September 18, 2014

Schumer, Gillibrand and Owens Announce $8.6M in Funding for Major Expansion at Plattsburgh International Airport

PLATTSBURGH, NY—Today U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Bill Owens announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded Plattsburgh International Airport $8,616,132 to continue the large-scale expansion of the airport’s passenger terminal.

“These federal funds will give Plattsburgh International Airport the money needed to construct a major expansion of their passenger terminal, which will pave the way for future investment and economic development in the entire region,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding is great news for all of the passengers and pilots that fly out of Plattsburgh every day, and this project is a smart investment in area residents, the airport, and the local economy.”

“Investing in New York’s vital transportation infrastructure allows us to keep pace with the growing economy and tourism industry,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This major investment for the Plattsburgh International Airport will help provide better, safer service for travelers and business, and will help strengthen the local economy.”

“The Plattsburgh Airport is a critical access point for northern New York, supporting the continued growth of business and tourism in the surrounding area,” said Congressman Owens. “This expansion will help move the airport closer to the goal of becoming a cross-border travel hub that attracts more Canadian tourism and trade to our region.”

According to reporting by WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, the project includes a significant expansion in the size of the terminal including increased space for ticket counters, the security checkpoint, baggage claim area, concourse and gate areas. The project plan also includes construction of a customs facility integrated directly into the terminal, a key step toward establishing the airport as an official international port of entry.

"This is another exciting step in the development of Plattsburgh International as an economic engine of the future,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, which serves as the marketing and development organization for the airport. “We are continuing to draw global attention for creatively seeing a need for a low cost secondary airport for Montreal and filling that need as a way to build air service in northern New York, with the president of Air Canada last year calling us Quebec's fastest growing airport.”

According to Douglas, the award “comes at a perfect time as we will be in Chicago next week, meeting with international airlines to tell them about what's happening here. And this is all possible due to remarkable teamwork by a county legislature with vision and commitment, an enthusiastic business community that supports the mission and the marketing efforts, and all of our federal and state officials who continue to come through with the resources required, including Congressman Owens, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Governor Cuomo. Onward and upward for Plattsburgh International and Montreal's U.S. Airport!"   

In his outline of the project, Douglas describes the airport as originally designed to handle 31,500 passengers per year but now dealing with more than 150,000. This expansion will allow the airport to meet projections of more than 300,000 passengers per year with a flexible design that can be expanded further as needed.

“We welcome the news of additional federal funding for the Airport Terminal Expansion Construction Project,” said Sam Dyer, Chairperson of the Clinton County Legislature. “We greatly appreciate the continued assistance and support provided by Congressman Owens and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, through the Federal Aviation Administration, to further our long-standing vision to develop Plattsburgh International Airport into a regional transportation hub. This project will alleviate existing capacity issues at the airport and allow Clinton County to further expand air service, providing an economic benefit to the entire region.”

Plattsburgh International Airport is a public airport covering 1,912 acres with 11,758 feet of asphalt runway.