Updated 04/26/2012 06:02 PM
Runway upgrades underway at Greater Binghamton Airport
The main runway at the Greater Binghamton Airport is undergoing some multi-million dollar upgrades. Airport officials gave an update on the project Thursday. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us more about the upgrades and what travelers can expect when everything is completed.
BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- Officials at the Greater Binghamton Airport are making progress on a plan to upgrade the airport's main runway.
"The ongoing safety area improvement and the extension of runway 16-34 are nearly 50 percent complete and we expect the project to be wrapped up by the end of the year," said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.
Officials began an Extension Project for Runway 16-34 last fall.
The $12 million project will extend the 7,100 foot runway an additional 200 feet runway and will replace its EMAS barrier for planes that overshoot the runway.
Upgrades that airport officials say will give travelers an extra layer of safety.
"Projects like safety area improvement projects are essential to providing a modern and safe facility for the users of our airport," said Aviation Commissioner Carl Beardsley.
The upgrades will also improve the airport's infrastructure and operational capabilities, making it easier to accommodate larger and heavier aircrafts and opening up the possibility for more service options in the future.
"So if there was a chance where there was a weight restriction on an aircraft in the past, that additional length is going to take away that weight restriction and allow that aircraft to operate with more passengers on it," said Beardsley.
Officials say the changes will benefit both the airport and the county.
"As we drastically improve the airport infrastructure, more and more passengers are utilizing BGM which has always been an asset to our region," said Preston.
The improvements will help accommodate a three percent growth in the number of passengers using the airport this year as well as an increase in the number of planes using the airport.