July 31, 2012

After Meeting with FAA Acting Administrator, Gillibrand Urges Officials to Re-Admit Griffiss Airport into MAP Program

Program Would Give Airport Access To Federal Funding To Improve The Airport And Create Economic Opportunities For The Region

Washington, D.C. – After meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Acting Administrator earlier this month, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today urged the FAA to re-admit Griffiss Airport into the Military Airport Program (MAP). Previously, Griffiss Airport participated in MAP, and Oneida County has been able to spend $40 million to date on improvements to the airport with MAP funding.  With the creation of additional slots in the recent FAA Reauthorization bill, Griffiss potential re-entry into the program would make the airport eligible for additional federal investment.  

“The Griffiss Airport is not only a critical tool to for our military and cybersecurity industries, but is an integral part of the Mohawk Valley economy,” Senator Gillibrand said. “With additional federal investment, the airport could accommodate more passengers and attract new airlines while providing additional space for new and expanding companies. Griffiss provides an important link to the rapidly expanding technology and cybersecurity sector locally, which is vital to the economic development of the region.” 

If included in the MAP program, Oneida County and Griffiss Airport would be eligible for additional federal investment, which would bolster economic development in the region, including construction jobs, military jobs and other employment opportunities. MAP funding would help construct a new terminal, freeing up currently occupied space in one of the largest hangar buildings to allow existing companies and the military to expand. The new terminal would help Griffiss attract new airlines to accommodate additional passengers. Griffiss Business and Technology Park tenants include the Air Force Research Laboratory, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Assured Information Security, Premier Aviation, and Defense Finance Accounting Service among others, which could benefit from a new terminal as a result of being included in the MAP Program.    

In her letter to Acting Administrator Michael P. Huerta, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “I would like to invite you, or a member of your staff, to tour Griffiss Airport and visit Rome, New York, to see firsthand the benefits that this location provides and further understand its suitability for the Military Airport Program.” 

Senator Gillibrand’s complete letter to Acting Administrator Huerta:

 

Dear Acting Administrator Huerta, 

                Thank you for taking the time to meet with me recently to discuss several important issues to my constituents in New York.  I appreciated our discussion, and look forward to continuing to work together. 

                As I mentioned at our meeting, Griffiss Airport in Rome, New York, has recently applied for re-admittance into the Military Airport Program (MAP).  Previously, Griffiss Airport participated in MAP, and Oneida County has been able to spend $40 million to date on improvements to the airport with MAP funding.  With the creation of additional slots in the recent FAA Reauthorization bill, Griffiss is poised as an excellent candidate for re-entry into the program.  As we discussed, the airport provides an important link to the rapidly expanding technology and cybersecurity sector in the Mohawk Valley, which is vital to the economic development of the region. 

If included in the MAP program, Oneida County and Griffiss Airport would be eligible for more funding opportunities, which will bolster economic development in the region, including construction jobs, military jobs and other employment opportunities.  MAP funding would help construct a new terminal, which will free up currently occupied space in one of the largest hangar buildings to allow an existing MRO to expand and double their employment by adding 125 employees.  This new terminal would also help Griffiss to exceed 10,000 passengers per year, with new airlines, giving them more opportunities for funding.   

Griffiss Business and Technology Park, where the airport is located, has tenants such as the Air Force Research Laboratory, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Assured Information Security, Premier Aviation, and Defense Finance Accounting Service among others, which could benefit from a new terminal as a result of being included in the MAP Program.   

I am writing now to request a timeline for this decision, and to inquire as to whether there is any further information that you need.  Additionally, I would like to invite you, or a member of your staff, to tour Griffiss Airport and visit Rome, New York, to see firsthand the benefits that this location provides and further understand its suitability for the Military Airport Program.

Thank you again for the opportunity to meet, and I urge you to give the application the highest level of consideration.