Governor Awards $39.8 Million in Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition Funding to Activate Airport's Redesign Design Includes World-Class Passenger Amenities, Enhanced Security Measures, Premier Retail and Dining Options, a Solar Canopy Over the Skyway, State-of-the-Art Accessibility Technology and a Wide-Scale Redesign of the Terminal Building Program Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" – Region’s Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative Blueprint to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities See Renderings of the New Airport Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today awarded $39.8 million in funding to Greater Rochester International Airport to activate the airport’s $63.4 million transformation. The airport will be a state-of-the-art transportation hub with sustainable design, an improved passenger experience and increased economic opportunity. The project will overhaul the aging infrastructure of the airport with a wide-scale redesign of the terminal building, incorporating sustainable elements such as solar panels and rainwater collection, new signage, enhanced security measures, new technology to improve accessibility, and premier shopping and dining options for a world-class passenger experience.
"Rochester’s transformed airport will be a world-class transportation destination that showcases the best of the Finger Lakes," Governor Cuomo said. "Airports are the front doors to each region of our state, and they are critical to building on the momentum of our 21st century economy. Making investments in the future of upstate airports will provide new jobs and opportunities across New York, while helping attract residents, businesses, and visitors. This unprecedented transformation will equip the region with an airport of tomorrow and continue to push the Finger Lakes Forward."
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 Greater Rochester International Airport
The Greater Rochester International Airport supports nearly 10,000 jobs in the Finger Lakes Region, and funding through this program will increase economic opportunity, expand retail options, and improve the overall passenger experience for a region undergoing continuing growth. The project will renovate, rehabilitate and revitalize the Greater Rochester International Airport’s facilities and infrastructure, transforming an aging facility into a world-class passenger experience at a state-of-the-art transportation hub. The specifics of the redesign plan announced today are outlined below and also available in the Governor’s PowerPoint presentation, available here.
- A wide-scale redesign of the terminal building, adding premier shopping and dining options, enhanced safety measures and new TSA scanners to minimize wait times at the security checkpoint.
- Color-coded navigation between Concourses A and B, a digital information hub visible to passengers heading to either concourse, new windows with energy efficient glass bringing in additional sunlight, Bluetooth connectivity providing wayfinding, flight status and gate information, tablets and USB charging stations, and a play area designed with input from The Strong National Museum of Play. for use by patients traveling to Rochester.
- A new façade and architecturally significant design featuring a solar canopy over the skyway from the parking structure to the terminal. The canopy will enhance security and support sustainability with solar panels for night-time lighting and rainwater collection for landscape irrigation.
- New signage at the I-390 airport entrance.
- Enhanced accessibility, incorporating state-of-the-art technology engineered by the Rochester Institute for Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, making travel easier for the hearing impaired.
- A feasibility study about creating an on-site business incubator to further expand and develop accessibility technologies for airports.
Rochester’s transformed airport will be a world-class transportation destination that showcases the best of the Finger Lakes.
Renderings of the new airport are available here.
The State is awarding the airport $39.8 million for the plan. Greater Rochester International 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 has shown time and time again that he knows the value of investing in transportation. Airports are economic generators and this grant for the Greater Rochester International Airport will support growth and mobility while helping to ensure that this community can compete in the global marketplace.”
County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "Governor Cuomo is investing in infrastructure improvements like New York has never seen before, from our bridges and roads to Upstate airports like the Greater Rochester International Airport awarded here today. With this award, we look forward to an updated airport offering better connectivity and mobility to our region's businesses, while welcoming companies to do business here for years to come."
Senator Joseph E. Robach said, "This investment will open new doors for businesses and take economic development in our communities to new heights. I commend Governor Cuomo for seeing the potential in Rochester International Airport and investing in what will be a world-class flying experience for both residents and visitors in our region."
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle said, “This award continues to build on the momentum we have worked so hard to create for our region. This essential infrastructure investment will further support our efforts to build a world-class transportation system that will strengthen our ability to compete in the global economy and attract new companies and jobs to our community. I am grateful for Governor Cuomo’s continued leadership as well as the dedication of my colleagues on the Regional Economic Development Council and our many community partners who have made this exciting day for Rochester possible."
Mayor Lovely Warren said, "With this award, Governor Cuomo is making a tremendous investment in the future of Rochester, and is evidence that our city is growing and thriving. This project will create new jobs and economic opportunities for the region. Our airport is a center of economic activity that showcases the best of our region to travelers and visitors, and this project will ensure that the airport reaches its full potential."
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 Finger Lakes Forward
Today's announcement accelerates "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to support its plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. 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 Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward 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 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.