The Broome County airport is trying to figure out how to keep up in an airline industry focused on big planes and big airports.
The Federal Aviation Administration just offered the airport a $1.4 million grant to review existing infrastructure and figure out what needs to change.
Airlines have pulled out of the airport recently; only Delta is left.
“The airline industry has kinda changed in the past few years, where they’re more focused on growth between larger markets,” said Hickling. “They want to fly larger aircraft between larger markets. So smaller communities aren’t really in the business model of the airlines.”
As it is, the airport does not generate enough revenue to sustain itself. Hickling is trying to draw other business to make more money.
“There’s another side of aviation beyond airlines and general aviation. That includes corporate aviation. It includes med flights. There’s military, police. There’s all types of other aviation we could bring in here to grow our revenues and our economy,” he said.
That said, Hickling does want to add commercial flights. If the airport is successful, it would likely mean an extra Delta flight to the hub in Atlanta, rather than a new airline.