Airport-state dispute over runway length heading to trial

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HARTFORD — A dispute between Tweed-New Haven Airport and state government over a Connecticut law that limits the length of the airport’s main runway is headed to a one-day trial before a federal magistrate judge.

The trial is set for Wednesday in federal court in Hartford.

Airport officials are suing the state over the 2009 law that limits Tweed’s main runway to its current 5,600 feet. They say the short runway is threatening the only current commercial service at the airport — daily flights to Philadelphia — and preventing Tweed from attracting more commercial flights.

Airport officials want to lengthen the runway to more than 7,000 feet on existing airport property and say federal aviation law supersedes state law.

The state attorney general’s office denied Tweed’s claims and is defending the law.