- By Dan Veaner
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday that $23.6 million in infrastructure funding has been awarded to support safety enhancements, modernization of facilities, operational improvements and local business development at 31 airports statewide. The funding includes $1.5 million to construct a new shared vehicle and aircraft fuel facility at the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport.
"New York's airports represent the front door to our local communities and are critical to facilitating tourism and business development," Cuomo said. "A world class airport is crucial to regional economic growth, and by investing in the modernization of our local airports we are creating vibrant communities where people want to live, work and play."
The current fuel facility at the Ithaca-Tompkins Airport is located near the East Hill Flying Club. Gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel is stored and distributed to planes and ground vehicles inside the airport fence. In January Airport Manager Mike Hall told the Lansing Star that the County applied under the New York State Airport Improvement annual competition for funding to move the fuel farm that would be located behind the Tompkins County Sheriff's Office that would span both sides of the fence, opening it to the possibility of using the one facility to fuel not only airport vehicles, but patrol cars, snow plows, and other county vehicles as well.
“The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is grateful for the continued support for airport development provided by Governor Cuomo,” said Airport Director Mike Hall. “This grant addresses a significant operational risk by further separating aircraft and fuel trucks on the airport ramp. It also provides for one consolidated fueling station for municipal vehicles, reducing the cost, inefficiency, and risk of multiple refueling sites in close proximity. The consolidated fuel facility will be located on airport property across from Borg Warner, in the vicinity of the Sheriff’s Department.”
Hall also said that the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has expressed interest in sharing a fuel depot with the County, which would mean they would not have to locate a fueling facility at their new Warren Road facility that is scheduled to be completed before the end of this year.
The funding comes from the State Aviation Capital Grant Program initiative and complement the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, which provided $200 million to modernize airports across Upstate.