Tweed Airport, currently going through a period which will determine its long-term viability and use in the region, has named a new executive director.
Sean Scanlon, current state representative for Guilford and parts of Branford, was selected Wednesday night to the new role. He will be leaving his full-time position as staffer for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.
He will be remaining in his elected position as state representative.
Scanlon has long been an advocate for the expansion of the Tweed runway, considering it a key to unlocking economic development in the area.
“Tweed airport is central to unlocking economic development in our region” he said. “In the four and a half years I have been in office, it is an almost constant question by businesses in the area.”
Scanlon stated that he was approached in the spring of this year about the vacancy. “I was very interested in being a part of that next chapter for Tweed,” seeing it as a vital aspect of growth in the region.
The opportunity also comes at a time when, Scanlon says, it was time to move on from over a decade as staffer to Chris Murphy.
“We spoke earlier this year, and he has been an incredible mentor and friend,” said Scanlon.
The years working for Murphy and as a state representative add to his qualifications for the new role, which he sees as two-fold: first, as someone handling community outreach and public relations for Tweed, and second, as someone working to bring in new services to the airport.
The day-to-day operations of Tweed are handled by separate management company. Scanlon states he is looking onward to bringing the experience he has to the position, which will be key as the decision by the states attorney general, William Tong, lingers regarding a potential appeal of a key decision.
In July, an appeals court ruled that a state law which limited the length of the runway at Tweed was not legal. Representatives of the area led by Martin Looney and Len Fasano, have argued against the extension of the runway, which advocates have claimed is vital for longterm viability, impacting the size and weight of jets that can use the airport.
Scanlon has been a proponent of expansion, and his history with the state legislature and officials can be a significant asset moving forward. Tong has sought an extension to make a decision on whether to appeal the earlier court decision.
Scanlon’s first day as Executive Director of the Tweed Regional Airport Authority will be November 18.