Westchester County Airport
The Westchester County Airport was specifically built for military purposes during the peak of World War II. The small airfield was used to protect New York City and the surrounding northern suburbs from possible attacks. Of course, an Air National Guard division was based at the airfield and did routine training during the war. Since the end of World War II, Westchester County Airport has primarily served as a small regional airport that had very limited commercial passenger service, usually on a seasonal basis. During the early 1980’s, the Air National Guard moved out of Westchester and settled in Stewart International Airport in the nearby city of Newburgh, New York.
Today, Westchester County Airport occupies more than 700 acres in the city of White Plains, which is the capital/seat of Westchester County. The airport primarily serves the residents of the affluent Westchester County and several parts of the neighboring Eastern Connecticut region. The biggest advantage about this airport is that it has a convenient suburban location that is more preferable than using New York City’s busy LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. Interestingly, Westchester County Airport is managed by the Westchester County government and not by the Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The primary runway at Westchester County Airport measures 6,549 feet in length and 150 feet in width. This 11/29 runway is paved with an Asphalt surface. The secondary runway at the airport measures 4,451 feet long and 150 feet wide. This shorter Asphalt runway is primarily used for crosswind operations for general aviation purposes. In fact, there are multiple hangars and facilities dedicated for small aircraft operations at Westchester County Airport.
Today, nearly 1 million passengers each year pass through the main terminal building at Westchester County Airport. Such passenger traffic makes the airport in White Plains the seventh busiest airport in New York State. In fact, Westchester County Airport handles about five times as many passengers each year than Stewart International Airport, the other main regional airport in the Lower Hudson Valley.
Since Westchester County Airport is literally nested in between quiet residential communities, great efforts have been made for noise reduction programs. The county government has worked with federal aviation officials and airline companies to enforce strict noise regulations at this airport. This means that flights at Westchester County Airport are typically limited during early morning and overnight hours.
Parking at Westchester County Airport
Although Westchester County Airport has a parking garage right next to the terminal, there is rarely enough space to accommodate the busy vehicle traffic. The limited parking space can be a problem because this regional airport was never designed to truly accommodate more than 1 million passengers each year. However, there is a small overflow parking lot available at Westchester County Airport. It’s a good idea to drop off passengers right near the terminal building instead of parking for long term periods. Westchester County Airport is conveniently accessible from Exit 2 off the nearby Interstate 684.
If passengers have some free time while waiting for flights at Westchester County Airport, they can explore the neighboring campus of SUNY Purchase. This local public college may offer tourists some great events and activities to explore before boarding a flight. Passengers landing at Westchester County Airport may also appreciate the scenic bird’s eye views of the nearby Rye Lake, the heavily wooded surrounding environments, rolling hills and the multiple country clubs within sight.