SCHENECTADY COUNTY – Funding proposed in the federal infrastructure bill could help Schenectady County pay for some of the projects it wants to get done at the county airport.
But exactly what projects that money could fund is unknown at this time.
“Schenectady County will use the funds in a way that best supports this important county asset that fits within the funding parameters set after the final bill is passed and signed into law,” said Erin Roberts, the director of public communications for the county. “Without knowing what those parameters are, we cannot speak to any specifics on what projects we would use the funding for at this time.”
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has requested over $900 million in total for airports across the state, with Schenectady County expected to receive almost $1.5 million – should the bill pass.
“It’s in the debate/amendment process,” said Allision Biasotti, Schumer’s press secretary.
Roberts said there are some projects the county would like to see happen though.
Those projects include:
- tower improvements
- extending water and sewer from the tower north to open up sites for additional hangars
- equipment upgrades
- runway maintenance
Estimates for those projects were not available.
In 2019 the county finished a $10 million project at the airport. The work included resurfacing and replacing lighting on Runway 4-22, which is 7,000 feet long. The 2,200 taxiway that was reconstructed and widened connects the airport to the Stratton Air National Guard Base, where a fleet of C-130 equipped for polar landings is based.
Saratoga County Airport would also receive about $1.5 million, while Fulton County Airport would get $790,000.
Fulton County Planning Director Scott Henze said he has not heard about the possible funding yet or what it can be used for but hopes it might help replace the airport’s outdated fueling system.
“It’s pretty old,” he said, noting it’s from the 1980s. “We’ve identified it on the airport master plan for replacement.”
He said the cost of replacing the system, which uses aviation gas and jet fuel, is estimated at $1.2 million.
Several dozen planes are housed at the airport and use the system, along with planes and jets that fly in. Henze couldn’t put a number on how many planes visit the airport on a monthly or yearly basis, noting the airport does not have someone there 24/7.
“We don’t have a way of tracking what comes in and out,” he said.
But, Henze said there are no commercial planes flying into the airport.
“It’s mostly recreational,” he said.
Saratoga County declined to comment on the use of the potential funding. County spokesperson Christine Rush said the county doesn’t generally comment or speculate on any funding until it has been fully approved and they know how much they are actually getting.