LAKE CLEAR - Work has started on a $1 million expansion of the terminal at the Adirondack Regional Airport.
Crews planned to pour concrete Friday for a 1,642-square-foot addition off the building's east side. The additional space is designed to alleviate some of the congestion in the terminal.
"The need has grown since the (Transportation Security Administration) has increased the size of their equipment for screening passengers and bags, and it's taken up a lot more of the terminal space than it used to," airport Manager Corey Hurwitch said Friday. "This project was intended to alleviate some of that congestion."
Adirondack Regional Airport Manager Corey Hurwitch checks progress Friday on construction of a 1,600-square-foot addition to the airport’s terminal.
(Photo — Chris Knight)
The need for expansion has also been fueled by the growth in the number of passengers flying to and from the airport since Cape Air took over commercial service at the facility in 2008.
"What Cape Air's done is great," Hurwitch said. "Last year was the first year that they didn't increase their passengers, but they've at least maintained a steady level of enplanements here, so that's been really good for us to get some stability. Especially when they add their extra flight in the summer time, it gets real congested in there. We're hoping this project will make things more comfortable for everyone inside."
The town of Harrietstown, which owns and operates the airport, had sought federal funds for several years to upgrade the terminal. In September, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the town a $967,110 grant for the project. Meridian Construction is the general contractor.
Hurwitch said the layout of the terminal, once the expansion is complete, won't be much different from the way it's laid out now.
"Where the diner is and the TSA office on the west side of the terminal, all of that is going to remain the same," he said. "Cape Air's ticket counter is going to still be when you walk in to the right. It's just going to be a little farther to the right. The real change is going to be the checkpoint, which is going to go east and west in the terminal instead of diagonal through the terminal."
The expansion will also create a larger seating area and bathrooms for passengers to use after they go through TSA screening.
"That's one of the big things we've heard from people is the only bathroom is outside the screening check," Hurwitch said. "If you get screened and you decide you need to go to the bathroom before you get on the plane, now you don't have to leave screening and get re-screened."
There have been a few minor hiccups since construction got underway, but the project is still on schedule, Hurwitch said. He expects the work to be complete by November.
In the meantime, airport officials are gearing up for another big project later this summer, a $622,000 rehabilitation of the apron, where planes park, outside the terminal.
"It's about 6,900 square yards of asphalt they're going to dig up to the full depth," Hurwitch said. "We're going to add under-drains to alleviate some of the drainage issues we've had that have affected our apron right now. This will increase the strength of the asphalt so we can park bigger business jets on it and not have to worry about them sinking in."
Hurwitch said the project wouldn't start until August to avoid most of the busy season, when the apron is often filled up with parked planes.
The airport will mark another milestone in late June when Cape Air, which provides three daily flights between Lake Clear and Boston, begins service between Lake Clear and the New York City area. The Hyannis, Massachusetts-based airline will provide a once-a-day round trip flight to the Westchester County Airport six days a week from June 26 through Labor Day. Once passengers arrive in White Plains, they'll have the option of taking a luxury van to Midtown Manhattan for an extra $85.
"We're excited to see how that fills up," Hurwitch said. "I know some people are really looking forward to it and planning to use it."