FOLLOWING HIS MAJOR PUSH IN FEBRUARY AT ITHACA TOMPKINS REGIONAL AIRPORT, SCHUMER, WHO RECENTLY CALLED TO LOBBY ACTING FAA ADMINISTRATOR, ANNOUNCES JUST UNDER $10 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR TERMINAL OVERHAUL; SAYS FUNDING IS VITAL TO TRANSFORM AIRPORT INTO A WORLD-CLASS INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY
Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport Recently Launched A ?$24.5M Major Renovation To Airport Facilities, Modernize Security & Upgrade Commercial Passenger Terminal
With First Phase Underway, Schumer Today Announces Just Under $10 Million To Get Phase 2 Off The Ground
Schumer: Funding For Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport Will Keep Major Modernization Project On The Runway To Success
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced, following his major push, $9,999,990 in federal funding for Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Schumer said that funding will allow Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport to continue its major modernization and expansion effort, which will help transform it into a nationally recognized airport with world-class facilities, as well as a gateway for travelers throughout the Southern Tier and to destinations across the country and around the globe. Schumer visited Ithaca Tompkins Regional in February 2019 and called Acting Administrator of the FAA Daniel Elwell in April 2019 to fight for this critical grant.
Schumer said that the project is well on its way, with New York State funding the first phase of this project: a full reconstruction of the entrance to the terminal building. The $10 million grant will be used for Phase 2: the construction of a post-security arrival/departure concourse and new jet bridges. Schumer explained the funding will allow the airport to increase in size and capabilities, and also support improvements to the terminal building, the backbone of the airport. According to Schumer, these key upgrades will have a transformative impact on Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, enabling it to offer new and upgraded services and to attract new carriers and destinations.
“Business at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional airport has taken off, people are choosing to fly out of Ithaca, and carriers are taking notice. These federal funds will go a long way to create a world-class facility right here in Tompkins County that will encourage continued growth,” said Senator Schumer. “I was proud of the role I played in securing this federal funding and will keep fighting to ensure this long-sought project stays on the runway to success. With a new and improved facility, the sky is the limit for Ithaca Tompkins Regional.”
“This federal grant award completes funding for our airport infrastructure project. Special thanks to Senator Schumer for his critical support to obtain these funds!” said Mike Hall, Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport Director.
"From the beginning of our critical airport infrastructure renovation, Senator Schumer has been an active supporter and advocate. He understands how crucial this project is for Tompkins County’s residents and visitors, and for our entire economy," said Martha Robertson, Chair, Tompkins County Legislature.
“This federal support secures our airport’s ability to grow and thrive in the future, and to continue as a critical tool for our county’s robust business growth and development. The expansion of Ithaca Tompkins Airport will preserve and enhance Tompkins County’s role as one of the most diverse and equitable communities in New York State,” said Jason Molino, Tompkins County Administrator.
Schumer explained that the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport has recently undertaken a major modernization effort. In the last year, the airport has executed critical repairs to its airfield, including repairing and improving runways, lighting, and safety areas. However, while these improvements were taking place, passenger accommodations, including the outdated terminal building, lagged behind. To build on its past successes and remain competitive, Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport leadership, in collaboration with community stakeholders, launched a multi-phase project to renovate and improve the terminal building and additional facilities in the airport. In total, this project will significantly increase the size of the facility, from 33,000 square feet to 50,500 square feet, and include the construction of a new federal customs facility as well as the addition of six new gates at the airport.
Schumer explained that Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is a smart investment for the federal government to make, as the airport is growing in response to economic activity in the region and a new facility will help ensure its continued success and help sustain economic growth. Schumer noted that enplanements are up, and in the last year, new routes and services, including United Airlines service to Washington D.C.-Dulles, and American Airlines to Charlotte, NC have been added.
Schumer highlighted the important role Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport plays in the region’s economy. As a leader in the region’s economy, Tompkins County is a draw for tourists, academics, and business people. And added that the region is home to internationally renowned educational institutions, major employers in the high-technology, healthcare and automotive industry components production sectors.
Senator Schumer has long been an advocate for Upstate air service and for Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport in particular. Previously, he successfully fought to secure millions of dollars in federal funding from the Department of Transportation for various projects at the airport including a new boarding bridge to accommodate the increased patronage of the airport, acquiring snow removal and emergency vehicles, and securing critical Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) funding to aid in the airport’s ability to market and promote new service options, ensuring their success. Senator Schumer also played a leading role in securing a new high-technology baggage screening system from the TSA that replaced the previously used manual bag-check system. Schumer explained that Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport hosts 270 flights per month, with three major airlines offering three flights per day. Additionally, the airport serves roughly 105,000 passengers every year.
This funding is awarded through the AIP and is administered by the FAA. The AIP 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.