FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2010
SCHUMER AND GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCE $550,000 COMING TO GREATER BINGHAMTON AIRPORT TO EXPAND AND IMPROVE SERVICE
Grant Will Be Used to Attract Air Carriers, Study Local Air Service Needs, and Create Marketing Programs to Attract Business and Passenger Use in Binghamton Area
Schumer, Gillibrand: More Options for Passengers Means Better Service
Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has granted the Greater Binghamton Airport a total $550,000 to expand and improve service. The grant was awarded under the Small Community Air Service Development (SCASD) Program and will spread hub service westward and increase airline competition. Senator Schumer wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in support of Binghamton's application last fall. "This grant is great news for the future of the Binghamton area," said Schumer. "More options for passengers means better service and cheaper flights and I am confident that this investment will spur job creation. I'm going to keep on fighting to bring grants like this one to the southern tier." "This is a great investment for Binghamton," Senator Gillibrand said. "These federal dollars will help improve services at the airport, attract new businesses and spark growth to the local economy, and create new jobs. I will continue working with Senator Schumer to make sure New York gets its fair share from the federal government." Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala was thrilled to learn that Binghamton won the funding: "We are delighted to be on the receiving end of this important transportation grant," said Executive Fiala. "This is going to go a long way in helping our efforts to attract additional, much needed air service for our community. I want to acknowledge Carl Beardsley, our Aviation Commissioner, for all of the work he did to secure this grant and I want to thank Senator Schumer for being our biggest advocate for our airport and our community!" Since its enactment in 2002, the Department of Transportation's SCASD program has given small communities the tools they need to provide affordable and effective air service to area residents. The funds are used to incentivize air carrier investment, study service needs, and create marketing programs that build passenger use. The full text of Senator Schumer's letter to Secretary LaHood can be seen below.
The Honorable Ray L. LaHood Secretary U.S. Department of Transportation 400 7th Street, SW Washington, D.C. 20590 Dear Secretary: I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by Greater Binghamton Airport for funding under the Small Community Air Service Development Program. Such funding will enable Binghamton to improve air service at its regional airport. The Greater Binghamton Airport, which is owned and operated by the Broome County Department of Aviation, is located just eight miles north of the Binghamton Metropolitan area. For over fifty years, Greater Binghamton Airport has provided for the transportation needs of the Greater Binghamton Area and surrounding communities in Southern New York. While important to the region, there is a growing concern that Binghamton does not offer routes to important business destinations. This route shortage means that business travelers will have to go to other airports, sometimes outside the state. This is a serious concern, but Binghamton is taking action. Binghamton is currently working with local economic development councils and regional businesses to attract two major commercial carriers. With funding, Greater Binghamton Airport will be able to position itself to secure service from these major commercial airline carriers that offer critical routes to western hubs. Grant money will go toward risk abatement, the marketing of Binghamton's new routes, and start-up costs associated with expanding airport operations. I applaud the Greater Binghamton Airport for its foresight, and I hope the application for funding meets with your approval. Thank you for your consideration. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Director, Grant Kerr, in my Washington office at 202.224.6542. Sincerely, Charles E. Schumer United States Senator