject airport expansion.

John Ravitz from the Business Council of Westchester said the airport should be used to draw in more businesses, but he believes expansion may not be necessary.

"Maybe we can do away with the myth that we are trying to create LaGuardia North," he said, referencing the much larger airport in Queens. "It doesn’t have to include more expansion. It just has to be more efficient.”

The next meeting will be held Monday in Armonk.

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