August 1, 2008

Clinton County to Get More Airport Money

By Joe LoTemplio, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Aug. 1--PLATTSBURGH -- Not only is Clinton County expecting $5.2 million from the federal government for airport runway improvements, it looks like another $1.3 million is on the way.

Legislators learned this week that they most likely will receive $800,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration to demolish the former Alert Facility at Plattsburgh International Airport and $500,000 to tear down the shelters that used to protect FB-111 fighter-bombers.

At a special meeting Wednesday night, legislators approved resolutions that will allow them to apply for and accept grants from the FAA for the demolition projects.

"It looks very promising that we will get this money, and we want to be ready," Deputy County Administrator Rodney Brown, said.

The county had learned recently that it will be getting $5.2 million from the FAA to improve a section of runway at the southern end of the flight line.

Plattsburgh International Airport opened last year on the flight line of the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, which closed in 1995.

When the base was active, the Alert Facility housed crew members of FB-111s and KC-135 Stratotankers, who were ready to take off at a moment's notice.

Brown said the Alert Facility property could be used for more parking space or a commercial venture, such as a hotel and/or restaurant.

Tearing down the FB-111 shelters will give aircraft more room to maneuver away from the gate.

If the money is granted in the next few weeks, Brown said, work on the demolition projects could take place this fall.

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