WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIVB) — Two Western New York airports are slated to receive federal economic relief money as part of a larger deal delivering a combined $3.6 million to five upstate New York airports.
United States Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Thursday they struck a deal to send millions in funding to five New York airports “drained by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to Gillibrand’s office, the money is allocated from the Federal Aviation Commission under the Department of Transportation.
The funds are intended to help with costly infrastructure upgrades that have been hindered by a loss in revenue from air travel during the pandemic.
In Western New York, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Chautauqua County/Dunkirk Airport will receive a slice of the pie.
Buffalo Niagara will receive $650,000 in relief and Chautauqua/Dunkirk will receive $90,000.
Below is a breakdown of the funding headed to each airport:
|Western||Chautauqua County/Dunkirk Airport||Chautauqua||$90,000|
|Western||Buffalo Niagara International||Erie||$650,000|
|Central||Cortland County-Chase Field||Cortland||$1,875,000|
Senate Majority Leader Schumer says air travel is vital to upstate economic success.
“Air travel is vital to the connectivity and success of the Upstate economy, which is why I have fought tooth and nail over the last year to get airports the funding they need to keep services running,” said Senator Schumer.
“Airports serve important functions in many communities, connecting people to the rest of the world and allowing for economic opportunities to land. I will continue to fight for federal funding to keep our airports open and operational and to make sure Upstate New York has the help it needs to revive and thrive.”
Senator Gillibrand notes the funding will help these five airports increase safety standards.
“As New Yorkers continue battling the COVID-19 crisis, we cannot leave airports behind,” Senator Gillibrand said.
“Airports, travel, and tourism will be a critical part of our economic recovery. This federal funding will provide New York State’s local airports with the resources needed to increase safety standards and improve lighting, taxiways, and aprons so we’re fully prepared when travel takes off.”
Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.