Upgrades ahead

County airports receive aviation capital grant funding

Submitted Photo Pictured is Hangar 3 at the Dunkirk Airport slated to be replaced, thanks to grant funding from New York state.

Both airports in Chautauqua County are slated to receive state funding for hangar improvements

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the airports would receive funding out of the $20.5 million Aviation Capital Grant Program for infrastructure and safety improvements, along with 27 other airports across the state. The program was announced last March and was included in the $21.1 billion, five-year state transportation plan.

Dunkirk Airport is slated to receive $466,620 to demolish an existing bulk hangar and construct a public safety hangar, which will be used to house the Sheriff’s office helicopter as well as the Starflight helicopter. The Jamestown Airport will receive $271,800 to replace a bulk hangar door.

County Executive George Borrello said he is pleased by the announcement.

“I appreciate the governor’s commitment to maintaining infrastructure,” Borrello said. “Particularly at our county airports which face many challenges.”

Ron Almeter, County Airports and Parks manager said replacing Hangar 3 at the Dunkirk Airport will be a good thing, and will provide a more flexible space for the Sheriff’s Office’s helicopter and the Starflight helicopter.

Previously, the Sheriff’s Officedid not have a place to keep the helicopter. Likewise, if Starflight needed to perform maintenance on its own aircraft a lot of maneuvering had to be done to make it possible. With the new public safely hangar being built, the space will include an office for record keeping as well as space for maintenance.

Almeter said the county is pleased to receive the grant.

“One of the things the state can do that the FAA can’t is grant funds for facilities that aren’t exclusively for airport operations,” Almeter said. “It allows us to recapitalize and reinvest in infrastructure.”