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Clinton County gets more federal money for airport

By: JOE LoTEMPLIO

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh International Airport is once again the beneficiary of some anticipated and much-needed federal funding.

“We are always pleased whenever we get some money,” Clinton County Legislature Chairman Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru) said Tuesday.

“And it’s never chump change. It’s usually a significant amount of money that we need.”

The airport will receive $2,138,662 in federal grants to replace obsolete fuel tanks, move the location of the new fuel tanks and rehabilitate sections of the runway to maintain structural integrity.

The $967,500 for the fuel-tank relocation is from the federal Military Airport Program, which has provided more than $40 million for the creation and development of the airport since 2007.

FUNDED BY FEES

The $1,171,162 runway-improvement money comes from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, which is funded by small charges on passenger tickets.

“That program is designed to work that way and help airports by having those that use it fund it,” Langley said.

“It’s a good federal program, and it helps keeps airports like ours safe.”

County Deputy Administrator Rodney Brown said the county applied for the funding for the two projects within the past year and expected to receive an adequate allotment.

SITE CHANGE

The fuel tanks near the former Pratt and Whitney site on the flight line are obsolete and will be removed, with new ones installed a few hundred yards south, next to the county’s fuel tanks near the fixed-base-operator building.

The runway-rehabilitation project involves repairing the joints where sections of concrete come together.

“In some cases, there is grass growing up through the joints and dirt, and that is not good for a runway,” Brown said.

Both projects are expected to be done next spring or summer.

ACCESS, SAFETY

U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand both said the federal funding will help the airport prosper.

“This Department of Transportation grant for new fuel tanks and runway repairs will ensure that Clinton County residents and all visitors to the North Country can continue to access one of our nation’s most beautiful regions year round,” Schumer said in a news release.

“This is an important investment for the Plattsburgh International Airport,” Gillibrand said. “Improving the airport’s runway and fueling infrastructure can help provide better, safer service for travelers and businesses and help strengthen the local economy.”

Email Joe LoTemplio:jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

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