06.01.15

SCHUMER LAUNCHES PUSH TO SECURE FED FUNDING FOR THE LONG-AWAITED RUNWAY EXTENSION AT OGDENSBURG AIRPORT – 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, Schumer Announced the FAA Had Approved Ogdensburg’s Request to Extend the Runway by 1,200 Feet – Now, Schumer is Launching a Push to Secure $14.25 Million for Runway Construction

 Schumer Says 1,200 Foot Runway Extension Is Key To Making Ogdensburg Airport A Major Regional Hub; By Accommodating New Allegiant Air Flights, The Airport Could Add Thousands of Passengers Per Year And Expand its Economic Footprint in the North Country

Schumer: Ogdensburg Runway Extension Is Cleared for Takeoff, And Feds Should Approve Key Funding To Make it a Reality

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today launched a push to secure major federal funding for the long-awaited runway extension at the Ogdensburg International Airport (OGS). In November 2014, Schumer announced that, following his push, that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had approved Ogdensburg Airport’s request to extend its runway by 1,200 feet. Now, Schumer is pushing the FAA to approve the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s (OBPA) application for $14.25 million in funding through its Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Schumer said this funding would enable the Ogdensburg Airport to complete its runway extension and begin low-fare airline service with Allegiant Air.

Schumer said this runway expansion is necessary in order for Allegiant Air, which decided in 2014 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. Schumer 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.

“Just last year I was able to announce that this much-needed, and long-awaited, runway extension at the Ogdensburg airport is cleared for takeoff by the FAA. Now, I am fighting for the federal funds it needs and deserves to make sure this project can be completed as soon as possible,” said Senator Schumer. “This runway expansion will 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.”

“Senator Schumer has been a resilient advocate for economic growth and development here in the North County. From securing FAA approval for the runway expansion to now urging for the project’s complete funding, he has been a terrific partner 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. FAA funding is the next step in ensuring these benefits come to fruition.”

In November 2014, Schumer announced that the FAA had approved Ogdensburg’s 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. Now, Schumer is fighting for federal funding to make the project possible.

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 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 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 Schumer’s letter 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

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