POTSDAM, N.Y. — Potsdam Municipal Airport is one of many regional hubs for air travel.
In the past year it’s seen bigger planes come down its runways. This week the airport received federal funding to welcome even bigger ones in.
“The need for bigger hangars and wider and eventually longer runways is becoming a very real issue for us out here quite rapidly,” Village Administrator David Fenton said.
Village officials hope bigger runways mean larger and more planes. It’s part of their plan to take Potsdam Municipal Airport beyond its primary recreational use.
“I think that in the future you’re going to see more corporate hangars along both sides of the airport runway and you’re going to see businesses that will be using aircraft to get their products out quicker,” Fenton said.
Expansion at Potsdam Municipal is part of airport improvements across the North Country. Airports in Massena and Ogdensburg are also growing, and bringing big benefits to the region.
“Whether they’re flying regionally down to Albany or whether its connecting down to other parts of the country, when we have a robust air infrastructure it enables us to attract travelers who have a spill over economic impact on our communities,” St. Lawrence County IDA CEO Patrick Kelly said.
Bigger airports means more people or businesses coming to the region from across the country or nearby Canada. It also helps get North Country businesses reach other parts of the world.
“The more global our economy has become and the more the expectation is that people can travel anywhere with relative ease, I think the more impact having the air service is going to have on the area,” Kelly said.
Potsdam Municipal officials hope this weeks federal funding puts them right at the center of it all.