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Improvements coming to local airports

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Improvements coming to local airports
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Some New York State airports had to endure cuts earlier this year due to sequestration. Now, they're back in the news, however, this time around, it's about improvements. YNN's Katie Husband explains how Twin Tier airports are benefitting from some newly acquired funding.

SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. -- These planes at the Corning-Painted Post Airport won't have to park in the middle of the runway for much longer. Grant money from the FAA's Airport Improvement Program will pave the way for a new parking area.

"Well, what they're going to do, they're going to elevate the present plain because it's a bit low. They've got to bring in some fill and it's going to be paved very similar to what you see right here, next to us," said Joe Costa, Corning-Painted Post Airport, operator.

The $390,000 will build an apron for parking and will start at the end of the pavement and end at the edge of the grass. The airport has undergone improvements since 2005 and with that came an increase of air traffic.

"Ever since the improvement with the runway, paving it and with the additional improvements, the additional hangar space, parallel parking, additional ramp space, the airport has gotten fairly active in a time when the economic, there's been somewhat of an economic decline in general aviation, but we've been very fortunate," said Costa.

But the improvements don't stop here. Officials over at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport are in the process of filling out a grant application.

"We're out to bid right now, we close bids next week. Once we get that, we get the legislature's approval for the project and then submit all that information to the FAA," said Ann Crook, director of aviation at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport.

Unlike Corning-Painted Post's 50,000 square foot runway improvement, Elmira-Corning Regional Airport's funding will go toward upgrading eight beacon lights around the airport, if the grant is approved.

"But the beacons right now are very, very old, 30 to 40 years and so it's very expensive to maintain them and in some cases, the parts are obsolete and even dangerous to maintain because the structures are so old," said Crook.

The project's anticipated cost is about $750,000, but the FAA is expected to fund 90 percent of it. Crook says she expects to hear by late August.

Crook was hoping to get money to build a new $10 million taxiway this year, however, that funding isn't available through the Airport Improvement Program because of this year's sequestration cuts. She's hoping for the much needed project to be funded in future years. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP