If you were to have asked the director of the Plattsburgh International Airport, Christopher Kreig, five years ago if he thought the facility would be going through a rapid transformation, he’d have said yes.
He said county leaders have always had a bigger vision for the airport and evidently their vision was shared by those at the state level.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a surprise announcement at his State of the State address in Albany: The airport will be receiving $38 million to complete a second phase of its expansion.
Although Kreig didn’t know the news was coming, he really wasn’t too shocked.
“It was a combination of excitement and things are about to get very busy around here,” he said.
Busy is right. The funds allow the airport to begin phase II of its transformation.
On the main grounds, a Clinton County bus terminal and electric car charging stations will be constructed.
Inside the main terminal, there’s room to build at least two concession options for travelers.
But most of the construction will take place east of the facility on Arizona Avenue.
Kreig said the new U.S. Customs and Border facility and distribution center will be built on part of the 200 acres of land, which currently houses the general aviation facility.
The rest of the area is secured for future development, which local leaders said has huge potential.
“We’re beyond the tipping point. We’re seeing some incredible things happening in our region,” Plattsburgh supervisor Michael Cashman said.
Cashman hopes the plans continue to draw manufacturing companies like Norsk Titanium to the area.
“We are very well known for our manufacturing and transportation clusters and this is one more indicator that Plattsburgh is on the move,” Cashman said.
With travelers on the move, Kreig wants them to know the investments and the coming changes are all for them.
“It’s here for them and we want it to be successful. We want to be able to meet their needs,” he said.
They’re big developments that he said will surely help the North Country take off.
In terms of more airline and flight options, Kreig said those discussions are already taking place.
The airport’s U.S. Customs and Border facility inside the terminal is already under construction and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. At that point, international flights flying directly out of Plattsburgh will be an option.
The second U.S. Customs and Border facility to be constructed off of Arizona Avenue will allow for general aviation to fly internationally from the airport.