Governor Awards $40 Million in Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition Funding to Activate Airport's Redesign
Design Increases Size of Airport Passenger Space by 25%, Adds 2 New Jet Bridges, 300 More Parking Spaces, a 3,000 Square Foot Bar and Restaurant, and Includes State-of-the-Art Passenger Amenities
Funding Advances Southern Tier Soaring – Region’s Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities
See Renderings of the New Airport Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today awarded $40 million to Elmira Corning Regional Airport to activate the airport's $58 million transformation. The new airport is a welcoming front door to the Southern Tier with expanded capacity for passenger growth, an improved passenger experience, and enhanced security. The main pillars of the design include increasing the airport's passenger space by 25 percent including a new interior courtyard, adding two new jet bridges to handle larger aircraft coming to the airport, an additional baggage claim belt, 300 new parking spaces, a new 3,000 square foot bar and restaurant in the terminal's passenger waiting area, and state-of-the-art passenger amenities.
“From the Regional Economic Development Councils to the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, we are leveraging the Southern Tier's assets to generate growth from the ground up, and by overhauling the Elmira Corning Regional Airport, we are building on our progress," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will help increase passenger capacity, enhance security and transform this aging airport into a world-class aviation gateway. Through this competition, we are placing the Southern Tier on the cutting edge of transportation infrastructure, and continuing to attract private investment, generate jobs and create economic opportunity for generations to come."
The funding is part of the first round of the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, first proposed by Governor Cuomo in his 2016 State of the State Address and later passed in the FY 2017 State Budget. The State called on airports to submit plans that:
1. Stimulate regional economic activity, job creation and business attraction;
2. Increase aircraft, gate, baggage and parking capacity and access;
3. Build state-of-the-art passenger amenities and security measures;
4. Include innovative design concepts and promote public-private partnerships with the ability to get it done quickly; and
5. Incorporate sustainable building and renewable energy technologies.
Transforming Elmira Corning Regional Airport
Elmira Corning Regional Airport was built in 1960. Over the last five years, as the regional economy has grown, passenger traffic at the airport has increased 25 percent. The airport has not undergone a significant renovation in more than 25 years. Today the airport is cramped, outdated and lacks basic passenger amenities, such as providing the ability to buy coffee or tea after going through security. Passengers who board larger aircraft like the A320 and B737 are forced to walk onto the tarmac to board the plane because the airport's jet bridges are too low.
The redesign plan announced today is outlined below, and also available in a PowerPoint presentation, available here.
Through this competition, we are placing the Southern Tier on the cutting edge of transportation infrastructure, and continuing to attract private investment, generate jobs and create economic opportunity for generations to come.
The winning design for the new Elmira Corning Regional Airport:
- Adds 25 percent more space, raising the concourse and adding new jet bridges – for a total of four – to service larger aircraft and eliminate the need for passengers to walk on the tarmac;
- Builds a second baggage claim belt to handle increased volume;
- Creates 300 new parking spaces, for a total parking capacity of 1,225 vehicles;
- Establishes café and retail shopping prior to the security gates and a new, 3,000 square foot restaurant and bar for passengers waiting for flights;
- Constructs an enclosed courtyard – part of the passenger space expansion – that showcases the local landscape and is built with sustainable building and renewable energy technologies, including geothermal and photovoltaic systems that reduce airport energy costs; and
- Includes energy efficient lighting and programmable glass walls to display flight information and wayfinding.
Renderings of the new airport are available here.
The State is awarding the airport $40 million for the plan. Elmira Corning Regional Airport has secured all additional funding for the total cost of the project.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, “Governor Cuomo knows thatthriving Upstate airports create gateways to our communities, grow the workforce, and provide more options for travelers. The modernization of the Elmira Corning Regional Airport supports the 21st traveler.”
Senator Thomas F. O’Mara said, “Over the past six years, New York State has made major investments in the Southern Tier to garner economic growth, encourage private businesses to invest, and create jobs. With this $40 million grant, we are taking our progress another step further. The Elmira Corning Regional Airport has been long overdue for an upgrade and this award will help transform its façade, technology, and accessibility to ensure it remains a viable transportation hub for the Southern Tier for years to come. This plan is a symbol of the development happening in every corner of the region and I thank Governor Cuomo, my partners in government and the Southern Tier REDC for making this possible.”
Assemblyman Philip A. Palmesano said, “I would like thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to this transformational $40 million investment in the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport. This will play an instrumental role in improving our outdated airport and turning it into a world-class gateway of airline transportation. Thanks to this investment, our redesigned airport will have the potential to serve as a national model in premier passenger experience, security, and technology. I would also like to thank Governor Cuomo for his continued partnership in working with the legislature in helping to improve our state and local infrastructure. Whether it roads and bridges, water and sewer, or mass transit and airports, these investments, like we are celebrating here today, are critically important in helping to foster economic development and job creation throughout our state."
County Executive Thomas J. Santulli said, “The Elmira Corning Airport is a critical gateway and economic generator for Chemung County and for the entire Southern Tier, but for too many years, its aging infrastructure has made it unworthy of the Southern Tier. Thanks to this investment, we will entirely transform this major transformation hub by creating new retail opportunities, enhancing security and ensuring that it meets the growing number of travelers using it every day. I thank the Governor for investing not only in this airport but in Chemung County and our surrounding communities and I look forward to seeing this new plan unfold.”
About the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition
The Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization competition calls on Upstate airports to envision the airport of tomorrow as the new gateway to the region. The Competition builds upon the success of Governor Cuomo’s Master Plan Design Competition for LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports, as well as the transformative efforts already underway at several downstate regional airports. An additional $10 million will be allocated through the Governor’s Aviation Capital Grant Program, which supports safety, infrastructure, and economic development projects at smaller airports across the state.
The Competition is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation. It is open to all owners of upstate public-use airports that provide or propose to provide scheduled commercial passenger air and/or cargo service. Funding for this competition was included in the new $21.1 billion five-year Department of Transportation Capital Plan. Grant applications were due July 1. To be considered for this investment opportunity, eligible applicants were required to submit an initial project proposal detailing the scope, schedule and costs for the proposed project or program of projects. Project proposals were reviewed by a panel of industry experts.
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
“Southern Tier Soaring” is the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The state has already invested more than $3.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest.
Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million state investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The state’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
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