JOE LoTEMPLIO Press-Republican
PLATTSBURGH — More federal funding is making its way to Plattsburgh International Airport.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Clinton County $2,480,667 to aid with the pending expansion of the facility.
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The funding, North Country Congressman Bill Owens said in a statement, “is great news for the Plattsburgh community and for the many tourists, business travelers and residents who use Plattsburgh International Airport.
“An expanded terminal will help make travel more convenient and allow the airport to handle the growing number of Canadian travelers who fly from Plattsburgh and, in doing so, boost the local economy.”
‘TERMINAL TOO SMALL’
The airport has done great business since opening in the summer of 2007. Numerous travelers from Montreal and the surrounding area use the airport for flights to the southern United States, the Caribbean and Las Vegas.
Daily service to and from Boston is provided by PenAir.
Business has been so brisk that legislators have decided to undertake a major expansion next year, which could cost as mush as $60 million.
About 150,000 passengers are expected to have gone through the airport this year in a terminal that was designed to handle about 31,500 annually.
At times when flights are delayed, there are as many as 600 people packed into the terminal, which was designed to hold about 300.
A decision on the exact size of the expansion is expected to be made this fall.
‘A WORTHY PROJECT’
The nearly $2.5 million in funding comes on the heels of $2.1 million that was awarded last week to move fuel tanks and repair the runway.
The county also received $2.5 million in August for improving the water and wastewater systems at the airport.
Legislature Chairman Jimmy Langley said the DOT money is greatly needed.
“Clinton County is very happy, in an incredibly difficult year, to be receiving $2.4 million in discretionary funds from the Federal Aviation Administration,” he said in a statement.
“Equally satisfying is knowing the county will be able to use those funds to continue our advancement of such a worthy project as Plattsburgh International, which has seen so much success since its opening in 2007.
“We thank our members of Congress for their help in delivering our message.”
“We anticipated this money,” County Deputy Administrator Rodney Brown told the Press-Republican, “but we feel a lot more comfortable now that it is there.”
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