New York Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to Ithaca on May 3 to announce a $22 million project to transform the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, which is expected to be completed in 2019. The airport will nearly double in size and will add a federal customs facility for international travelers. It will be completely solar-powered and use geothermal heat.
The renovation project will provide a multitude of benefits for the region, the city, and the Ithaca College community—including an improved passenger experience. Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado was among the local leaders invited to attend the announcement, which was held at the airport.
The award is part of the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition. The terminal will add gates and passenger boarding areas, as well as a 4,000-square-foot dining area beyond the security check-in. There will be a larger ticket counter area, increased passenger capacity and major security upgrades. The airport, which hasn’t been updated in 25 years, has outdated passenger screening equipment, which results in long lines.
“Ithaca deserves an airport that will fuel the economic growth and fuel the perception—and the reality—that you are the place for the future,” Cuomo said.
As part of the redevelopment, a State Department of Transportation maintenance facility currently located along a prime area of Cayuga Lake waterfront will move to the airport, opening up that site for future projects that could include multi-use housing, a hotel, expanded public space and hiking trails, a restaurant and boat slips.