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Large renovation at Syracuse airport begins, plans to be complete by end of 2018

Tom Magnarelli
Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the Signature TechnicAir Hangar in Syracuse on Wednesday.

Progress is being made on a nearly $50 million renovation of Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year. The recently passed state budget includes $35 million for the project which will feature a new center lobby, terminal exterior and ticket counters.

Executive Director Christina Callahan said the center lobby will turn into a grand hall and be more modernized.

"We want to bring in a lot more daylight through a glass facade, bring in additional concession amenities," Callahan said. "We've talked about the aviation history museum and incorporating that into our terminal. There is going to be a much different feel and experience."

Callahan said a full construction schedule has been developed and the airport authority is coordinating with tenants. Callahan said they have learned some lessons from when the airport underwent a $60 million renovation in 2013.

“We did that while keeping the airport open the entire time, working with the tenants to relocate them when needed but still the airport was functional," Callahan said. "We’ve established some best practices that will take us forward with this project to reduce disruption but still get it done.”

Onondaga County is also helping to fund the makeover.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.