Airport Authority Bill Signed Into Law

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) announced that his bill (S3250A), which creates a Syracuse Regional Airport Authority, has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The law takes effect immediately.  “This new entity will allow the airport to function more like a business and find ways to operate more efficiently,” said Senator DeFrancisco. “The savings realized from a more efficiently run operation will be passed on to the consumer in the form of lower air fares.”

The Airport Authority will provide safe and efficient air transportation by enhancing the airport capacity and improving and expanding aviation and related facilities.  “With more flexibility, it will be easier to bring additional carriers into the region, which will help lower costs and expand service to other cities,” said Senator DeFrancisco.  “Additionally, it will increase the number of flights coming in and out of Syracuse, giving consumers more options,” said Senator DeFrancisco.

The new law establishes the powers and duties of the Authority, granting it the power to issue up to $200 million in bonds, and provides that the State, Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse will not be liable for the Authority bonds.

The Albany County Airport Authority, which was formed in 1996, demonstrates the benefits an Airport Authority can bring to Syracuse.  By 1998, a terminal was added and another rebuilt. With the improvements to the airport, the Authority was able to attract Southwest Airlines, one of the leading low-cost airlines in the United States.

The 11-member Syracuse Regional Airport Authority will be appointed, and will include seven appointments by the Syracuse Mayor, one appointment by the Onondaga County Executive, one appointment by the DeWitt Town Board, one appointment by the East Syracuse Minoa School District, and one appointment for a period of one year alternating between the North Syracuse Central School District Board of Education and the Clay, Cicero and Salina Town Boards. 

“The Authority will have the power to make decisions that will benefit the whole region, helping to stimulate Central New York’s economy. I commend Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law,” concluded Senator DeFrancisco.