The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport in the village of Lansing has received a $250,000 grant for promotion and marketing, announced by three local state senators at the airport Friday.
Pamela Helming (R-Canandaigua), James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref-Oneonta) and Tom O’Mara (R/C/I-Big Flats) secured the money, which comes from the senate’s Statewide Opportunities for Airport Revitalization program (SOARS) and is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation.
Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport Manager Mike Hall expressed thanks to the “advocacy” of the three senators on behalf of the airport.
“Their leadership was critical in securing this grant which will help market and promote all that we have to offer,” Hall said in a press release. “ITH is a vital part of a strong economy that provides jobs for residents throughout Central New York.”
According to the release, the airport generates more than $30 million for the local economy and nearly $456,000 in sales tax revenue. Over 200,000 passengers utilized the airport last year.
The airport’s online presence is at flyithaca.com. In recent days the news section has included a “meet the employee” feature, a piece answering “can I bring my dog on the plane?” and a brief piece of history on the first African-American stewardess to fly from Ithaca to New York City in 1958.
“The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is a key component of our local economy,” Senator James L. Seward said. “Educating individuals and businesses about the full range of services available at the airport will boost usage and draw people from all walks of life to the region.
“When travelers touch down at ITH they should know they have arrived somewhere important. This investment by the state will lead to needed upgrades that will help convey that impression.”
In endorsing the grant request from the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, the Finger Lakes senators stressed the airport’s value as an economic and transportation hub for the entire region. The senators specifically pointed to the importance of the airport to growing local businesses and colleges.
“The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport plays a critical role in our region’s economy by helping to attract new business opportunities, expand job growth for our local workforce and uniquely serves world class higher education institutions such as Cornell University and Ithaca College,” Senator Pamela Helming said.
“These state resources will help ITH expand its presence in the competitive air travel industry, and will help this important regional airport provide greater service to those traveling to and from the Ithaca Tompkins area.”
Senator Tom O’Mara (R, C, I-Big Flats), Vice-Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, said, “The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regional aviation industry, of which the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is a cornerstone, has an enormously positive impact across the local economy and local communities.
“This state investment in the airport’s future will bolster our overall efforts to enhance regional competitiveness, deliver economic growth and create other opportunities. I look forward to continuing to work with my partners at the state, local and federal levels to keep achieving the goals we share for the future, including investments like this one in our local aviation infrastructure that will lead to so many vital short- and long-term benefits for the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes.”