ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport will use a state grant of $14.2 million to help pay for a $22 million renovation project to “revitalize and expand” the facility.
The state grant comes from the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release issued Thursday.
The remaining dollars include Airport-improvement grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, along with local and private funding, says Mike Hall, director of the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, who spoke with BJNN in a phone interview on Friday.
The project will not only “improve [the airport’s] long-term economic viability,” but it will also “improve the passenger experience, increase security and better serve international travelers,” Cuomo’s office contends.
The state expects crews to complete their work in 2019.
In a separate project, the New York State Department of Transportation plans to relocate its maintenance facility from its current location on Cayuga Inlet to the airport facility.
The move will free up 7.6 acres of “prime” waterfront property for development in Ithaca, “resulting in new private investment in the city to generate business and tourism opportunities to stimulate economic activity,” Cuomo’s office said.
“The land relocation will deliver prime, waterfront development opportunities to the Ithaca community to attract innovative projects, revitalize the economy and generate growth for generations to come,” Cuomo said in the news release. “Airports are gateways to our regions, and this project will transform Ithaca Tompkins Airport into a modern, state-of-the-art facility to drive tourism and economic development and help keep the Southern Tier Soaring.”
The upgrades will include construction of a new 5,000-square-foot federal customs facility, Cuomo’s office said.
Crews will also add 1,700-square-feet of space at the main entrance and an expanded ticket counter to improve passenger circulation and provide more room for ticket lines.
The improvements will also include reconfiguration of the security checkpoint and relocation of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) office space as part of a 7,500-square-foot expansion of the passenger hold room.
Plans also call for the reconfiguration of airline office space and expansion of baggage screening space as part of a 2,500-square-foot addition on the east side.
The upgrades will also include “major” security enhancements, including updating TSA baggage screening to be compliant with post-9/11 security requirements and adding another line for passenger security screening to “alleviate wait times,” Cuomo’s office said.
Plans also call for baggage security and check-in improvements to streamline the process and improve efficiency.
In addition, the upgrades include three new passenger boarding bridges to accommodate jet aircraft and additional service.
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