SCHUMER ANNOUNCES, AFTER HIS PUSH, FEDS HAVE APPROVED LONG-AWAITED RUNWAY EXTENSION AT OGDENSBURG AIRPORT – LONGER RUNWAY WILL HELP NEW ALLEGIANT AIR FLIGHTS LAND; COULD ADD TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PASSENGERS PER YEAR & TURN AIRPORT INTO REGIONAL LEADER
In July, Schumer Visited Ogdensburg Airport to Urge Fed. Aviation Administration to Swiftly Approve Ogdensburg Airport’s Request To Expand Runway – 1,200 Foot Runway Extension Is Key To Making Ogdensburg Airport A Major Regional Hub
Runway Extension Will Help Accommodate New Allegiant Air Flights at Airport – Could Lead To Tens of Thousands of Passengers Per Year
Schumer: Ogdensburg Runway Extension Is Cleared for Takeoff
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced, following his push, that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved Ogdensburg’s request to extend the Ogdensburg Airport’s runway by 1,200 feet. In July, Schumer visited the Ogdensburg Airport to urge the FAA to approve Ogdensburg’s request. Schumer said this runway expansion is necessary in order for Allegiant Air, which recently decided to offer flights from Ogdensburg, to land its planes. Schumer said that Allegiant Air flies much larger planes than the ones that currently take off and land at Ogdensburg Airport, and these aircraft need a larger runway in order to operate. In order for Ogdensburg to extend their runway the airport had to justify the need to the FAA, and today Schumer announced that after his push the FAA has agreed the runway extension is justified. This decision by the FAA is a major step forward in turning Ogdensburg Airport into a major regional air travel hub for residents of the North Country and Canada, which should be a major benefit to the local economy for decades to come.
“After months of hard work, I am pleased to be able to announce that this much-needed, and long-awaited, runway extension at the Ogdensburg airport is cleared for takeoff,” said Schumer. “This FAA approval, which will enable Allegiant Air flights to land, will provide a major boost to the entire area. This extended runway – and these new flights – will result in the creation of good-paying construction jobs, more tourist dollars, increased travel options for residents and an improved climate for business.”
"Senator Schumer has delivered a big win for Ogdensburg by getting our runway extension plan approved today," said OBPA Executive Director Wade Davis. "Attracting commercial airliners to Ogdensburg was a key part of our master plan, and now, Allegiant's takeoff from Ogdensburg is imminent, attracting Canadian travelers from Ottawa while improving North Country air service."
Schumer explained that Ogdensburg International Airport recently signed a contract with Allegiant Air to offer flights from the airport. Schumer said that these new flights, and the potential increase in travelers, should be a huge boon for St. Lawrence County and the entire North Country economy. This agreement has the potential to increase traffic by tens of thousands of passengers per year, as the larger Allegiant jet planes carry more people and provide access to numerous other destinations around the country. Schumer noted that a strong airport, like what Ogdensburg is poised to become, will be in line for more federal dollars. Essential Air Service funds (EAS) and Airport Improvement Program (AIP) dollars are awarded to airports based on certain criteria, including having a certain number of passengers each year. These funds help keep our airports in top shape, and Schumer vowed to fight for Ogdensburg to receive all the federal funding for which it is eligible.
In order for an airport like Ogdensburg to extend their runway the FAA needs to agree that such an action is justified. In July, Schumer urged FAA to approve the justification for an extension and today Schumer announced that the approval was granted. The next step in the process is for Ogdensburg to complete an Environmental Assessment and move forward with construction of the project.
In order to accommodate the runway expansion, approximately 2,000 feet of Route 6B will be relocated and additional fencing will be added. Schumer explained that this project can now get off the ground with the FAA’s approval of the runway extension. Schumer has long fought for increased airline service to the North Country, as it has the potential to become a critical driver of growth in the local and regional economies.
A copy of Senator Schumer’s original letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta is available upon request.