August 24, 2016

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $10.7 Million In Critical Federal Funding For Greater Binghamton Airport

Federal Dept. of Transportation Grant Will Fund Infrastructure Upgrades At Greater Binghamton/Edwin A. Link Field Airport

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $10,705,035 in federal funding for critical infrastructure projects at the Greater Binghamton/Edwin A. Link Field Airport (BGM) in Broome County. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP). A total of $9,585,735 was allocated through discretionary DOT funding, while the remaining $1,119,300 was allocated through DOT entitlement funds. Specifically, the federal funding will allow the airport to rehabilitate its runway’s touchdown zone as well as the lighting along its runway.

“In order for the Southern Tier’s economy to thrive, we must continue to attract business and tourism to the area. That’s exactly why I went to bat for the Greater Binghamton Airport and urged the FAA to step up to the plate and provide the full federal investment to make desperately needed repairs to the airport’s primary runway,” said Senator Schumer. “Now, this grant will fund the runway upgrades we need to keep Greater Binghamton Airport in top-notch shape. This major airport upgrade will ensure all of the passengers, businesses, academics and pilots who fly in an out of the Southern Tier each day have both a pleasant experience and, most importantly, a safe one.” 

“Investing in our infrastructure enables safer, more efficient service for the businesses and travelers who utilize it every day,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These funds through the Department of Transportation are a major investment for the Southern Tier to renovate the Greater Binghamton/Edwin A. Link Field. I will continue to push for resources that enhance efficiency and public safety at our airports.”  

In July, Schumer launched a push to secure major federal funding for this urgently-needed runway reconstruction at the Greater Binghamton Regional Airport. Last year, emergency repairs were required at the primary runway due to asphalt failure and subsequent testing revealed a systemic problem throughout that would require an extensive and costly rehabilitation project. Early indications from FAA suggested that only a portion of the project total would be available in this fiscal year, leaving Broome County to either foot the shortfall in remaining costs or break the repairs up into a multi-year project, which presented significant challenges for the airport. Schumer went to bat for the airport and personally wrote FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, successfully securing an expeditious and complete award of the project costs to mitigate risks to safety, alleviate increased costs and avoid excessive disruption to airport operations. 

County Executive, Debbie Preston said, “Senator Schumer’s continuous hard work and tenacity in getting this grant for the Greater Binghamton Airport shows his commitment to the people of our area. We thank the Senator for all he has done. The issuance of this Federal funding from the Airport Improvement Program will save our local tax payers money and shows the importance of the vitality of Upstate New York, specifically the Southern Tier Region.”

Broome County Commissioner of Aviation David Hickling said, “Senator Schumer has been a tremendous champion for this Airport and we greatly appreciate all his efforts. Safety is a priority for the Greater Binghamton Airport. This grant allows for significant safety improvements to the Airport infrastructure affording us the potential to grow and provide a greater economic benefit to the area.”

This funding is awarded through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and is administered by DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Airport Improvement Program provides grants to public agencies for the planning and development of public-use airports that are included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). Funds obligated for the AIP are drawn from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is supported by user fees, fuel taxes, and other similar revenue sources.