Oneida County is trying to attract an air traffic control facility that would bring at least 800 jobs to Griffiss International Airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s planned Liberty Integrated Control Facility could one day employ as many as 1,200 people.
“It would mean a significant amount of jobs and investment here,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said. “Like everyone else, we just have to push.”
Picente said FAA officials have visited Griffiss twice. They also have been looking in the Albany area and on Long Island, he said.
“They did like what they saw at Griffiss, and they did come back,” he said.
A decision should be made within 12 months, he said.
Wherever it’s located, the project would serve the airspace above New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Picente said.
The FAA did not give a statement on its search for a location, but supplied background information on the project.
The facility would use the latest technology and replace two existing facilities. Employees would perform a variety of duties, including high- and low-altitude separation of traffic. It also would make it easier to coordinate air traffic in heavily used and congested air space.
The site must be between 34 and 49 acres. About 250,000 square feet of buildings would be constructed, and space for parking for the employees also is required.
The FAA’s background information also said the site must be within 150 miles of New York City, but Picente pointed to Griffiss’ central geographic location, which also features major highways and interstate access. Rome is about 250 miles from New York City.
“The presence of the Eastern Air Defense Sector and having a shovel ready site and a functioning airport also are major advantages,” he said.