VOLNEY — Plans to expand the Oswego County Airport are primed for take-off.
State Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, announced Tuesday a $200,000 grant to replace the airport’s on-site septic system and utilize wastewater infrastructure from the city of Fulton.
The sewage system enhancements are part of a series of projects devised by county officials to transform the airport and maximize its economic potential.
“After years of planning, the Oswego County Airport is moving forward with plans to improve its infrastructure and position the airport for future growth,” Ritchie said.
Ritchie noted removing the septic system, open up the door for the county to build a new hangar that could house up to 10 planes at a time, adding the county currently has 18 aircrafts on a waiting list for hosting space. The improvements to wastewater infrastructure could also help grow businesses in the industrial park section of the airport, according to Ritchie.
“With this project, the airport will be better able to attract new
customers, accommodate more planes and have the infrastructure in place
to be able to allow for more businesses to come in,” Ritchied said. “I look forward to seeing how this improvement helps not only the airport, but Oswego County as a whole.”
Earlier this year, the county Legislature approved the acquisition of the airport’s first commercial jet hangar to the tune of $852,300.
The 12,000-square-foot facility would be able to house five helicopters and jets and would solve an issue of losing out on the opportunity to host aircraft owned by important area business leaders to other neighboring airports.
David Turner, the county’s director of community development, tourism and planning, praised Ritchie’s effort to support the airport.
“The sewer line project is a very important part of our infrastructure,” Turner said in an interview with The Palladium-Times, noting the airport can open up economic opportunities on the tourism front. “We have people from all over the world come fish in Oswego County. Many of them land private or corporate jets there and we have had a lot of investment in the county from people who have flown in to go fishing. They look around and go 'hey this is a great place to be, I am going to start a business here.’”
Currently, county officials are also in the design stage of building a new terminal.
“The future of our airport is extremely bright,” Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup said in a statement. “We are working toward not only improving the basic infrastructure, but the overall experience for those who already use the airport and potential new users. We want to be the place businesses and recreational pilots choose.”