Local officials react to airport funding in Ontario, Seneca and Wayne counties

Three area airport projects will be getting funding, thanks in part to efforts by Senator Pam Helming (R-54) and other local leaders.

Canandaigua Airport, Finger Lakes Regional Airport in Seneca Falls, and Williamson-Sodus Airport – all received funding under the Aviation Capital Grant Program.

These projects are a part of the $5 million that was awarded to six projects in the Finger Lakes region and an overall $20.5 million awarded to airports across New York State. This state-funded program supports strategic investments at public-use airports across the state to ensure safety, modernize aviation-related facilities, leverage private investment, and sustain and create well-paying aeronautical-related jobs.

“As the State Senator who represents the Wayne-Finger Lakes region, I understand how critical airports are to growing our economy and attracting visitors and businesses to our local communities. As we continue to see increased demand for local airport use, this funding will allow these airports to modernize and expand and ensure the safest air travel to and from these areas of the region. It will also help maximize future investment in these airports from the Federal Aviation Administration, by growing the number of aircraft based at the airports to qualify for additional federal funds. I am proud to have advocated on behalf of these airports, and I thank the Governor for his continued focus on the Wayne-Finger Lakes region,” Senator Helming said.

In March of last year, this funding was made available through a competitive grant process that was included in the $21.1 billion, five-year State Transportation Plan. Projects funded under this initiative include security checkpoint enhancements; acquisition of ground service and maintenance equipment; terminal modernization and expansion; and construction of airplane hangar facilities.

The following public-use airports have received funding:

  • $1,485,000 to Canandaigua Airport to construct general aviation terminal building.
  • $662,474 to Finger Lakes Regional to construct new Jet-A fuel farm.
  • $1,068,400 to Williamson-Sodus Airport to construct 18 unit T-hangar.

“On behalf of Ontario County Industry Development Agency (OCIDA), the owner of the Canandaigua Airport (IUA), we are excited that with the help of Senator Helming, Assembly Minority Leader Kolb, and Governor Cuomo we now have the resources to build a terminal building at the airport. General aviation is playing a bigger role in the development of Ontario County as we work to attract and expand business in our technology sectors. The new terminal will provide an appropriate aviation gateway to Ontario County and the Finger Lakes for businesses, tourists and residents,” Ontario County Industrial Development Agency Economic Developer Michael Manikowski said.

Williamson Flying Club President Steve Murray said, “The Williamson-Sodus Airport is excited to learn that we have been selected to receive funding to build green and sustainable aircraft hangars. These hangars are required to meet the growing demand for aircraft based at our airport. The airport generates over $2.6 million in local economic activity, and we are committed to supporting our local businesses and community in Wayne and surrounding counties. We appreciate the help provided by our representatives in securing this grant with special thanks to Senator Pam Helming, Assemblyman Bob Oaks and Sodus Town Supervisor Steve Leroy.”

Seneca County Planning and Community Development Director Bill Bordeau said, “Seneca County, owner of the  Finger Lakes Regional Airport, is very appreciative of the support from Senator Pam Helming in its efforts to relocate the existing aircraft fueling facility. The county is in a $5 million renovation project at the airport, and this is an important piece of the project. Relocating the fuel facility will allow larger aircraft to fuel at the airport safely. With a 100 percent jet traffic increase over the past three years, this grant funding will allow for additional future use of the airport.”

The State Department of Transportation will immediately begin to work with airport project sponsors on the delivery of the planned improvements.

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