BIG FLATS - 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 "The airport was small and outdated, but with these improvements it will offer green space and food and beverage options for passengers.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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.