SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Changes are coming to Syracuse's Hancock Airport. Starting Sunday night, a private security firm will take control of airport security. It's all part of a gradual handover of airport control from the City of Syracuse to an independent authority.
G4S has hired private security personnel to handle much of the work previously done by Syracuse Police. But that doesn't mean police will no longer work at the airport. They are still needed because only they have authority to make arrests.
Officers have been hired to work, part time, during off-duty hours. That change in status could save the authority $2 million a year.
"Police officers that were working out there were getting paid time and a half and if they were a police officer or a sergeant, they're getting their time and a half rate. It was all pensionable, etcetera. Now, they will be working for $35 an hour or $40 an hour for the one officer in charge. That's a substantial saving for the airport fund," said Mayoral Chief of Staff William Ryan.
The new authority says if it can cut operating costs at the airport, it can lower costs to airlines and will encourage carriers to lower fares.