Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that Plattsburgh International Airport will receive $76,000 in U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) funds. The airport will utilize these funds to study the airfield and determine which trees and other obstructions will need to be removed. Schumer explained that there is an imaginary surface over the airfield that is not allowed to be obstructed up to a certain height. Trees and buildings need to be removed or marked to prevent a safety hazard in accordance with federal regulations. This funding will be utilized to study the airfield and determine what obstructions need to be removed in the near future, if any. In a second phase—which will require additional funding—the trees and various obstructions will actually be taken down. This first part will allow the airport to decide which trees and objects pose a hazard so that they can better plan the physical removal stage and improve passenger safety.
“Making sure our airports are as safe as possible is one of my top priorities,” said Senator Schumer. “With this funding, Plattsburgh International Airport will be able to study potential dangers to the runway and remove any tree or structure that may compromise safety, ensuring that the passengers and pilots that fly in and out of Plattsburgh every day are safe. Keeping this airport in top shape will allow it to continue to serve as a major economic driver for all of Clinton County.”
“Airport safety should always be a top priority,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal dollars will help support infrastructure upgrades to improve the Plattsburgh International Airport, ensuring better, safer service for the thousands of New Yorkers they serve per year.”
“This project involves the design and permitting for the removal of on-airport obstructions at Plattsburgh International Airport which are located on airport property and are within the primary, approach, or transitional surfaces at airport,” said Christopher Kreig, Airport Manager of Plattsburgh International Airport. “Specific improvements include the removal of tree canopy area at the approach end of the runway, removal of individual trees, and re-grading of terrain located to the east and west of the runway.”
“Conducting an obstruction removal study is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations governing the airspace over and surrounding airports and provide the safest possible operating environment for aircraft at the Plattsburgh International Airport. Projects such as these are integral to the airport’s continued growth and bolsters our ability to attract additional businesses and jobs to the North Country,” said Samuel R. Dyer, Chairperson of the Clinton County Legislature. “We appreciate the continued recognition by the Department of Transportation of the airport as a regional economic asset and thank Senator Schumer and our Congressional delegation for their continued support.”
The Airport Improvement Program, through the Federal Aviation Administration, provides grants to public agencies — and, in some cases, to private owners and entities — for the planning and development of public-use airports that are included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). The NPIAS, which is prepared and published every 2 years, identifies public-use airports that are important to public transportation and contribute to the needs of civil aviation, national defense, and the Postal service.
The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) was established by the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982. Since then, the AIP has been amended several times, most recently with the passage of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. 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.