Forget new train station, let’s move Buffalo airport
After reading about the proposals for a new railroad train station, I would like to make some suggestions.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is going to give the City of Buffalo $1 million for a study that will be led by Mayor Byron W. Brown to determine a location for the train station. Rep. Brian Higgins wants the New York State Department of Transportation to do a study using $25 million that has been set aside for a new Buffalo train station. I don’t think we should spend so much money on a transportation mode that is essentially obsolete!
I suspect there are less than 100 people a day who use the train into or out of Buffalo. Any passenger who leaves Buffalo on the train no doubt returns on the train. Buffalo apparently is not a “destination” like New York City or Washington, D.C. If people travel to New York or anywhere else on the train, then they probably return on the train. How many people come to Buffalo on the train for football, hockey, baseball or chicken wings?
I suggest constructing a new airport – somewhere away from houses and buildings and in the wide open spaces. Currently the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is in a residential neighborhood with some buildings a few hundred feet from the edge of the runway. Airplanes landing on runway 14, for example, come very close to the buildings near Wehrle Drive and Cayuga Road. Airplanes taking off on that same runway heading toward Main Street and Kensington Avenue fly over these same buildings.
Airplanes landing on runway 23 arriving from the northeast and Clarence cross the Eastern Hills Mall. Once past the intersection of Main and Transit, these airplanes have probably passed over hundreds of buildings.
So, forget the train station study. Move the airport away from all those houses, buildings and restaurants and use that land for something else.
David F. Quagliana
FAA commercial pilot