Newly Renovated Airport Features Larger Terminal, Improved Baggage Handling, Enhanced Security and New Food and Beverage Options
Investment Compliments Governor Cuomo's "Southern Tier Soaring" Initiative to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
View Before and After Photos Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the $61.5 million project to transform Elmira Corning Regional Airport into a 21st Century gateway that will ease travel and promote economic opportunities for the entire Southern Tier. The redesigned airport features a larger terminal with approximately 60 percent more floor space, 300 additional parking spaces, new food and beverage options and an additional jet bridge that will eliminate the need for travelers to walk across the tarmac to reach their planes. The project continues Governor Cuomo's "Southern Tier Soaring" initiative, a comprehensive effort to promote growth and community development throughout the entire region.
"Airports are the front door to our regions and the new Elmira Corning Regional Airport will spur economic growth and offer a state-of-the-art facility that appropriately welcomes visitors and residents alike," Governor Cuomo said. "There's no second opportunity to make a first impression, and this revitalized airport will show visitors what the Southern Tier is all about as they explore all the tourism and recreational opportunities the region has to offer."
"This significant investment to modernize the Elmira Corning Regional Airport will increase terminal space and enhance the overall travel experience," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who attended today's opening. "The airport was small and outdated, but with these improvements it will offer green space and food and beverage options for passengers. The transformation of the airport continues our economic development efforts in the Southern Tier to boost the economy and attract more visitors to the area."
With the modernization complete, the terminal's floor size has increased from 55,000 square feet to 88,000 square feet. A Taste NY grab-and-go kiosk promotes New York's food and beverage producers and provide travelers the opportunity to purchase locally-made snacks, coffee, tea and dairy products in addition to gift items like maple, honey and concord grape products. A brand-new Taste NY Bar, which will open in December, will serve a rotating selection of New York State craft beverages.
The airport now also features a new baggage claim belt to handle increased volume, as well as strengthened security measures, including state-of-the-art cameras, to better monitor passenger areas.
Three new courtyards, built with sustainable building and renewable energy technologies, showcase the local landscape. A post-security courtyard can be accessed while travelers wait to board, while another can be accessed through the pre-security restaurant, with a third viewable while picking up baggage and while en route to TSA lanes. Energy efficient lighting and programmable glass to display flight information and provide direction to travelers have also been installed.
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "Governor Cuomo has made modernizing Upstate New York's airports a priority and this investment in the Elmira Corning Regional Airport will boost the economic fortunes of the region and keep the Southern Tier Soaring for years to come."
Of the project's $61.5 million total cost, New York State provided $40 million, the federal government provided $15 million and an additional $6.5 million came from local sources.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "I'm proud of the marketing opportunities that the Taste NY program provides our New York farms and food and beverage businesses. Since the Governor created the program five years ago, Taste NY has grown to include more producers and has significantly increased the number of locations where consumers can find delicious and unique New York products. By including Taste NY in each of the State's newly reconstructed airports, we're helping to boost the exposure of our local producers and expand their reach to new markets."
Senator Thomas O'Mara said, "The Elmira Corning Regional Airport is a cornerstone of our regional aviation industry and has an enormously positive impact across the local economy and local communities. The new Elmira Corning Regional Airport will create jobs, make the Southern Tier more competitive, and deliver economic growth and other critical opportunities to communities across the region. This major renovation of our local aviation infrastructure will lead to many vital short- and long-term benefits for the Southern Tier."
Chemung County Executive Thomas Santulli said, "I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for the State's investment in our world class airport terminal. This facility will be the gateway to our region and will significantly enhance our business climate and our tourism infrastructure. The community's response has been overwhelming positive about what a functional and beautiful facility we have in the Southern Tier."
Built in 1960, the original airport was cramped and outdated, and lacked basic passenger amenities, including the ability for passengers to purchase food or beverages after passing through security. The airport's two jet bridges were also too low to accommodate larger aircraft, forcing passengers to walk onto the tarmac to board their flights.
Redevelopment of the airport was undertaken as part of Governor Cuomo's Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization competition. Elmira Corning Regional Airport, the Greater Rochester International Airport, Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, Albany International Airport, Syracuse Hancock International and the Plattsburgh International Airport are also part of the initiative, which seeks to enhance safety and economic development, improve operations and access, reduce environmental impact, and create a better passenger experience.
Building off the success of Governor Cuomo's upstate airport initiative project, Chemung County opted to rehabilitate the airport's tower in order to provide a complete, modern look to the entire facility. The project, schedule to be complete at the end of the month, was funded by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Elmira Corning Regional Airport averages eight arrivals and eight departures daily. Delta, Allegiant and United are among the carriers that operate flights from the airport. The airport had 126,427 enplanements during 2017 and is on pace to exceed 140,000 in 2018.
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
Today's announcement complements "Southern Tier Soaring the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for 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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