Local News

May 30, 2007

Increased air service is possible

PLATTSBURGH — A airport created from a former Air Force Base just north of New York City shows the potential for Plattsburgh International Airport.

Sen. Charles Schumer made the comparison to Stewart International Airport as he visited Plattsburgh’s new airport this afternoon.

“I believe Plattsburgh International is poised to help northern New York become a new center for aerospace manufacturing and as a vibrant hub for air travel,” he said.


Stewart International is in Newburgh, about 55 miles north of New York City. It is built on the former Stewart Air Force Base, which closed in 1970.

“It has made the transition,” Schumer said.

The airport handles hundreds of thousands of passengers a year and is in the process of becoming New York City’s fourth airport.

Schumer said he has been able to help attract Jet Blue, AirTran and Delta airlines to Stewart airport within the last six months.

Plattsburgh should be able to have similar success, he said, because of its proximity to the nearly 4 million residents of the greater Montreal area. Schumer said it takes longer to get from his house in Brooklyn to Stewart than it does to get from downtown Montreal to Plattsburgh International.

“Plattsburgh can and must become Montreal’s U.S. airport,” Schumer said.


He said he’s worked with other upstate airports in Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse to attract new air service. The results were cheaper fares, increased service and spikes in passengers.

Schumer said he’s arranged meetings with representatives from Delta, JetBlue and Big Sky airlines for Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas, and those representatives were intrigued by Plattsburgh’s possibilities.

He will try to arrange meetings with US Airway, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines and AirTran in the future.

“We’ve found if you can get one to say yes, the others come too,” Schumer said.

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