By JIMMY LAWTON
OGDENSBURG -- Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Wade Davis says a $500,000 award from Empire State Development will be a boon for its $3.6 million terminal expansion project at Ogdensburg International Airport.
Specifically the money will fund a new baggage claim area and a new baggage handling system, and improvements to the ticketing and departure lounge area at the terminal.
“I’d like to thank Governor Cuomo, Sen. Patty Ritchie, Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell for their leadership. This is an important project for the area with a lot of potential,” he said.
On Thursday, Gov. Cuomo announced the OBPA would be awarded $500,000 through the North Country Regional Economic Development funds from Empire State Development.
Davis said construction on the terminal expansion could start as early as Jan. 3. He said the project will continue into the winter months as much of the work will be inside.
The $3.6 million terminal expansion is part of a $26 million project at the Ogdensburg airport, which includes lengthening the runway to allow for planes that can carry as many as 177 passengers to land at the facility.
In 2014, the OBPA reached an agreement with Allegiant Air to provide low-cost carrier services at the airport beginning in November 2016, contingent upon the airport expansion.
This airport expansion includes a 1,200-foot extension of Runway 9/27, taxiway widening and extension, runway approach lighting improvements, relocation of a section of State Route 68 to accommodate the runway extension, and obstruction removal.
The airport also plans to expand the terminal and add a 478-space parking area, which will be funded through non-FAA sources.
Davis said support from local leaders and the public have been instrumental in making the project come to fruition.
“It’s an exciting opportunity. It’s going to be game changer. I am really not sure what it’s going to look like in the future but it’s going to open a wealth of opportunities for our region,” he said.