County Hopes To Expand Business At Watertown Airport
Jefferson County's general services committee voted unanimously to hire an engineer for the construction of a new 14,000-square-foot hanger at the Watertown International Airport.
"We'll more than likely be looking at rental and capture those revenues to help lower the operating cost," Legislator Phil Reed said.
That means people with private planes can rent the hanger space. It's part of a continued effort by the county to expand the airport.
Last year, American Eagle began to offer service to Chicago and those flights have exceeded expectations.
"I would have never thought we'd have people coming from Syracuse to fly out of our airport, but that's happening now," Reed said.
The county's next goal is to bring new business to the airport. Last month, the airport became part of something called a Foreign Trade Zone, known as an FTZ.
Companies located in an FTZ can get tax breaks on exporting and importing products. The county hopes that will entice new business to call the airport home.
"Your overall access and availability of space is going to be the big thing," said Legislator Barry Ormsby, chair of the county's airport committee.
"We can definitely attract some businesses that think it's advantageous to be in a trade zone and be located near an airport," Reed said.
There's no time line for bringing new business to the airport. Reed says some infrastructure work still needs to be done and it could take some time.