Ithaca Airport To Get $22 Million Expansion, Upgrade

Ithaca Tomkins Regional Airport (ITH) will receive a $22 million upgrade that will expand the airport footprint by nearly 50 percent, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

The terminal project will expand the airport by nearly 50 percent, and includes is new gates, more seating, three additional passenger bridges and new concessions.

In addition, the airport will construct a new customs facility will allow international aircraft to fly directly to the airport, which sees more than 22,000 international travelers annually. Currently, travelers have to stop at other airports before arriving in Ithaca in order to clear U.S. customs. The project also includes updates to baggage screening systems, reconfiguration of the security checkpoint, check-in improvements and other projects.

For concessions, plans call for the expansion of a pre-security café and the addition of 4,000 square feet of space for post-security food concessions.

“Airports are gateways to our regions, and this project will transform Ithaca Tompkins Airport into a modern, state-of-the-art facility to drive tourism and economic development and help keep the Southern Tier Soaring,” Cuomo said.

As a separate project, the New York State Department of Transportation will relocate its maintenance facility from its current location on Cayuga Inlet to the airport, freeing up 7.6 acres of prime waterfront property for development in Ithaca. 

Work is expected to be completed in 2019 and will be paid for in part by $14.2 million in state funding as part of the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition. According to the mayor’s office, the renovation “will not only improve long-term economic viability, but it will also improve the passenger experience, increase security and better serve international travelers.” ITH hosts three major airlines with more than 650 global connections. In 2016, enplanements were up 15 percent and are expected to continue growing in the future.