Syracuse may be seeing greater economic opportunities in the future, officials say. According to the Daily Orange, officials from the Syracuse economic development agency have reported that the new renovations being made to the Syracuse Hancock International Airport will be bringing in new economic opportunities for the city.
The $48 million project began in October 2017 and has made significant headway since then. The renovation will include a new exterior, an aviation museum, new terminal flooring and furniture, a new roof, and even a glass pedestrian bridge. Developers expect the project to be completed by the end of fall this year.
“We are very pleased to see that this investment and the key infrastructure for our community and for our region,” said vice president of air service development at CenterState CEO, Kevin Schwab. Schwab says airports are the front doors to what cities can offer and thus the new airport will benefit Syracuse.
“We have 2 million passengers a year that go through Hancock airport,” said Schwab. “The first impression that an airport makes says a lot about the community.”
It’s for this reason, Schwab says, that he hopes the renovation project will attract new families, prospective clients, and new businesses to the area. The renovation may also attract new flights to the area as well.
For instance, discount airline Allegiant Air recently announced that it could be offering a non-stop service from Syracuse to Orlando come May. Additional flight destinations have also become newly offered including Minneapolis and Fort Lauderdale.
Renovation is certainly a popular way to improve a property with a significant return on investment. In fact, approximately two-thirds of homeowners report that they plan to renovate some time in the future and 40% of homeowners across five major centers say they plan to renovate this year. However, Syracuse residents have mixed emotions regarding the renovation of the airport and doubt the potential ROI.
Since the renovations began, some of the terminals have been closed and have left some Syracuse residents confused and lost. A Hertz driver, Charles Regal, also said that the renovations have made it more difficult for him to pick up clients at the airport. He was also skeptical, he said, of the potential economic impact of the project.
However, Schwab is optimistic about the project. In the long-run, he says, the project will help to improve the overall utilization of the airport space and bring about positive economic changes.
The project is to include a 650-foot-long canopy lit by LED lights to help protect cars and passengers from the weather as they arrive and depart. There will also be two glass pedestrian bridges that will make it easier for those with mobile airline tickets to skip the ticketing lines. The airport will also, hopefully, include greater accessibility for those with disabilities who rely on elevators, which are 20-times safer than escalators, to get around.
“It is very important to the region when you have an airport,” said Schwab, “and the impression that it makes [is also important].”
Incidences of identity theft across the U.S. have been on the rise and have jumped as high as 16% from 2015 to 2016. However, the potential for corporate crime hasn’t been slowing down new businesses. It’s these new businesses and strong-willed companies that Schwab says the Hancock Airport is hoping to attract.
“Those that bringing business to this region,” Schwab says, “[the airport] sends a message … it certainly encourages an additional investment.”