Updated 09/18/2012 06:12 PM
ELM Airport runway extension complete
A nearly ten million dollar upgrade at the Elmira Corning Regional Airport is complete and will be in use for the first time later this week. Our Bill Mich tells how a newly extended runway could open the skies to Southern Tier passengers.
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BIG FLATS, N.Y. -- It took a year of construction work, but Tuesday, the newly extended runway was officially opened by local leaders. The main runway was extended by 400 feet, bringing its total length to a point where the airport can expand.
"Eight thousand feet is kind of the next level to accept larger and more complex aircrafts. So this is a big milestone for our airport," said Airport Manager Ann Crook.
Currently, passengers can fly out of the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport to Philadelphia, Detroit, New York City and select Florida locations. While the New York City JFK service will soon be suspended, the newly extended runway could bring the possibilities of new destinations for travelers.
"We're looking at now Chicago, Atlanta. We've been talking for many years about getting direct flights to Las Vegas. None of these are anything that people should run out and try and book right now, but this is definitely another arrow in our quiver to try and make that happen," said Crook.
The first flights to use the nearly $10 million runway extension will take off on Thursday. And now that the runway extension is complete, the possibility of the Southern Tier being more open to travelers from across the country has officials excited about the future.
"This community is going to be very well positioned going forward based on the interstate, which is pretty near completion, and now an airport. And really there is none like it in the region that has the ability to bring the planes that we can now bring in and to the destinations that other airports in this region can't go to," said Chemung County Executive, Tom Santulli
With this new upgrade, it appears the sky is the limit for the Elmira Corning Regional Airport.