SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse Hancock International Airport has secured nearly $13 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding as the facility reports a 47 percent passenger traffic decline in March compared to a year ago.
The Syracuse airport will use the $12.9 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to cover expenses related to preventing and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the office of U.S. Rep. John Katko (R–Camillus) said in a Tuesday news release. The funding is available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act.
Jason Terreri, executive director of Syracuse Hancock International Airport, noted the airport will use the funds for “essential projects and continued operations at the airport, ensuring we are in the best position to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 virus.”
Passenger traffic decline
The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) reported that passenger traffic at Hancock fell about 47 percent in March compared to March 2019.
Given the “significant downturn” in traffic, SRAA says passengers will notice that the airport concessions — including retail and food — have been scaled down in an effort to both abide by Gov. Cuomo’s restrictions and to “better accommodate the current demand.”
Airlines have made modifications to their schedules, canceling many flights, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those passengers who have travel scheduled in the coming weeks are “strongly advised” to contact their airline directly to confirm the status of their flight before showing up at the airport.
Deemed essential infrastructure by Gov. Cuomo, the Syracuse airport remains open and operational for essential travel only. To maintain the safety of the traveling public during these times, airport staff have taken sanitization steps “above and beyond” the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The airport is utilizing a hospital-grade misting system to clean and disinfect. Additionally, UV-C light units are being installed in high-traffic areas such as the security checkpoint and arrival locations to reduce the risk of airborne-disease transmission, the authority said.