For the first time since being elected, Governor Andrew Cuomo paid a visit to Chemung County today and brought with him, some pretty exciting news. Let’s just say, the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport won’t look like it does now for much longer.
“Upstate New York got the short end of the stick for many, many years,” New York State Governor Andrew Como said.
It’s no secret our region is struggling financially. But, an announcement made today by Governor Andrew Cuomo is aimed at taking a big step towards changing that.
“I’m pleased to inform you, because of the job you did and the product you submitted, of that $58 million, you asked for $40 million your plan won that $40 million. Congratulations, and you deserve it!,” Cuomo said.
That 40 million in grant money will be used to give the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport a much needed transformation.
“It hasn’t been renovated in over 25 years,” Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll said. “It’s cramped. It’s out-dated passengers are sometimes forced to walk out onto the tarmac to board their aircraft, particularly in the winter. You can’t even get a cup of coffee after clearing security.”
Plans for the new and improved airport hope to make it a destination in and of itself. Complete with an updated retail and dining space, conference rooms, and a state-of-the-art security system, Cuomo says the transformation will help put the Southern Tier get on the map and become a competitive player in the global economy.
“It’s great from a residential point of view, for the residents to use the airport,” Cuomo said. “But, even more, it’s great to bring business in. If you want to compete in the global economy, you need a world-class airport, and that’s what this is about.”
No word yet on when exactly the transformation will begin, but it’s estimated at least 1,100 new construction jobs will be created throughout the process.