By TYLER ALICEA
The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport will receive $2.16 million in federal funds that will help improve wait times, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced Friday.
The airport will use the funds to expand the terminal apron, which is where parked planes are stored, loaded or unloaded and boarded, as well as purchase new snow removal equipment, according to Schumer’s office.
“This is great news for the passengers and pilots who fly in and out of our Southern Tier airports every day,” Senator Schumer said in a statement.
Bob Nicholas, manager of the airport, said that the grants will make travel “significantly more efficient, especially during the winter.”
“I’d like to thank the senator for all of the work he does on behalf of Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport,” Nicholas said.
The announcement of federal aid comes more than a year after an announcement that the airport’s control tower would close due to the sequester in early 2013. While many were concerned about potential flight delays, airport officials learned in June 2013 that the tower was reinstated.
The Elmira Corning Regional Airport also received federal dollars totaling $720,000, which will be used to purchase a “critical aircraft rescue and firefighting truck,” according to a press release.