Following up on a phone conversation last week to Federal Aviation Administration Acting Administrator Michael Huerta, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today sent a letter urging him to expedite the process of releasing funds for a complete rehabilitation of the Niagara Falls International Airport main runway.
"Serving more than 200,000 passengers each year, the Niagara Falls International Airport is becoming a new gateway to the Niagara Region," Hochul said. "The immediate release of these funds will allow the NFIA to complete rehabilitation of the main runway at the airport and accommodate increased flight activity from the new terminal and use by the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station."
Completion of the main runway project at the Niagara Falls International Airport is expected to attract new and expanded investments in Western New York. According to the 2010 New York State Department of Transportation Economic Impacts Report, NFIA has an annual economic impact of $158 million and an employment impact of 2,000 jobs. NFIA serves a market of 9.6 million people from Toronto to Erie, Pa., and has the potential to serve 55 percent of the U.S. population and 62 percent of the Canadian population within a 500-mile radius.
"The NFTA greatly appreciates Congresswoman Hochul's advocacy of this project and the NFTA as a whole," said Henry M. Sloma, acting NFTA chairman. "Rehabilitation of the airport's main runway is needed to accommodate significant increases in commercial aviation activity, and important military operations. The NFIA is becoming a major economic catalyst, with a $158.6 million annual impact on the region, and this project will keep the momentum going."
Hochul added, "Once this project is completed, the NFIA will not only be well-positioned to be an international gateway to travelers, but will also attract more customers, regional tourism revenues, and have an increased positive impact on the region."
Last Tuesday, Hochul spoke personally with Huerta about the Niagara Falls International Airport and today sent a follow up letter to their conversation.