OGDENSBURG -- Expansion at the Ogdensburg International Airport will force the closure of the runway and the suspension of Cape Air flights for two months this summer.
Beginning June 27 and running through Aug. 27, the single runway will be closed to commercial operations including Cape Air flights while the terminal undergoes reconstruction and renovation.
General aircraft operations, such as those conducted by airport-based aircraft, can proceed, but pilots would be wise to keep abreast of developments.
The runway, taxiways and the terminal will completely shut down from Aug. 15 to 22 while the runway and taxiway extensions, which are under construction now, are tied in to the end of the existing runway length.
But Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Wade Davis is hoping that the runway tie-in can be done sooner than that, so the airport can return to near-normal operations more quickly.
“Construction is going six days a week. Everything is on track, on budget and actually ahead of schedule,” Davis said.
The other major part of the runway extension project is the rerouting of State Rt. 68 to the east to make room for the longer runway, and there, “everything is going well,” Davis said.
Marcy Excavation Services of Frankfort, the road contractor, “has been grading and the sub-base is almost ready,” he said. During the work, the OBPA has officially had possession of that part of the road, and one of the final steps will be for the state Department of Transportation “to take possession of the road from OBPA.”
On the airfield, the date that construction is due to be completely finished is Sept. 30. By then, the 5,200-foot runway will have 1,200 feet added onto the eastern end, bringing the total length to 6,400 feet in order to allow larger commercial aircraft to take off and land there. The taxiways, which parallel the runway, will also be extended to match the new runway length and will be widened. And the airport apron, where the planes pull up and park at the terminal building, will be enlarged.
The whole cost of the airport improvements, excluding the terminal and parking lot improvements, will come to $25.6 million, the majority of which comes from the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The terminal construction will get about $750,000 from the state Empire State Development agency, which Davis said will come in the form of reimbursements to OBPA “to offset the costs associated with baggage claim improvements” in the terminal.
Everything else in the terminal and parking lot projects – an estimated $6.9 million – “is OBPA expense, what OBPA will have invested in this project,” he said.
Davis said he is pleased and impressed with the speed with which the project has come together.
“Something like this would normally take 10 years,” considering the tall hurdles that have to be cleared with any DOT or FAA project. “But this will be two years, and that’s a testament to staff, our representatives in Albany and Washington all pulling together to get this done ASAP. This will be a game-changer for the regional economy.”
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