Upstate airports, including BGM, receive state funds for renovations
New York state is planning to spend millions of dollars to rehabilitate the Greater Binghamton Airport.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul joined local leaders to make the announcement at the airport Wednesday. Hochul said the state will contribute $30 million to upgrade the passenger terminal, construct a new Customs and Border Protection Facility, and other upgrades.
The facility currently only serves a few flights a day. Asked why funding should go towards such a relatively small facility, Hochul said it’s about keeping it running for the future.
"We have to bet on the future," Hochul said. "You can't look at the circumstances today and say that it's going to continue to decline. I'll tell you what will happen, if you don't make these investments, all of a sudden the roof starts leaking, the rugs get shabby, the whole experience, the physical experience, declines rapidly."
Airports in Albany, Watertown, Ogdensburg, Saratoga County, Sullivan County, Rochester, and the Adirondacks will also receive funds.
Twenty million dollars is heading to Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport as part of a state effort to accelerate investment in upstate New York commercial air travel. The money is earmarked for two projects at Hancock. One involves essential upgrades to the airport’s Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Station. The other project will enhance and expand the North Concourse, adding 4,700 square feet for improved passenger flow, along with more seating and concession areas. “Airports are so important to us,” said Hochul. “Airports leave a lasting impression. It’s a first impression. It’s a lasting impression, so why not make it even better?” Hochul said it’s important to improve the state’s airports not just for passengers, but also for employees. “What we’re doing is also talking about the people who work here every single day and those people who showed up during the pandemic and had to come in during extraordinary circumstances. The airline workers, the baggage handlers, the maintenance staff, we also want to honor them, but they also deserve a work environment that is uplifting as well,” she said.