A major piece of federal funding for an expansion of Plattsburgh International Airport has been approved.
Three grants totaling $6,554,491 have been awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration. The money will go toward finishing the design phase of the terminal expansion, for a water-and-sewer project to serve the larger facility and for runway rehab.
"This is great news for us, and what we were expecting," Clinton County Legislature Chairman Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru) said.
"This puts us on the road to the complete build-out of the terminal expansion."
6 MORE JETWAYS
The county agreed last year to undertake a major expansion of the terminal in order to accommodate the large volume of travelers that have used the airport since it opened in 2007.
The $40 million to $50 million expansion will include room for six more jetways and much larger counter and baggage-claim space.
Of the $6.5 million allocated Tuesday, about $3 million will go towards the design phase, about $3.4 million for the water-and-sewer component and about $151,200 for filling in cracks on the taxiway and runway.
Langley said the fact that the FAA is funding these parts of the expansion bodes well for future money for the project.
"They wouldn't fund this part of it if they weren't going to fund the rest, so this is great for us, and the timing couldn't be better."
Construction on the terminal expansion is scheduled to begin next spring.
'FFA A BLESSING'
The airport was constructed with about $40 million from the FAA's Military Airport Program, which was designed to help communities that lost military installations. Plattsburgh Air Force Base closed in 1995.
The funding for the terminal expansion is coming from the FAA's Airport Improvement Program.
Langley said the airport's success since it opened was a big reason the FAA chose to fund the expansion.