Today, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $750,000 in federal funding to support new service at Ithaca Tompkins International Airport. This funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP). The senators explained that this funding will support efforts to improve the availability of air service, including the potential introduction of a new direct flight to Washington D.C., which would help establish the facility as a regional air service hub.
“I am proud to have secured this federal investment for Ithaca Tompkins International Airport to help attract new direct flight services from Ithaca to our nation’s capital,” said Senator Schumer. “Access to air travel is critical to the success of the Upstate economy. It’s why I have fought relentlessly to deliver resources for this world-class facility to help our regional economy takeoff and I will continue to fight to bolster air service in Tompkins County to help the Southern Tier reach new heights.”
“The Ithaca Tompkins International Airport serves thousands of residents and visitors in Tompkins County and throughout the Southern Tier each year and it is vital that there is direct access to the nation’s capital,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will help bolster economic development and ensure that the transportation needs of area residents and industries are met. I am excited to announce this funding and will continue fighting to support airports across New York State.”
Roxan Noble, Airport Director, stated, “We are excited to receive this grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. It is a testament to the hard work and collective effort that our community has invested in improving air service at ITH. This funding will undoubtedly facilitate our mission to enhance connectivity and make air travel even more convenient for the people we serve.”
The senators highlighted the important role Ithaca Tompkins International Airport plays in the Southern Tier’s economy, helping to facilitate tourism, spur local economic growth, and create good-paying jobs across the region. Schumer and Gillibrand said that Ithaca Tompkins International Airport is a particularly valuable resource given its proximity to internationally renowned educational institutions, major employers in industries like advanced manufacturing and technology, as well as other assets pivotal to the region’s economic vitality that depend on being able to access reliable air service to destinations across the country and the globe.
In 2021, Schumer led the historic bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to passage, delivering over $930 million in funding for airports across New York State, to be distributed over the next five years, including $7,151,415 for Ithaca Tompkins International Airport. In 2019, following Schumer’s major push, Ithaca Tompkins International Airport was allocated nearly $10 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) to continue a major modernization and expansion effort, helping to transform the facility into a nationally recognized airport, serving as a gateway for travelers headed both to and from the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes.
Earlier this year, Senator Gillibrand wrote to the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, advocating for funding of this project. Read the letter here. Schumer also submitted a letter on behalf of the project, underscoring the importance of federal investment after two airlines canceled or reduced services in 2022, stifling the airport’s ability to meet the ever-growing needs of the community. Read the letter here.