Elmira Airport will get $40M upgrade
FINGER LAKES--Gov. Andrew Cuomo awarded $40 million to the Elmira Corning Regional Airport last week to initiate the airport's $58 million transformation. The Southern Tier airport will see expanded capacity for passenger growth, an improved passenger experience and enhanced security. The main pillars of the design include increasing the airport's passenger space by 25 percent, including a new interior courtyard, adding two new jet bridges to handle larger aircraft coming to the airport, an additional baggage claim belt, 300 new parking spaces, a new 3,000 square foot bar and restaurant in the terminal's passenger waiting area and additional passenger amenities.
"From the Regional Economic Development Councils to the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, we are leveraging the Southern Tier's assets to generate growth from the ground up, and by overhauling the Elmira Corning Regional Airport, we are building on our progress," Cuomo said. "This funding will help increase passenger capacity, enhance security and transform this aging airport into a world-class aviation gateway. Through this competition, we are placing the Southern Tier on the cutting edge of transportation infrastructure, and continuing to attract private investment, generate jobs and create economic opportunity for generations to come."
The funding is part of the first round of the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, first proposed by Cuomo in his 2016 State of the State Address and later passed in the 2017 state budget. Elmira Corning Regional Airport was built in 1960. Over the last five years, as the regional economy has grown, passenger traffic at the airport has increased 25 percent. The airport has not undergone a significant renovation in more than 25 years. Today, the airport is cramped, outdated and lacks basic passenger amenities, such as providing the ability to buy coffee or tea after going through security. Passengers who board larger aircraft like the A320 and B737 are forced to walk onto the tarmac to board the plane because the airport's jet bridges are too low.
The winning design for the new Elmira Corning Regional Airport:
• Adds 25 percent more space, raising the concourse and adding new jet bridges -- for a total of four -- to service larger aircraft and eliminate the need for passengers to walk on the tarmac.
• Builds a second baggage claim belt to handle increased volume.
• Creates 300 new parking spaces, for a total parking capacity of 1,225 vehicles;
• Establishes café and retail shopping prior to the security gates and a new, 3,000 square foot restaurant and bar for passengers waiting for flights.
• Constructs an enclosed courtyard -- part of the passenger space expansion -- that showcases the local landscape and is built with sustainable building and renewable energy technologies, including geothermal and photovoltaic systems that reduce airport energy costs.
• Includes energy efficient lighting and programmable glass walls to display flight information and wayfinding.
The state is awarding the airport $40 million for the plan. Elmira Corning Regional Airport has secured all additional funding for the total cost of the project.