Governor Cuomo Announces $250 Million is Available for New Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Initiative
New Initiative Builds on Success of the 2016 Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition and the Transformation of JFK and LaGuardia Airports
New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $250 million is available to transform and modernize airports in Upstate New York and foster regional economic development. This includes $230 million through a new Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition for projects that promote and accelerate improvements at upstate commercial passenger service airports. Another $20 million will be allocated through the Governor’s Aviation Capital Grant Program to support safety, infrastructure, and economic development projects at smaller airports. Additionally, $16.5 million was previously allocated through the Aviation Capital Grant Program in this year’s Executive Budget. The new initiative builds on the success of the Governor’s first upstate airport revitalization competition first announced in 2016, as well as the ongoing transformation of LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports into world class travel hubs.
“We went through a year of stagnation because of the pandemic, and as we work to build this state back better than it was before now is the time to think about how we can excel on both a national and international level,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our airports are the front doors of our state – they drive business and attract tourists from all around the world. New York is leading the way among all other states in rebuilding and modernizing our airports, and these critical investments will allow us to continue to transform our airports into the 21st century facilities, fueling economic growth for decades to come.”
This new initiative will be administered by the New York State Department of Transportation and is open to Upstate commercial passenger service airports and airports providing specialized service for commercial aircraft/corporate jets. Applicants may apply for funding a single project or a program of projects that will help meet the demands of the 21st Century. Examples of eligible activities include, but are not limited to the planning, design and construction of:
- Improved securityscreening.
- Terminal expansion or rehabilitation.
- Stateofthe art boarding concourse and concession areas.
- Opportunities to move passengers more safely and efficiently with improved distancing during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- New innovations in contactless technology and an increased focus on cleanliness and disinfection.
State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “There is an intrinsic link between modern and reliable transportation systems and healthy economies. Through this initiative, we are transforming New York’s Upstate airports into transportation hubs able to generate economic opportunity for local communities. This program embodies Governor Cuomo’s vision to reimagine, renew and rebuild our infrastructure, ensuring New York is ready to meet the demands of the 21st Century.”
Senator Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, said, “New York continues to make a strong commitment to strengthening our transportation networks across the state, nation, and around the world. This investment will only build on that, creating more thriving local and global economies, and streamlining processes for travelers statewide.”
Assembly Member William Magnarelli, Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, said, “Modernizing our local airports allows our upstate cities to continue to be a driver in economic development by drawing tourists and out of town businesses. These funds will provide a boost for the airports to meet the ever improving infrastructure and safety standards.”
Candidate projects will be evaluated on their ability to meet eligibility criteria and will be ranked in a rigorous scoring process. Funding applications are due by September 15, 2021.
In addition to the ongoing projects to modernize and transform LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports into state-of-the-art travel centers, the new initiative builds on the success Governor Cuomo’s initial Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition. Announced in 2016, the initial competition awarded $200 million, leveraging an additional $150 million in federal and local resources, for projects that revitalized the following airports:
- Plattsburgh International Airport, which was completed in October 2018.
- Ithaca Tompkins International Airport, which was completed in December 2019.
- Syracuse Hancock International Airport, which was completed October 2018.
- Greater Rochester International Airport, which was completed October 2018.
- Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, which was completed October 2018.
- Albany International Airport, which was completed June 2020.