SARATOGA COUNTY — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced nine upstate airports – Saratoga and Albany among them, have been awarded $230 million for revitalization projects to “reimagine and further modernize airports across upstate New York.”
“Great to be back. The last time I was officially here was for an ice storm in April, so this is much better,” Gov. Hochul said, announcing the grants during a Sept. 14 presser at Greater Binghamton Airport.
“Our upstate airports are our gateways to local economies and make lasting impressions, connecting New Yorkers and tourists to the beautiful destinations that the Empire State has to offer.”
Saratoga County Airport was awarded $27 million for the construction of a new, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient terminal building.
The new building’s first floor will provide two spacious passenger waiting areas, a multi-media conference room, and a café and ice cream counter that will open onto a courtyard with outdoor access. The lobby area will feature a display area for automobiles from the Saratoga Automobile Museum, while the second floor of the building will provide space for pilots as well as a restaurant area and an exhibit area for local artists.
The hangar portion of the building will be finished with aged, reclaimed wood to mirror the look of the many Saratoga County horse and agricultural barns, while a solar array on top of the hangar roof will help reduce the airport’s collective carbon footprint.
The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors meanwhile have hosted a series of on-again, off-again discussions and public hearings dating back to last year regarding a proposed lease at the Saratoga County Airport with Prime Group Holdings, LLC for the construction, maintenance and use of an airplane hangar on county land. It is not currently known how the governor’s new announcement of funding may affect that previous proposal.
The funding comes from the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, a competitive solicitation which aims to promote, revitalize and accelerate investments in upstate commercial passenger service airports, helping to create airports for the 21st century.
“The grants are extraordinary,” Hochul said. “By making critical investments to further modernize facilities across upstate New York, we are lifting upstate airports to new heights and providing a 21st century transportation experience that travelers expect and deserve.”
The nine airports awarded grants are Binghamton, Albany, Watertown, Syracuse, Rochester, Ogdensburg, Saratoga County, Sullivan County, and Adirondack Airports.
Albany International Airport was awarded $60 million for the expansion of the airport’s terminal, which will provide enhanced passenger amenities pre- and post-checkpoint and more efficient passenger flow through security.
Pre-check point, the Albany project will create a modern business center for conferences and community gathering spaces to alleviate congestion. At checkpoint, the project will expand the security queue. Post-security, the project will expand the area where passengers prepare themselves for their journey, creating additional retail space, a children’s play zone, a multi-sensory calming room, and an outdoor green space. In addition, the project will improve the facility’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system, for enhanced indoor air quality and filtration.