June 08, 2015

Gillibrand Urges FAA To Fund Ogdensburg Airport Expansion, Bring In Lower Cost Flights

Gillibrand Sends Letter to FAA Strongly Urging Funding For Ogdensburg Airport Expansion

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fund Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s $15 million runway expansion request for Ogdensburg International Airport. The expansion would allow for larger aircraft delivery services. The overall project will create construction jobs, bring in lower cost flight options for North Country residents and attract an estimated 38,000 new Canadian tourists into the North County.

“This expansion project is a critical long-term investment for the Ogdensburg International Airport and for the entire economy of the St. Lawrence County area,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal funds will help the airport expand and serve as a vital economic anchor in the North Country for both businesses, tourism and local residents. Expanding Ogdensburg Airport would bring in more lower cost flight options for the local businesses and area travelers who need them. I’m urging the FAA to fund this critical investment that will boost the region’s economy and create more jobs.”

"The Authority is very appreciative of Senator Gillibrand's efforts to improve air transportation options for North Country residents,” said Wade A. Davis, Executive Director, Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority. “The runway expansion project is critical to new growth for the region and the Senator is a tireless advocate for this very worthwhile project."

The funding requested for Ogdensburg International Airport includes a 1,200-foot extension of Runway 27, taxiway widening and extension, runway approach lighting improvements, relocation of a section of NYS Route 68 to accommodate the runway extension, and obstruction removal. Additional improvements to the Airport include a 3,600 square foot terminal addition to accommodate low cost carrier operations and the addition of a 478-space parking area.

A copy of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to the FAA included is below:

Dear Administrator Huerta,

I write to strongly urge the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fully fund the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s request of $15 million for a critical investment in air infrastructure at Ogdensburg International Airport (OGS), which will significantly improve the quality of life for North Country residents. As part of a larger $18.5 million airport expansion project, the $15 million runway expansion will create construction jobs and provide inexpensive airfares for North Country residents generating in excess of 38,000 new enplanements bringing tourists and their resources into the North County that would otherwise not be present in the regional economy.

The runway expansion project is an excellent example of the private sector working with a public agency to create jobs to improve the economic future of the North Country. The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (Authority) reached an agreement with Allegiant Air, a Low Cost Carrier (LCC), to provide LCC services at OGS commencing November 2016 contingent upon the OGS airport expansion. Allegiant has agreed to contribute up to $1 million towards the terminal expansion, and the Authority has already contributed $1.6 million to accelerate the airport runway expansion to meet Allegiant’s schedule.

The Authority needs $14.25 million in FAA funds (95% of $15 million) in order to complete the OGS runway expansion to allow for the commencement of Low Cost Carrier (LCC) service. The 1,200 foot runway expansion at OGS includes all the infrastructure improvements to accommodate the operational requirements of Allegiant Air, a 177-passenger Airbus 320 aircraft and the LCC forecast demand, while complying with current FAA and New York State Department of Transportation standards. 

I strongly urge the FAA to fully fund the needs of the OGS runway expansion project for the benefit of North Country residents and the surrounding communities.

Sincerely,

Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator