In this edition of “You Ask, We Answer,” 12 News spoke with the Commissioner of Aviation at the Greater Binghamton Airport Mark Heefner to find out why the airport is receiving $5 million.
Heefner said that the money the airport is receiving is part of the Building Infrastructure Law, or BIL, and it’ll be heading to the airport at the rate of $1 million each year for the next five years.
The BIL is part of the federal government’s plan to improve infrastructure throughout the country, and even though there is only one commercially scheduled arrival and departure on a daily basis and there are many more planes that use the airport.
“Our airport isn’t just commercial service for the scheduled commercial service. This morning we’ve probably had seven or eight planes take off or land already, including jets and smaller airplanes, there’s a ton of activity going on,” Heefner said.
Even with just one commercial flight per day, Heefner says the money is going to be very important for airport upgrades.
“When these jets and regular general aviation airplanes are flying in and out there’s obviously somebody on them. It’s bringing people in to close deals or open deals or bring business to Broome County. Each jet that’s based in various airports brings in about a million dollars worth of economic impact whether it’s mechanics or pilots or the people that fuel the plane. So there’s a lot of activity happening here that unless you’re here, you’re not going to see,” Heefner said.
There are ideas that officials at the airport are looking at including a new jet bridge, but they still need to wait and see what the state wants to do with the money as well.