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$2.5 million federal investment to upgrade Syracuse airport security

Ellen Abbott

Big changes are coming to security operations at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport.

In early 2023, the airport’s police team will switch from Syracuse City Police officers to a team hired by the airport. Airport Director Jason Terreri said the hiring has begun.

"We’ve already hired a police chief and a captain," Terreri said. "We’ve started to interview police officers. We don’t have an exact number now of what we’ll have ultimately, but it’s probably going to be somewhere in the 20 to 24 range."

The other big change is the creation of a dedicated Airport Command Center. Terreri said this aims to improve communications between staff, law enforcement, security and airfield maintenance and operations.

“As we’ve gotten busier, it’s going to be easier to manage the airport by having everything in a consolidated area," Terreri said. "We’ve been doing all these things, but they have been isolated functions."

The new security area will be built with the help of a $2.5 million federal investment in the airport. Terreri said these improvements come at a time as the number of air passengers continues to increase at Hancock, with airport traffic moving into the 2.5 to 3 million yearly range.

Terreri said he expects that to grow following Micron’s investment in chip fabricating plants in the Town of Clay.

"We’re expecting probably an additional 2-3% on top of our usual growth because of Micron," Terreri said. "Probably starting in 2024, 2025 is when we’ll start seeing the big numbers."

Other improvements that could be coming soon include terminal renovations, like an expanded checkpoint, work in the baggage claim area and potentially new ticket counters. The airport is already working on expanded parking, including construction of new and improved parking garages expected to begin this year.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.