PLATTSBURGH — New federal funds for Plattsburgh International Airport will pay for security fencing.

The $498,600 is part of $17 million in Airport Improvement Program money through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration going to airports across Upstate New York.

Also awarded funds were the Town of Malone for Malone-Dufort Airport, with $355,680; the Town of Harrietstown for Adirondack Regional Airport, with a total $462,460; and the Town of North Elba for Lake Placid Airport, with $292,580.

'GREAT PARTNERS'

"Obviously, security is critical to the operation of an airport," Clinton County Administrator Michael Zurlo said.

"We appreciate the efforts of our federal leaders and the Federal Aviation Administration for their continued support of Plattsburgh International Airport."

Zurlo said the county applied for, and received, about $50,000 in funding last year for the design phase of the fencing project.

Airport Manager Chris Kreig said the money will go towards replacing about 5,000 feet of fencing on the southern end of the airport.

"There are safety concerns, and the FAA and TSA appreciate the fact that we need to keep the place safe, and they have been great partners in helping us reach that goal," Kreig said.

Construction on the new fencing should be completed by the end of the year.

OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY

Wednesday, Town of Malone officials hadn't yet been notified of a grant award; airport representatives at Adirondack Regional and Lake Placid could not immediately be reached for comment.

But the funding is earmarked, across Upstate, for 36 "critical infrastructure projects," according to an announcement from Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

"Specifically, the federal funding will be used for renovations and improvements to operational efficiency to airports in the Capital Region, Hudson Valley, Southern Tier, Central and Western New York, Rochester Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley and North Country."

The FAA provides grants to public agencies for the planning and development of public-use airports that are included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. 

The money comes from the Airport and Airway Trust fund, which is supported by user fees, fuel taxes and other similar revenue sources, the release said.

'SAFER SERVICE'

“Making sure our airports are clear for takeoff is essential for the safety of air travelers and the smooth functioning of the local economy,” Schumer said. "Making these critical upgrades will pave the way for supporting local economies and communities in Upstate New York."

Gillibrand said the grants represent major investments that will assist with renovation and upgrades at the airports.

“Investing in our airport infrastructure enables safer, more efficient service for the businesses and travelers who utilize it every day,” she said.

Email Joe LoTemplio:

jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @jlotemplio

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