09.18.15

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCE, FOLLOWING THEIR PUSH, THE OGDENSBURG AIRPORT WILL RECEIVE MORE THAN $7.5 MILLION IN FED FUNDING FOR LONG-AWAITED RUNWAY EXTENSION – LONGER RUNWAY WILL HELP NEW FLIGHTS LAND & ENABLE AIRPORT TO BEGIN LOW-FARE AIRLINE SERVICE WITH ALLEGIANT AIR, A KEY FOR REGIONAL JOB GROWTH AND INCREASED TOURISM

In November 2014, Senators Announced the FAA Had Approved Ogdensburg’s Request to Extend the Runway by 1,200 Feet – In June, Schumer Launched His Push to Secure $14 Million for Runway Construction 

Schumer, Gillibrand Say $7.5 Million Will Allow Airport To Begin Construction of 1,200 Foot Runway Extension, Which Is Key To Making Ogdensburg Airport A Major Regional Hub – Senators Vow To Continue Fighting For Any Additional Funding Needed to Finish the Project & Accommodate New Allegiant Air Flights, So The Airport Could Add Thousands of Passengers Per Year

Schumer, Gillibrand: Ogdensburg Runway Extension Is Cleared for Takeoff, And Key Fed Funding Will Help Make Extended Runway a Reality

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved $7,597,458 in federal funding for the long-awaited runway extension at the Ogdensburg International Airport (OGS). In June, Schumer and Gillibrand launched their push to secure critical federal funding from the FAA through its Airport Improvement Program (AIP) to make this Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority project a reality. The Senators said this funding is the first step in extending the runway and vowed to fight for future funding so the project can be completed. In November 2014, Schumer announced that, following his push, that the FAA had approved Ogdensburg Airport’s request to extend its runway by 1,200 feet, citing that it would enable the Ogdensburg Airport to complete its runway extension and begin low-fare airline service with Allegiant Air.

Schumer and Gillibrand said this runway expansion is necessary for Allegiant Air, which decided in 2014 to offer flights from Ogdensburg, to land its planes. The Senators 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. Schumer and Gillibrand said this runway extension project would provide low-fare options for North Country residents, in addition to numerous other economic development benefits for the region.

“This major federal investment in the Ogdensburg Airport will finally allow the first part of this long-awaited runway extension to get underway. But the job is not done yet – we are going to keep fighting tooth and nail for the additional funding needed to complete this project and clear the Ogdensburg Airport runway extension for take-off,” said Senator Schumer. “This runway expansion will finally enable Allegiant Air flights, which has bigger planes, to land and provide a major economic boost to the entire area – which would result in the creation of good-paying construction jobs, more tourist dollars, increased travel options for residents and an improved climate for business.”

“This expansion project is a critical long-term investment for the Ogdensburg International Airport and for the entire economy of the St. Lawrence County area,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal funds will help the airport expand and serve as a vital economic anchor in the North Country for both businesses, tourism and local residents. Expanding Ogdensburg Airport would bring in lower cost flight options for local businesses and area travelers who need them. I wrote to the FAA urging to fund this project in order to boost the region’s economy and create more jobs.”

“The congressional delegation has been a resilient advocate for economic growth and development here in the North County. They have been terrific partners throughout this entire process,” said OBPA Executive Director Wade Davis. “The Ogdensburg International Airport expansion will undoubtedly result in job creation, increased tourism and an overall promotion of regional transportation capabilities. This FAA funding is the next step in ensuring these benefits come to fruition.”

In June of this year, Schumer and Gillibrand pushed the FAA to approve this critical federal funding for the runway extension. In November 2014, Schumer announced that the FAA had approved Ogdensburg’s initial request to extend the Ogdensburg Airport’s runway by 1,200 feet – which would make both the runway extension possible and allow the airport to begin low-fare airline service with Allegiant Air. In order for Ogdensburg to extend their runway, the airport had to justify the need to the FAA. This decision by the FAA in 2014, Schumer said, was a major step forward in the airport’s efforts to turn Ogdensburg 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.

The Ogdensburg International Airport offers daily commercial air service for travelers in Northern New York. The airport is situated in the center of St. Lawrence County, and just one hour from Ottawa, Canada. In 2014, the OBPA reached an agreement with Allegiant Air to provide low-cost carrier services at the airport beginning in November 2016, contingent upon the airport expansion. This airport expansion includes a 1,200-foot extension of Runway 27, taxiway widening and extension, runway approach lighting improvements, relocation of a section of Route 68 to accommodate the runway extension, and obstruction removal. The airport also plans to expand the terminal and add a 478-space parking area, which will be funded through non-FAA sources.

Recent analysis indicates that the economic impact of OGS in 2017, post-runway expansion, will increase significantly. Schumer and Gillibrand said, after the expansion, the airport will support 125-135 jobs, compared to 53 in 2010. In addition, the total amount of direct and indirect economic activity produced by OGS could nearly double, from $7.4 million in 2010 to $13.4-13.8 million in 2017. The runway extension could also bring 38,000 new Canadian tourists and their resources into the region. Schumer and Gillibrand said this runway extension project and the new flights will have numerous benefits for the North Country, creating construction jobs, promoting tourism, increasing travel options for residents, and creating a more favorable business climate across the region.

A copy of Senator Schumer’s original letter sent to Administrator Huerta appears below:

Dear Administrator Huerta:

I am pleased to write in support of the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s (OBPA) application for $14.25 million in funding through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). This funding will enable the Ogdensburg International Airport (OGS) to complete its runway extension and begin low-fare airline service with Allegiant Air.

The Ogdensburg International Airport offers daily commercial air service for travelers in Northern New York. The airport is situated in the center of St. Lawrence County, and just one hour from Ottawa, Canada. In 2014, the OBPA reached an agreement with Allegiant Air to provide low-cost carrier services at the airport beginning in November 2016, contingent upon the airport expansion. This airport expansion includes a 1,200 foot extension of Runway 27, taxiway widening and extension, runway approach lighting improvements, relocation of a section of Route 68 to accommodate the runway extension, and obstruction removal. The airport also plans to expand the terminal and add a 478-space parking area, which will be funded through non-FAA sources.

This runway extension project will provide inexpensive airfare options for North Country residents, in addition to numerous other economic development benefits for the region. Recent analysis indicates that the economic impact of OGS in 2017, post-runway expansion, will increase significantly. Notably, after the expansion, the airport will support 125-135 jobs, compared to 53 in 2010. The total amount of direct and indirect economic activity produced by OGS could nearly double, from $7.4 million in 2010 to $13.4-13.8 million in 2017. The runway extension could also bring 38,000 new Canadian tourists and their resources into the region. Overall, this runway extension project and the new flights will have numerous benefits for the North Country, creating construction jobs, promoting tourism, increasing travel options for residents, and creating a more favorable business climate across the region.

Thank you for your attention to this issue, and for your past support of the Ogdensburg International Airport.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

A copy of Senator Gillibrand’s original letter sent to Administrator Huerta appears below:

Dear Administrator Huerta,

I write to strongly urge the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fully fund the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s request of $15 million for a critical investment in air infrastructure at Ogdensburg International Airport (OGS), which will significantly improve the quality of life for North Country residents. As part of a larger $18.5 million airport expansion project, the $15 million runway expansion will create construction jobs and provide inexpensive airfares for North Country residents generating in excess of 38,000 new enplanements bringing tourists and their resources into the North County that would otherwise not be present in the regional economy.

The runway expansion project is an excellent example of the private sector working with a public agency to create jobs to improve the economic future of the North Country. The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (Authority) reached an agreement with Allegiant Air, a Low Cost Carrier (LCC), to provide LCC services at OGS commencing November 2016 contingent upon the OGS airport expansion. Allegiant has agreed to contribute up to $1 million towards the terminal expansion, and the Authority has already contributed $1.6 million to accelerate the airport runway expansion to meet Allegiant’s schedule.

The Authority needs $14.25 million in FAA funds (95% of $15 million) in order to complete the OGS runway expansion to allow for the commencement of Low Cost Carrier (LCC) service. The 1,200 foot runway expansion at OGS includes all the infrastructure improvements to accommodate the operational requirements of Allegiant Air, a 177-passenger Airbus 320 aircraft and the LCC forecast demand, while complying with current FAA and New York State Department of Transportation standards. 

I strongly urge the FAA to fully fund the needs of the OGS runway expansion project for the benefit of North Country residents and the surrounding communities.

Sincerely,

Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator

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