By Dave Tobin
ALBANY, NY — Millions of dollars of state money for small airports was restored in the recently-passed New York state budget.
Capital funding of $4 million will be used for the state match of federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants. Another $6 million will be used for airport projects under the state’s Airport Improvement and Revitalization (AIR ’99) program.
The federal Airport Improvement Program is the one that financed the idle Syracuse Suburban Airport in the Oswego County town of Hastings.
Over five years more than $3 million in federal money and $78,324 in state money went to rebuild an airstrip that is 14 miles from Syracuse Hancock International and 15 miles from the publicly-funded Oswego County Airport.
Syracuse Suburban owners, Kenneth M. Delpha, of Syracuse, Kenneth V. Coon Jr., of Cato. and David E. Pizio, of Jamesville owe at least $678,000 to First Niagara Funding, Inc. and at least $162,000 to Oswego County in property taxes. For years the airport has been listed for sale, most recently with an asking price of $1,195,000.
The New York Aviation Management Association, an aviation trade and lobbying group, said the funding was “important” because the Federal Aviation Adminstration “is only providing 90% of federal funding to most airports instead of the historic 95%.”
That money “is expected to be far short of what will be necessary to ensure that all available federal funding for airport projects will be tapped by New York going forward,” the Aviation Management Association said in a release.
Besides the improvements at Syracuse Suburban Airport, the federal Airport Improvement program has also funded work at Whitford Airport, in the Cayuga County town of Cato.