John Fonfara

Dan Haar: Brainard Airport Fights Back As Redevelopment Plan Returns

Dan Haar: Brainard Airport Fights Back As Redevelopment Plan Returns

HARTFORD — The sun is barely above the dike that hides the Connecticut River when the first airplane takes off from Hartford-Brainard Airport, launching another day at the historic airfield.

Lindsey Rutka, head of the partnership that runs Brainard's main operations, arrives and opens the gate along Lindbergh Drive for a business owner who parks his Corvette just a few feet from his twin-engine Cessna Conquest.

It's a scene that has unfolded since 1921, when Brainard Field, named for a former mayor, became the first municipal airport in New England. These days, Rutka is fighting to rebuild Brainard as an economic hub — announcing a new charter service Tuesday with...

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