Regional Development

$1.4M headed to local airports

By: JOE LOTEMPLIO

ALBANY — Three North Country airports are getting almost $1.4 million in funding for facility upgrades.

And the money is bringing a smile to the faces of county officials.

“This is very good news. It helps both Franklin and Essex Counties,” Village of Tupper Lake Mayor and Franklin County Legislator Paul Maroun (R-District 6) told the Press-Republican on Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding $684,000 to Adirondack Regional Airport in Harrietstown to rehabilitate its aging terminal apron and make improvements to the drainage system.

A total of $427,500 is pegged for taxiway repairs at Lake Placid Airport, according to a release from U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

And Malone-Dufort Airport will put $270,000 to work fixing and upgrading electrical systems and lighting equipment.

 FOR SAKE OF SAFETY

“I am pleased to add this federal investment to the list of ‘arrivals’ at these North Country airports,” Schumer said in the statement. 

“We should always strive to achieve the highest standards of aviation safety, and this funding will support that goal by repairing and upgrading the infrastructure at Lake Placid, Adirondack Regional and Malone-Dufort airports.”

“These are important investments for the North Country’s airports,” Gillibrand said, echoing Schumer’s commitment to help fund upgrades so air travel is better and safer.

The money comes from the Airport Improvement Program, which awards funding to public agencies for public-use airports that belong to the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.

It is administered by DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration. 

Funds for the program come are drawn from the Airport and Airway Trust fund, which is supported by user fees, fuel taxes and other such revenue sources, the release said.

‘GOOD NEWS’

Maroun said the airport in Harrietstown generates a lot of sales-tax revenue for Franklin County.

“They sell a lot of fuel and other things, and we need this money to keep our infrastructure there maintained, which is vital to running a good airport,” he said.

The Malone-Dufort Airport is operated by the Town of Malone, but Franklin County Legislature Chairman Billy Jones (D-District 2, Chateaugay) said it’s good for the entire county.

“It does benefit everyone, and any upgrades we can do are good news,” he said.

Email Joe LoTemplio:jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

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