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IAED’s McDaniel appointed chair of Tompkins County Air Service Board

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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Planes on the tarmac at Ithaca Tompkins International Airport (ITH). The Tompkins County Air Service Board, an advisory group to ITH, has a new chairperson. (Photo credit: zoeyadvertising.com)

ITHACA, N.Y. — The Tompkins County Air Service Board (ASB) -- an advisory group to the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport (ITH) — has a new chairperson.

Heather McDaniel, president of Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED), has succeeded Larry Baum as chair of the Tompkins County Air Service Board, an advisory group to the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport. (Photo credit: Ithaca Area Economic Development)

Heather McDaniel, president of Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED), on April 18 succeeded Larry Baum in that role. Baum’s term had expired, per an IAED announcement.

“I am honored to step into this role at this critical juncture for ITH as we help to navigate the post-pandemic environment,” McDaniel said. “I look forward to working with the board and airport administration to strengthen and expand service that meets the needs of our community.”

Ithaca Area Economic Development is a private, nonprofit economic-development organization serving Ithaca and Tompkins County.

The ASB is the successor to the Air Service Task Force, which was founded in 1997 by IAED, Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, and Tompkins County Airport (as it was then known).

It now functions as a formal advisory committee of the Tompkins County Legislature and supports the airport’s key functions. They include marketing, forecasting, and air-carrier relationships.

ASB’s mission is to “ensure reliable and affordable” air service for residents and employers of the county and region, IAED noted.

Baum said it was an “honor” to serve as ASB chair during the past several years.

“A lot has been accomplished including the renovation of the ITH terminal and adding international capability,” Baum noted. “The last two years have been particularly challenging during the pandemic with the reduction in airline travel and now rebuilding and expanding the number of passengers flying to and from Ithaca.”

Crews renovated the terminal in 2019 and it now includes four passenger boarding bridges, two ground gates, a military room, a pet relief area, and a playground. It also includes “The Legacy,” a locally owned restaurant with unique Southern-inspired menu offerings.

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