Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Massena Int’l and Potsdam Municipal Airports Set to Receive More Than $1.1 Million in DOT Funding for Infrastructure Improvements

May 21, 2014

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that Massena International-Richards Field is set to receive $925,250 and Potsdam Municipal-Damon Field will receive $252,000 in U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) funding for airport facility upgrades.

“I am pleased to add this federal investment to the list of ‘arrivals’ at these North Country airports,” said Senator Schumer.  “We should always strive to achieve the highest standards of aviation safety, and this funding will support that goal by repairing and upgrading the infrastructure at Massena International-Richards Field and Potsdam Municipal-Damon Field.”

“These are important investments for the North Country’s airports,” Senator Gillibrand said. “These federal dollars will help support infrastructure upgrades to improve our airports and provide better, safer service for New Yorkers.”

Massena International-Richards Field will use this federal funding to construct a taxi lane to ensure access to the T-hanger and adjacent taxi lanes, creating safer and more efficient airport operations. The funding will also be used to remove obstructions to create clearer more navigable airspace, as well as to design an access road, which will better serve passengers and ensure safer travel to and from the airport.

“On behalf of the Massena Town Council and all of our citizens, I want to express our gratitude for these grants. Operating an airport in an expensive proposition for a small rural town, so this federal money ensures that we can keep our facility in top notch condition. Massena Airport is an essential business tool for our community and the entire region that uses it every day,” said Joseph D. Gray, Massena Town Supervisor.

Potsdam Municipal-Damon Field will use the funding to replace faulty fences to ensure both aircraft safety and overall airport security by stopping unauthorized entry and wildlife hazards. The funding will also be used to rehabilitate the taxi way pavement to ensure safer airfield operations.

“The Village of Potsdam very much appreciates the Senator’s help in securing this funding. Our airport is a key part of our economic development strategy”, said Steven Yurgartis, Mayor of the Village of Potsdam.

The funding for Massena International-Richards Field and Potsdam Municipal –Damon Field is a part of 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.