Officials from across Clinton County and the North Country toured the newly completed terminal renovations at the Plattsburgh International Airport this week.
The Plattsburgh International Airport terminal was originally constructed in 2007 after the Clinton County Legislature relocated its airport operations to the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. Within three years the new terminal was overcrowded and needed expansion.
Clinton County Legislature Chair Harry McManus says the facility is on track to exceed the current 150,000 passengers who use it annually. "To expand the terminal building now will help Clinton County and the region for a long time to come. We’re proud that so many companies call Plattsburgh home. We are convinced that an airport in our community that will allow employees and clients to these companies to conveniently travel for business is a huge positive factor in the success and continued growth.”
Legislature Airport Committee Chair Robert Hall described some of the renovations to the building. "This project tripled the size of this facility. We expanded all the components of the terminal: ticketing, baggage claims, the concourse, the number of jet bridges and parts of the facility that passengers rarely get a chance to see. We have also created significant efficiencies out of sight of the passengers particularly in the baggage handling with state of the art equipment. The end result is a facility that will be comfortable to use and hopefully efficient in getting passengers from the parking lot to the aircraft.”
After the formal comments airport manager Christopher Kreig led a behind-the-scenes tour of the expanded terminal. "This is obviously the end of our outbound baggage. We’ve got a carousel. The bags go through after they’re done getting screened. They end up here. They get on the baggage carts and away they go. We did not have this kind of a system prior. So we’re going to take a walk down this way and show you the beginning of the inbound baggage and then we’re going to go outside for a little bit."
Outside by the jet bridge one tour member exclaims "Look at that flightline. Love it!" Kreig continues: "Take a quick walk around the corner here. I just wanted to show you what we’ve got. You know we went from basically one jet bridge with the original terminal now we’ve got three with provisions for a fourth. So we’re growing." The group heads upstairs to the new concourse. "So we were just out there. The terminal as you see it was designed to support up to 300,000 passenger boardings annually. Just as another point of reference they call it the catchment area for this airport, that’s you know the people who would likely use this airport, you go out about 90 minutes from the airport there’s approximately 3-point-8 million people that could conceivably use this airport.”
The terminal expansion completes the second of three phases. Bids are about to be awarded for Phase 3 to construct a customs and immigration facility for international flights.
New York state has also awarded the airport $38 million to upgrade the industrial section of the airport and improve parking lots.