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Oneida County moving forward with hangar rehabilitation at Griffiss International

By WKTV News

ROME, N.Y. - The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council (MVREDC) has announced that Oneida County has signed its contract with the State and is officially moving forward with the $2.7 million award it received as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Regional Council initiative. These resources will assist in the rehabilitation of a hanger for large aircraft maintenance at the Griffiss International Airport.

The project has the potential to create 18 construction-related jobs and approximately 25 permanent positions.

"This project's potential for creation of high-paying jobs will make it a great step forward for Griffiss International Airport's continued redevelopment," said Bjong Wolf Yeigh, Regional Council Co-chair and President of SUNYIT. "With contracts approved, we can look forward to groundbreaking and construction in the months ahead. This project will be another economic development success story for our region."

"The redevelopment of the former Griffis Air Base is a great example of hard work and innovation from both the private and public sectors," said Lawrence T. Gilroy, Regional Council Co-chair and President of Gilroy, Kernan and Gilroy Inc. "Rather than hang our heads when the base closed, the region rallied and has built a great economic engine. The State's continued investment in the rehabilitation of the hanger will help continue to build on the momentum of Griffiss by creating opportunity for further meaningful growth."

The overall development plan for Griffiss International Airport includes the reuse of former military hangars for civil aeronautical activities. This project will rehabilitate a 28,000 square foot hangar building to allow the airport to service privately owned, commercial aircraft. Increased aircraft servicing will create high-paying technical jobs in the community. Construction of the improved hangar is scheduled to begin next spring and will be completed by fall 2013.

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente said, "Griffiss Airport is an investment that is maturing over time. When Oneida County inherited Griffiss from the Air Force, we acquired an asset with exceptional potential but major infrastructure challenges. The nose dock project is one vital component of our plan to grow and offer the ability to service major aircraft, creating more jobs for the region. I'm excited that we are moving forward with this project, and I appreciate the state's support and investment in our regional economy."

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plan. As part of that process, Griffiss International Airport was awarded $2.7 million from the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).

"The rehabilitation of the hangar at Oneida County's Griffiss International Airport is a critical project for the continued economic development of the Mohawk Valley Region," said NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald. "Transportation infrastructure investment projects, such as this, encourage job creation, job retention and growth of the local economy."

NYSDOT's program provides funding for capital projects aimed at enhancing the state's airport infrastructure and improving the safety, capacity, and efficiency of the state's aviation services to increase economic competitiveness.

Senator Joseph A. Griffo said, "The primary focus in updating these hangars is a way to ensure that both commercial and general aviation services have room to operate and grow. There's a need for the improvement of a large aircraft maintenance and completions hangar to accommodate expanding operations. The improvements to this facility will allow Griffiss to compete for a market share of the growing, large aircraft, corporate jet market. I'm pleased that Governor Cuomo shared this view, and I thank Commissioner McDonald for her attentiveness to the airport's aircraft repair capacity."

Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi said, "This project will significantly enhance the airport's potential as a transportation hub and it will also result in new, good paying jobs in the field of aviation maintenance. Having a state of the art, civil aviation facility will be a drawing card for new and expanding businesses here in the Mohawk Valley."

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