Sen. Chuck Schumer came to Niagara Falls on Monday morning to announce a number of improvements he wants to see at the Air Reserve Station.

The senator wants to secure $50 million for upgrades he says are long overdue.

“With the KC-135s finally flying in and out of NFARS, there is a real opportunity to ride on the wing of success to bring even more federal investment opportunities to NFARS,” Schumer said. “That is why I am launching a major multiyear push to secure nearly $50 million of new economic fuel to fund long-overdue projects like fortifying and updating the main security gate – which currently poses a security risk to the base, expand the existing runway, and create a new state-of-art Aeromedical Evacuation Operations Facility, which supports flying medical workers responsible for caring for wounded personnel.”

Here is the list of proposed projects, and reasons for upgrades listed by Schumer’s office:

Runway Extension

  • Main gate Security Upgrade: “The space between the guard station and the barrier is too short and poses a security risk to the base.”
  • Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Operations Facility: “The existing clinic is outdated and is considered beyond repair.”
  • Explosive Munitions Storage Building: “Munitions are not currently in a centralized, feasible location. The new project would include a 1,100 square foot maintenance building, plus 3 igloos.” 
  • Communications Squadron Building: “This building has not been able to keep up with changing technology. The facility cannot handle the electric or the heating/cooling systems they now need.”
  • Stormwater Management Facility: “Current stormwater management could be more environmentally friendly.”
  • Civil Engineering building: “This building has not been updated since the 1950s.”

Schumer is pushing for the U.S. Air Force to make these a priority.

“One of my top priorities for Niagara County and western New York is to strengthen NFARS and do everything possible to protect nearly 2,600 jobs sustained by the base,” Schumer said. “I believe we have a real opportunity to secure new and additional federal investments for NFARS.”