Tompkins Weekly Staff
Coming next month, the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport will see upgraded service from United Airlines, which is replacing its 37-seat turboprop planes with 50-set jets to accommodate increased passenger demand. With the change, the airport will now offer all-jet service to each of its three hubs.
“We are very excited that when United Airlines commences its jet service this fall, all of our air service at Ithaca will be with jets, providing a better experience for our customers,” said Mike Hall, director of Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, in a prepared statement.
The airport is the Southern Tier hub for American, United, and Delta airlines, with daily flights to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Newark, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan.
In addition to the upgraded service, the airport will be improving its facilities with a little help from Federal Aviation Administration grants. A grant in the amount of $870,763 will fund 90 percent of the cost of installation of a passenger boarding bridge at the airport, which is now needed with all airlines providing only jet service to the facility. Another 5 percent – $45,375 – will be funded by the New York state Department of Transportation, and the remaining 5 percent local share will come from airport passenger facility charges.
The FAA also awarded a $1.5 million grant to the airport to fund 90 percent of cost to rehabilitate the airport’s general aviation apron, and install perimeter fencing and apron lighting. The state DOT and airport will again be splitting the remaining 10 percent of the cost; the airport’s share – $86,127 – will be funding through passenger facility charges.