North Country Regional Economic Development Council Announces Improvement Projects Moving Forward at Massena, Piseco and Ticonderoga Airports
The North Country Regional Economic Development Council today announced that improvement projects at three airports in the North Country are officially moving forward on the strength of $1,082,650 in awards from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative.
The Massena International Airport is preparing for the construction of an aircraft hangar and other site improvements by utilizing an award of $760,000, while the Ticonderoga and Piseco Airports are also ready to begin projects that will provide self-service fuel stations with the assistance of $270,000 and $52,650 in State resources, respectively. These projects will not only serve to attract more planes, but will generate significant revenue to reduce the airports’ reliance on local taxes.
"Where things move is where prosperity occurs. That's true whether it's by air, road or rail,” said Regional Council Co-Chair and North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas and Regional Council Co-Chair and Clarkson University President Tony Collins. “Maintaining and enhancing our transportation assets is especially important in the Adirondacks and we are very pleased that these investments can be made. We extend our thanks to Governor Cuomo for all of his continuing partnership."
The hangar being constructed at Massena International Airport will have the ability to accommodate 10 small aircraft. Along with the additional site improvements, the airport expansion will result in more planes and aircrafts using the facility, which will provide additional revenue to both the airport and county.
Massena Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said, “The Town of Massena and the Town Council are very pleased with this assistance. We feel our airport is one of the keys to our economic future. We have a waiting list of tenants for hangar space so this will meet that need and provide some additional revenue to help improve our airport’s financial viability.”
Currently, limited availability of fuel service deters air traffic from visiting the airports, resulting in loss of potential fuel sales. In the Towns of Arietta and Ticonderoga, the Piseco and Ticonderoga Airport’s self-service fuel pump system projects will directly address this issue with the addition of the self-service, 24 hour/day, credit card reader fuel system is expected to significantly increase fuel sales and, in turn, generate more revenue for the town.
Town of Arietta Supervisor Richard A. Wilt said, “Years ago when the airport was manned, fuel sales averaged about 25,000 gallons a year, as compared to today sales of about 3,500 gallons a year. With the installation of the self-service 24 hour/day fuel system, we hope once again to see the increase in both traffic and in revenue.”
Debra Malaney, Town Supervisor for Ticonderoga said, “We’re very, very appreciative of the funding opportunity. Adding a fuel station to the Ticonderoga Airport will provide the critical link needed for expansion of our airport related services. It will bring in new revenue, better support the current businesses that depend on it, and will attract new related business. Overall, it will have a broad impact to the local and regional economy.”
Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. The North Country was awarded $103.2 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and CFA process for some 70 projects across the region. As part of that process, more than $1 million in funding from the Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) was awarded to the Massena International Airport, the Ticonderoga Airport and the Town of Arietta for Piseco Airport.
“Investment in projects like this help to spur job creation, job retention and growth of the local economy,” said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald. “The installation of the self-service fuel systems at Piseco and Ticonderoga Airports will greatly benefit airport patrons, while the expansion of Massena International demonstrates DOT’s continued commitment to air transportation as an essential component of the North Country’s transportation system. The improvements will positively affect not only the airports, but also the surrounding communities. This is another example of Governor Cuomo’s strategic use of funding to improve the state’s economy by investing in our transportation infrastructure.”
NYSDOT’s program provides funding for capital projects aimed at enhancing the state’s airport infrastructure and improving the safety, capacity, and efficiency of the state’s aviation services to increase economic competitiveness.
Senator Elizabeth Little said, “Infrastructure investment encourages commerce and economic activity. Both the Piseco and Ticonderoga Airports are important assets in our region, which is highly dependent on tourism and the economic activity of second-home owners. This funding also supports needed upgrades at the airport, improving convenience for travelers and helping generate more revenue for these towns. These are improvements that will have long-term benefits, improving access to the North Country not only for visitors but those looking to invest and grow a business in our region. We appreciate the state financial support to make the project economically feasible and the Cuomo administration’s recognition of this project’s importance.”
Senator Joseph A. Griffo said, “Having flown out of the Massena Airport, I'm proud to say that I like our little airport," said. "But to build on the initial success of the Regional Economic Developmental Council, we need to fight for and allocate resources for our transportation infrastructure. Upgrading the hangar facilities is important for any airport with 'International' next to its name. Improvements at Massena International are a way to insure that both commercial and general aviation services have room to operate and grow. I'm pleased that Governor Cuomo and Commissioner McDonald share this view and I'm going to work with them in the coming year to see that more transportation investments be made available for the region.”
Assemblywoman Addie Russell said, “The best investments we can make to stimulate our economy and create jobs is in our infrastructure. Improving the transportation infrastructure facilities at Massena's airport will stimulate activity and help grow our economy.”
Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward said, “I am very pleased that this funding has been awarded to the Piseco and Ticonderoga Airports. We appreciate this investment in our transportation infrastructure and the progress of the Regional Council initiative, excellent examples of the state’s commitment to strengthen the economic base of our rural North Country communities. This continued investment in the Adirondacks will promote tourism and boost the local economy along with ensuring the continued operations of the airport”.
To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. For information on how the New New York is working for business, please visit www.thenewny.com.