More than $60 million in renovations to Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport has been completed. The project is meant to improve the traveler experience and the region's image.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo cut the ribbon in the redesigned terminal with new interior and exterior signage, more natural light and kiosks. Gone is the outside concrete canopy, replaced with a new façade and two glass pedestrian bridges. Cuomo said airports are key for driving tourism and new businesses.
“People land here, they get a sense right away what central New York is all about," Cuomo said. "There is no second opportunity to make a first impression. Let them now come to this airport and say wow, because this is the wow factor.”
Christina Callahan, executive director of the airport, said a thriving region needs a thriving airport.
“It gives people a good sense as to the region that they’re visiting," Callahan said. "If this is what the airport looks like, imagine what the rest of the community looks like.”
She said while they were putting the project together, they have also been out knocking on airlines doors and bringing in more service to destinations like Denver, Raleigh, Durham, Fort Myers and Nashville.
Patrick Mannion, chair of the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority said renovations alone will not attract more low cost carriers.
“But I think with the authority and its focus on travel and keeping our expenses down and making the place beautiful, that will do it,” Mannion said. "This started in February of this year. In eight months, we did some $60 million worth of work inside this building. It is transformational. I know what it's like to be in a good airport. I know that being in this airport, is being in a good airport."
He said the renovations are the culmination of various projects the authority has worked on at the airport over the past eight years.