ITHACA, N.Y. (WETM) — Ithaca Tompkins International Airport will be receiving federal funding to expand its services, which could include direct flights to Washington D.C.

According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kristen Gillibrand, the airport was awarded $750,000 through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program. The funding will be used to improve the availability of air service and potentially add a direct flight to Washington Dulles International Airport. The Ithaca Airport stopped offering flights to D.C. in September 2022.

“The Ithaca Tompkins International Airport serves thousands of residents and visitors in Tompkins County and throughout the Southern Tier each year and it is vital that there is direct access to the nation’s capital,” said Gillibrand. “This funding will help bolster economic development and ensure that the transportation needs of area residents and industries are met.”

Gillibrand and Schumer each wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in June to urge him to accept the airport’s application for funding. The senators both emphasized the importance of expanding the airport’s services after they were cut last year.

According to Gillibrand and Schumer, Ithaca Tompkins International Airport serves over 200,000 people who live in Tompkins County and the surrounding areas. The airport also provides access to Ithaca’s tourist attractions, Cornell University, Ithaca College, and the area’s industrial sites.