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Syracuse airport to see $28.5 million 4,700 square foot expansion

A groundbreaking of new renovations coming to the Syracuse Airport was held on March 7, 2024.
Ellen Abbott
A groundbreaking of new renovations coming to the Syracuse Airport was held on March 7, 2024.

A $28.5 million project is underway at Hancock International Airport on the heels of a record-breaking year. An extra 4,700 feet added to the North concourse means more seating, concessions and most importantly new gates at the burgeoning airport.

Almost 2.9 million people flew in and out of Hancock last year; the most ever. Airport Director Jason Terreri said this expansion not only eases congestion but makes it possible for more flights out of Syracuse.

"Right now in the morning we have 16 flights that go out all within about a two-hour period," Terreri said. "That fills every gate. So we wouldn't be able to add any additional morning flights, which is the most important time to depart out of this market. With this, we've just added two new gates. So now we have two new additional spots that we can launch flights in the morning."

The airport’s Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Station is also getting a do-over — it mostly handles private, corporate, and cargo aircraft now. Terreri said Hancock could ultimately add international commercial flights to tourist destinations down the line.

A $20 million state grant is helping fund the expansion, which Terreri said should handle growing traffic through 2030. The thing about all this growth says Terreri, is that it doesn’t take into account Micron’s plans to invest $100 billion in the area as it builds four computer chip factories in a Syracuse suburb.

"From an airport director perspective, it's like we are growing faster than most airports in the country right now," Terreri said. "And so how do you keep up with that pace of growth and that investment, right? So that is something that our team is very focused on. It's exciting, but it's going to be a challenge in the next couple of years. There's no question about it."

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.