Upstate airports receive major lift thanks to $230 million in funding, governor announced – The Daily Gazette

Better mountain views. Classic car exhibitions. More energy efficient terminals. Less crowded waiting areas. Airports in New York state, including Albany, Saratoga and the Adirondacks, are getting a big boost, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.

At Greater Binghamton Airport, the governor announced $230 million in grants to nine outback airports for revitalization projects, according to a press release. The funding comes from the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, which aims to encourage, revitalize and accelerate investment in upstate commercial passenger airports by soliciting airports for innovative project ideas, the press release said.

The press release details the following projects for the Capital Region and Adirondack Airports:

Albany International Airport was awarded $60 million for an airport terminal expansion that will provide improved pre- and post-checkpoint passenger amenities and more efficient passenger flow through security. Updates include a modern, off-security business center for meetings and common spaces to avoid congestion. The project will also expand the queue at the security checkpoint. Within the security checkpoint, the project will create additional retail space, a children’s play zone, a multi-sensory rest room and an outdoor green space. Additionally, the project will upgrade the facility’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to improve indoor air quality and filtration, according to the press release.

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Saratoga County Airport in Ballston Spa was awarded $27 million to build a new energy-efficient terminal with modern amenities that offer a superior user experience and design elements that reflect the character of the area. On the ground floor of the new building there will be two waiting areas for passengers, a multimedia conference room as well as a café and an ice cream parlor, which will open onto an inner courtyard with access to the outside. The lobby area will feature a Saratoga Automobile Museum automobile exhibit space, while the second floor will feature seating for pilots, as well as a restaurant area and exhibit area for local artists. The hangar portion of the building will be finished with aged reclaimed wood to reflect the look of Saratoga County’s many horse and farm stables, while a solar array on the hangar’s roof will help reduce the airport’s collective carbon footprint.

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Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake received $8.5 million for terminal building revitalization. The project will expand the central reception area for better flow and will introduce LED lighting and new signage to facilitate navigation to the gate, cafe and parking facility. Inside the checkpoint, the area will be redesigned to accommodate more passengers and an exterior wall will be constructed with large windows that will let in more natural light and offer views of the airfield and surrounding Adirondack peaks. In addition, the project includes the relocation and expansion of the cafe and various HVAC improvements.

“Our upstate airports are our gateways to the local economy and leave a lasting impression, connecting New Yorkers and tourists to the beautiful destinations the Empire State has to offer,” Hochul said in the press release. “By making significant investments to further modernize facilities in New York State, we are taking New York State airports to new heights and delivering a 21st-century transportation experience that travelers expect and deserve.”

Airports in Watertown, Syracuse, Rochester, Ogdensburg and Sullivan County also received funding.

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The Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition was conducted by the New York State Department of Transportation and was open to upstate commercial passenger airports and airports that provide specialized commercial and/or corporate jet services. Applicants were encouraged to seek funding for a single project or a program of projects that will help meet the needs of the 21st century.

The projects were evaluated based on set criteria, including innovation in design, passenger comfort and experience, operational efficiency and economic effectiveness for the airport region.

“As we continue to modernize our transportation network statewide, these investments will significantly improve the passenger experience and operations of facilities across the state, helping to ensure the efficient flow of people and goods and continued economic activity in all of the state’s communities.” New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said in the press release.

Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.

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