When Clinton County leaders decided to move the airport to the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base in the early 2000s, it was a bold move for sure.
Fortunately it is a move that has paid off well with a burgeoning business at a beautiful, modern facility that is now Plattsburgh International Airport.
The move is also on the cusp of paying even more dividends as the region is poised to receive important funding that will help get the former airport site ready for development.
The former Clinton County Airport was located on Route 3 in the Town of Plattsburgh about three miles west of the City of Plattsburgh.
It features 600-plus acres of wide-open space with access to Route 3 and Military Turnpike.
Much of the land is covered with concrete, which served as the runway and taxiway for aircraft for decades.
The county is spear-heading an effort to secure $4.5 million for installing much-needed infrastructure to the property.
Legislature Chairman Harry McManus (D-Area 1, Champlain) made the old airport infrastructure project a top priority in his final year as chairman.
McManus is being forced out of office after this year due to term limits.
His vision for the airport is a grand one that shows numerous manufacturing operations set up at the site in the years to come.
The county was able to secure two viable partners in the upgrading of the property in the form of the Town of Plattsburgh and The Development Corp.
The county already has an anchor at the site in the form of the Norsk Titanium project.
Norsk is a world-wide leader in additive manufacturing for aircraft parts, and their new facility at the airport site is set to open later this summer.
At full operations, the company is hoped to employ up to 380 people.
Now, along with Norsk, we have Monaghan Medical Corporation, a medical parts company, locating at the old airport.
Monaghan Medical Corporation, part of Trudell Medical Limited, will build a 65,000-square-foot facility to the right of Norsk on a 35-acre lot.
Plant completion is anticipated for July 2020 with production to start there that fall.
Monaghan has been in the area since the 1980s and has done so well that it decided to expand from its Latour Avenue location.
If the county is successful in landing the $4.5 million for the infrastructure project, the former airport site could become a bright attraction for companies worldwide.
The area has already proven itself as a leader in aviation and transportation manufacturing with firms like Bombardier and Nova Bus, and now Norsk.
With a shovel-ready site prepared for development, the old airport could make the region an even brighter beacon for manufacturing companies looking for prime sites.
The county should know by the end of September if they are successful in landing the $4.5 million in funds.
Until then, we should enjoy celebrating the progress made so far with the Norsk and Monaghan projects.