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October 11, 2011

Oswego County Airport Continues To Make Improvements

OSWEGO COUNTY LEGISLATOR APPOINTED - Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry D. Leemann recently appointed Legislator Morris Sorbello, District 23, to the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) Regional Advisory Board. The SRAA was created in August of this year by the New York State Legislature and New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Sorbello, a licensed pilot, is pictured in front of a Beechcraft airplane owned by Fred Bullard of Scriba.

OSWEGO COUNTY - The Oswego County Airport is collaborating with the Oswego County Airport Advisory Committee on several projects to enhance the security, efficiency and infrastructure of the airport. The group provides valuable assistance to the county by researching grants and design ideas for development, modification and improvement projects.

A member of this committee, Legislator Morris Sorbello, District 23, was recently appointed to the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) Regional Advisory Board.

"Morris is a long-time member of the Oswego County Airport Advisory Committee as well as a licensed pilot," said Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry D. Leemann. "His experience and training make him a natural selection for this appointment. I am confident that he will bring valuable knowledge to the board and serve Oswego County and its residents well in regional discussions."

Chairman Leemann was contacted by Syracuse City Mayor Stephanie A. Miner following the creation of the SRAA by the New York State Legislature and New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in August of this year. The SRAA Regional Advisory Board advises on matters concerning the SRAA and the Hancock International Airport in Syracuse. Its members are appointed to two-year terms and receive no compensation for their participation.

"I'm honored to receive this appointment to the SRAA Regional Advisory Board," said Legislator Sorbello. "I have been involved with the Oswego County Airport in a variety of ways over the years, including eight years with the Oswego County Airport Advisory Committee. Together we have discussed a number of ideas and projects for our facility and I look forward to bringing this fresh perspective to the board and collaborating with regional members as well."

The renovation projects taking place at the Oswego County Airport will improve services and facilities for pilots, residents and visitors. They include enhanced security, runway and aircraft tie-down apron rehabilitation, obstruction removal and lighting installations.

The airport received nearly $70,000 in funding last year from a New York State grant to enhance its security system. They installed new fences and gates and increased the number of security cameras from four to 16.

The north-south runway 15-33 also underwent reconstruction in 2010. The pavement was milled down, repaired and re-surfaced. New lighting was installed along the runway and a portion of the taxi area. New navigational aids, called papi and reils, were also installed along the runway in keeping with federal regulations. This work was completed through $3.6 million in federal and state grant funding with a 2.5 percent, or $90,000, local share.

New energy-efficient lights were recently installed as part of the county's green initiative to reduce operating expenses while upgrading facilities. This project was completed through a special program offered by National Grid.

The airport received nearly $1 million in grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to remove and lower neighboring trees that interfere with the Instrument Landing System (ILS) signals used by many larger jets. The project will take place this fall while weather conditions are favorable and finish in the spring without disrupting nearby wetlands. The local share of the project is $24,750.

The airport also received a grant from the FAA in the amount of $945,800 for the aircraft tie-down apron rehabilitation project. This, coupled with the county's share of $24,600, allowed for new pavement and lighting as well as upgraded tie-downs for the aircraft. The area will now accommodate up to 38 planes with a designated area for de-icing.

"There are several other grants that the airport is applying for to help with additional projects," said Oswego County Airport Manager Bruce Bisbo. "This will enable us to accommodate growth of the facility in the future and help us better serve a wide variety of corporate and recreational users."

The airport generates revenue through usage fees, rental space, and fuel sales. Currently, fuel sales are up as a result of another local project. Haverfield Aviation is in the area to perform tower upgrades by helicopter and their monthly fuel purchases average between three and four thousand gallons. Their work is projected to continue for another eight or nine months.

The Oswego County Airport is located on nearly 400 acres in the town of Volney, just northeast of the city of Fulton, on county Route 176. Built in the mind-1940s as a World War II training facility, the airport was later designated by the FAA as a general aviation reliever to Hancock International Airport in Syracuse.

It includes two paved runways measuring a combined 9,000 feet, as well as county-owned hangar rentals, privately-owned hangar stalls, short- and long-term tie-down aircraft parking, and 100LL and JetA fuel stations, with 24-hour self-service access to the 100LL pump. Currently, there is no longer a restaurant at the airport; however, officials continue to search for potential vendors. The airport also provides an on-site training facility and flight school, charter services for local residents, and a state-of-the-art Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC).

There are a number of other organizations based at the airport as well. They include a local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, a Civil Air Patrol Squadron and a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Law Enforcement Driver Training School.

The Oswego County Airport also serves national and international companies in and around the county. Local businesses and corporations that utilize the airport include: Black Clawson; Constellation Energy; Entergy Nuclear Northeast; Huhtamaki Consumer Packaging; Interface Solutions, Inc.; Lowe's Home Improvement; Northeast Biofuels, LLC (Sunoco); Novelis; NRG Energy; Sithe Energies; SUNY Oswego; The Fulton Companies; and Walmart Corporation.

The airport is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing pilots round-the-clock access to restrooms and the airport lounge. The airport office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Truck fueling is available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information about the Oswego County Airport, its facilities or services, call 315-591-9130.

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