Mr. Hall apprised the Committee of the Upstate Airport Competition funding in which there is still one airport to be awarded a $40 million grant. Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is still in the running for those funds. Mr. Hall believes a strong proposal was submitted and Senators Helming, Seward, and O’Mara have written letters of support to the Governor urging him to award the funds to the Ithaca area. The announcement is expected to come at any time.
If the funding is awarded locally some of the projects in the proposal include:
· Renovations to the passenger departure screening area,
· Renovations to the baggage screening machine area,
· Remodeling to the passenger departure lounge including a second story which will result in a lower cost to operate the terminal,
· Additional parking covered by solar panels which will also generate electricity to the Airport, and
· Begin to transform the Airport facility into a multi-mode transportation hub.
Mr. Hall stated this grant will make the current facility more open and more efficient. Currently, Ithaca can provide one-stop connections to over 650 global destinations and is the most reliable airport in the upstate area. It is unique in the fact that it imports money into the local economy more than it provides flights for people to spend their money elsewhere; Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is a positive economic impact on Central New York.
Mr. Klein stated it has been requested of him to ask if the minutes from Air Services Board are available. Mr. Hall stated he will send them to all Legislators electronically.