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FAA awards nearly $3M for Ithaca, Elmira airports

By Eric Reinhardt


ITHACA, N.Y. — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced nearly $3 million for airports serving the Ithaca and Elmira–Corning areas.

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) made the announcement in a news release that Gillibrand’s office distributed on Friday.

The FAA is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport will use more than $2.1 million in federal funding to expand the terminal apron and purchase snow-removal equipment, the lawmakers said.

The facility will use more than $1.6 million of that amount to expand the apron to provide more parking for the aircraft.

The airport will increase the size of its de-icing area so it can treat several aircraft at one time, which will lead to “more efficient travel times,” according to the lawmakers’ news release.

Ithaca Tompkins will use the remaining $477,000 for snow-removal equipment, the news release said.

Its current equipment is 18 years old and reaching “the end of its lifespan,” the lawmakers said.

“Both of the grants will make travel significantly more efficient, especially during the winter,” Bob Nicholas, manager of the Ithaca Tompkins Airport, said in the news release.

Besides the funding for Ithaca Tompkins, the Elmira Corning Regional Airport will use $720,000 in federal funding to purchase an aircraft rescue and firefighting truck.

Elmira Corning Regional Airport has accommodated “dramatic” passenger growth over the last five years, Ann B. Crook, director of aviation at the Elmira Corning Regional Airport, said in the release.

“We now offer direct flights to Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Orlando, and St. Petersburg with a nearly-all-jet fleet,” said Crook.

The federal government awards the funding through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which the FAA administers.

The AIP awards 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). 

The government draws funds obligated for the AIP from the Airport and Airway Trust fund, which user fees, fuel taxes, and other similar revenue sources support, the senators said.

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