Close this search box.

Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date on the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Syracuse, Central New York and beyond.


Syracuse airport’s upcoming $45 million renovation to give aging facility a facelift

SYRACUSE — The upcoming $45.1 terminal-improvement project at Syracuse Hancock International Airport targets its canopy, the façade, and includes a repaving of Col. Eileen Collins Blvd.


That’s according to a news release that Hancock Airport issued on Jan. 11, a few hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the project.


New York State will contribute nearly $36 million to the project, Gov. Cuomo said during his regional State of the State address held Jan. 11 in Syracuse.



“Not to insult the Syracuse airport, but I think it is time to do better. We can do better. We need to do better,” Cuomo said in his remarks, noting that Hancock opened in 1962. “The drop off canopy is a tad dark and unwelcoming. The main entrance doesn’t communicate to the travelers that they’ve arrived to a growing and vibrant regional economy,” said Cuomo.


Cuomo spoke in the Carrier Theater inside the John H. Mulroy Civic Center at 411 Montgomery St.


Cuomo’s announcement was part of the second round of the $200 million Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, which first launched last year.


Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said the county “will pledge” $1 million toward the airport project. 


“We do not have an airport that is conducive to business travel, and there are a lot of things we can do, including increasing the service … but also, we need to have the amenities on site so that when the business travel comes in, the meetings can happen at the airport,” said Mahoney in her comments to reporters at the Civic Center, hours after Cuomo’s speech.


Cuomo’s office had contacted Mahoney after Hancock Airport didn’t win in the first round of the state’s airport competition, she said.


“I was reached out to specifically by the governor’s office to say these are some of the things that we think your airport proposal needs,” Mahoney added.


Cuomo’s office expects the project to create nearly 870 construction jobs. Construction crews should complete their work by 2019.


The announcement of this renovation project comes nearly four years after Hancock finished a $60 million project that focused on the security terminal and expanded concession space. 


“This new proposal builds on that,” said Mahoney.


Passenger fees “completely funded” the $60 million project, the office of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said in a March 2014 news release when the city transferred the operating certificate to the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority.


Project details

The upcoming project seeks to “turn an archaic facility into a state-of-the-art transportation hub that meets the needs of the 21st century traveler,” Cuomo’s office said.


Besides the repaving of Col. Eileen Collins Blvd., the project components also include reconfiguring traffic lanes between the terminal and garage to improve passenger drop-off and pick-up.


The work, which will target the airport’s “aging infrastructure,” also includes a redesign of the grand hall; the food, beverage and retail concessions; and the exterior façade, Cuomo’s office said. 


The effort will also include a new Regional Aviation History Museum; a glass pedestrian bridge; and an “eco-friendly” roof along with new flooring and furniture. 


“The airport is an integral part of our region, the economy and the community and we are looking forward to not only providing a world-class facility for Syracuse, but also a world-class experience for our passengers. Our vision for the airport is finally becoming a reality and we couldn’t be more excited and grateful for this opportunity,” Christina Callahan, executive director, said in a statement.


Syracuse Hancock International Airport supports more than 7,500 jobs and generates nearly $597 million in economic impact throughout Central New York, Cuomo’s office said.


Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date on the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Syracuse, Central New York and beyond.

Essential business news, thoughtful analysis and valuable insights for Central New York business leaders.

Copyright © 2023 Central New York Business Journal. All Rights Reserved.