Airport Improvements Top Chamber's Legislative Agenda
2/22/2013 (Updated 11:04:56 PM)High on the list of the Chamber's legislative agenda are programs and projects which it sees as keys to spurring economic development of the Tier--that includes strong support for natural gas drilling.
"I hope it's not going to be too late for us to be a part of the game," said the Chamber's Lou Santori.
But the Chamber opposes calls to raise the minimum wage--without regulatory reforms.
The Chamber also sees development of the Greater Binghamton Airport as crucial to bringing in and encouraging business.
"If you're a business like Lockheed Martin that has to go to DC, Chicago on a daily basis-- if you don't have air service, your operation here is in jeopardy," said Santori.
Airport representatives say they are currently meeting with airlines to try to add new routes.
"Businesses have to go to other destinations-- either to sell goods or to meet with customers," said Carl Beardsley of the Greater Binghamton Airport.
Nearly 70 percent of all people who go through the airport do so for business purposes.
"They're the backbone of the air service, the primary users of the airport," said Santori.
Lou Santori says consolidating greater Binghamton, Elmira, and Ithaca airports into one airport would also be beneficial for local business.
"Not all three can survive, I can tell you that. There's just not enough in the airline industry because it's consolidating," said Santori.
Santori says consolidation could happen in the next 10-20 years.
"I want it to be the regional airport of choice," said Beardsley.
In Binghamton, Samantha McDonald, Fox 40 HD News.
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