The state’s commitment of $38 million is expected to enhance Plattsburgh International Airport in a number of ways.
Airport Manager Christopher Kreig said the funding is targeted for 10 projects on the property.
“This is great, not only for the airport but also for the entire region,” he said. “The airport has a lot of untapped potential. The grant we received today will go a long way toward realizing that potential.”
The funding includes $8.9 million for a 60,000-square-foot industrial building to be used as incubator space, which Kreig said is located near the airport’s fixed-base operator on the southern end of the flightline.
The Development Corp. will invest $3 million in construction of that building, which they will develop and manage, President and CEO Paul Grasso Jr. said. Airports have long been magnets for economic development, he said, and that is taking place in Plattsburgh.
“This is the first building of what we are hoping will be part of an industrial park at the airport. There is still a lot of room for development,” he said.
The funding also targets $9.1 million for an air cargo receiving and distribution center and $2.9 million for a separate U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection inspection facility for general aviation, both toward the middle of the eastern side of the flightline.
Kreig said they have had a lot of interest in the latter, which would allow noncommercial aircraft to fly directly to Plattsburgh without having to clear customs elsewhere.
Grasso said it creates a much better impression of the region when executives can fly their business jets directly to Plattsburgh, which can only help with site selection decisions.
There is also $8.8 million for renovation and modernization of industrial buildings and hangars.
“These are existing buildings we identified as desirable if they were renovated,” Kreig said. “We have had, and continue to have interest in those.”
TO DRAW A HOTEL
Closer to the terminal, the award contains $3.5 million for rehabilitation of the airport parking lots and $1.5 million for construction of an access road and parking area for hotel and retail space. Kreig said that is targeted for the area where the U.S. Air Force Alert Facility stood.
Robert Hall, chairman of the Clinton County Legislature’s Airport Committee, said the various projects pave the way for future development.
“This should really make someone interested in building a hotel at the airport,” he said.
There is also $490,000 for concession space. Kreig said that was included in the original expansion project, but these funds will help those who respond to requests for proposals to provide that service to build space to their own design.
A segregated passenger boarding bridge to the yet-to-be built U.S. Department of Homeland Security inspection area is to receive $790,000. That is designed to improve passenger flow and security in the terminal should international flights be added to the offerings.
There is $1.05 million for a three-bay rental car turn-around facility, to allow the rental car firms already at the airport to improve their operation and thus the customer experience. It will allow those companies to clean and refuel their vehicles right at the airport, Kreig said.
And a multi-modal public transportation terminal will receive $735,000. That is intended to accommodate buses and taxis, to make access to the airport more convenient.
“I think that will be of great benefit, even to people beyond the airport,” he said.