OGDENSBURG — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer are among the officials invited to a public event Oct. 5 to watch the first Allegiant Air jet land at Ogdensburg International Airport.
The $26 million expansion project is in the final stage of completion, and low-cost Carrier Allegiant Air will begin offering flights between Ogdensburg and Florida starting Oct. 5.
John R. Morrison, business development manager at the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, said a full slate of local, state and federal officials have been invited to a grand opening of the new terminal building at the Ogdensburg International Airport on the morning of Oct. 5 to watch the first Allegiant Air flight land and taxi.
He said the event is also open to any members of the public who want to come and watch what he said will be an historic event in Ogdensburg and the north country. Mr. Morrison said the first inbound Allegiant Air plane is expected to touch down shortly before 11 a.m.
“This is a goal we have been working toward for a long time,” Mr. Morrison said. “We envisioned, when we started this project, that this would have a positive economic effect on the whole region.”
Mr. Morrison said he is unsure if Gov. Cuomo’s schedule will allow him to play a part in the airport’s grand opening ceremony, but said the OBPA will keep its fingers crossed that the state’s top elected official will make the trip.
He said the same is true of Sen. Schumer, U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, and other officials, including representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration who have been invited.
“We hope as many people can make it as possible, including the public,” he said.
Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Wade A. Davis said the grand opening will be an opportunity to not only showcase the region’s new international airport, but also to thank the numerous local, state and federal officials who have helped make the $26 million expansion a reality.
“The Authority greatly appreciates the efforts of all of our elected officials at the federal and state level as due to their direct assistance the international airport is expanding its role in the north country economy for the benefit of the region,” Mr. Davis said.
The OBPA deal with low-cost carrier Allegiant Air required expanding the airport to accommodate the larger aircraft which will seat upwards of 177 people, according to officials. The expansion included a 1,200-foot extension of the airport runway, construction of a new terminal building and adjacent 400-space parking lot. The state Department of Transportation also agreed to reroute a section of Route 68 to allow for the larger runway and taxiway at the facility.
The total cost of the project is $25.6 million.
About $18 million comes from FAA grants, and the remaining costs will be borne by the OBPA, according to port officials.
The bridge and port authority calculates that more than 40,000 people, many from Canada, could use the new airport on an annual basis.