07/23/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/23/2021 13:06
DOT Funding Will Bolster Local Efforts To Improve Airport And Expand Air Service; Senators Say Binghamton Airport Vital To Continued Growth Of Regional Economy
Schumer, Gillibrand: Ready For Binghamton's Ascent As Regional Air Service Hub
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $1 million for Greater Binghamton Airport through the Department of Transportation's Small Community Air Service Development Program to make improvements to facilities and expand air service to other regional transportation hubs. The funding will support the region's continued economic growth and open up the area to more opportunities in the future.
'Binghamton Airport's expansion means continued success for the community and the entire Broome County region,' said Senator Schumer. 'Transportation connections to the wider world are essential for community development and economic opportunity, and I have long been a champion of bringing those connections to Binghamton Airport. The funding announced today means opportunities for more jobs, more growth, and more investment in the future. I will always work with the community to fight for the Southern Tier's economic take off.'
'Broome County's economic and business activity has grown in recent years, producing greater demand for air services. The Greater Binghamton Airport is invaluable in maintaining the region's connectivity and growth as it continues to serve its nearly 200,000 local residents,' said Senator Gillibrand. 'These funds will help modernize the Greater Binghamton Airport, bolster regional economic development, and ensure businesses and travelers are connected to the rest of the country. I will always fight in the Senate for programs that support New York's transportation infrastructure.'
'BGM is extremely excited to receive the Small Community Air Service Development award. The timing for this award is incredible as BGM looks to regrow and restore air service for our community and upstate NY in the wake of the pandemic,' said Mark Heefner, Commissioner of Aviation for the Greater Binghamton Airport. 'This award will assist in creating a strong package that allows us to solicit additional air service. The SCASD grant will help put BGM on a more level playing field that will allow us to focus on the right service to meet our community's needs. Without the help of Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and our NYS elected leaders, we would not have been able to create the competitive application that ultimately resulted in an award. '
'As more people resume traveling across the country and abroad following the pandemic, we want them to fly BGM. Broome County has been working nonstop to bring more flights here and the Small Community Air Service Development will help us in that effort. I'd like to thank Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for their leadership and continued advocacy on behalf of the Greater Binghamton Airport,' said Jason Garnar, Broome County Executive.
The senators have long advocated for Binghamton Airport, securing over $3.5 million in COVID relief packages. Schumer has also consistently fought for federal investments to fund improvements to Binghamton Airport, including to promote the airport, repair the taxiway, and make runway improvements. Binghamton Airport served ~38,000 enplanements in CY2019 according to the FAA, and with today's federal investment, has the potential to create more jobs and land more opportunities for economic growth in Broome County.
A copy of Schumer's original letter to Secretary Buttigieg appears below:
Dear Secretary Buttigieg:
I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by the Greater Binghamton Airport (BGM) for funding through the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP). This critical funding will enable airport administration to bolster existing efforts to establish BGM as a regional air service hub by expanding access to destinations, enhancing services, and supporting the needs of existing business in the Southern Tier region.
The Greater Binghamton Airport, located in Upstate New York's Broome County, is a vital component to the region's economy, supporting the travel of many of the area's prominent employers. The airport offers a convenient location, just outside the City of Binghamton, and helps service many of the other cities in the Southern Tier of New York. Historically, the Greater Binghamton Airport has offered its passengers a variety of travel and carrier options at competitive rates, all while maintaining the convenience of a regional airport. In 2016 and 2017, however, American and United Airlines selected to eliminate services at the airport. The diminished travel options and unreliability pushed enplanements down, threatening the vitality of this valuable community resource. Currently, the airport's offerings have been reduced to a single carrier operating only a few flights daily to a single hub. These reduced services have limited the airport's capacity to meet the ever-growing travel needs of the community.
Since this reduction, Broome County's economy has grown and countless new initiatives have succeeded in revitalizing the community. Binghamton University is on the precipice of opening a new Health Science Complex and Pharmacy School to support their expanding nursing and health research programs. In addition, the area recently has experienced an explosion of investment into the industrial hemp oriented space, with the development of multiple processing plants currently underway. The absence of robust and reliable connections to domestic and global transportation hubs is a disincentive to the expansion of new and developing business opportunities in the region.
The SCASDP grant will provide Broome County the opportunity to improve the airport and expand its service options from the Greater Binghamton Airport to sought after hubs. The airport has assembled a consortium of support and commitment from local private sector stakeholders, Broome County, and New York State for contributions to air service development. This vast association of resources demonstrates the unwavering commitment the local community and its leaders have to creating a vibrant regional airport, and highlights the tremendous value this project holds.
I ask that you please give this application your full consideration. A SCASDP grant will enable Broome County to continue to provide reliable air service to the region and will greatly support the continued economic development of this growing area.
Thank you for your consideration.
A copy of Gillibrand's original letter to Acting Secretary Hurdle appears below:
Dear Acting Secretary Hurdle,
I write in support of the application submitted by Greater Binghamton Airport (GBA) for funding from the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) through the U.S. Department of Transportation. This funding will be used to increase air service development efforts and improve access to air services throughout New York's Southern Tier.
Located in Broome County, eight miles north of the City of Binghamton, Greater Binghamton Airport serves a population of nearly 200,000 local residents. The county is home to SUNY Binghamton, which brings together students and faculty from across the United States and more than 100 countries abroad. Between 2016 and 2017, GBA lost the services of two airlines, and has seen nearly 50,000 customers lose access to flights. Meanwhile, the County has grown in recent years, both in terms of population and business activity, producing greater demand for air services.
The requested funding will be used to enhance a package for air service development that includes contributions from local businesses and Broome County to increase the availability of air service at the Greater Binghamton Airport. This new funding will ensure that the region's air services reflect the County's recent growth and economic development efforts. Such air service development will bolster regional economic development and ensure the community's transportation needs are met.
I ask that you please give this application your full consideration. If you have any questions, or desire further information, please do not hesitate to contact my staff member, Anisa Dhillon, at (202) 224-4451.