New additions announced as lawmakers tour Watertown airport

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 4:16 PM EDT
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TOWN OF HOUNSFIELD, New York (WWNY) - The Watertown International Airport is adding a flight and a place to eat. The news came Friday as state and federal lawmakers dropped by for a visit.

The airport has come a long way since Jefferson County took it over from the city of Watertown in 2006.

“We’ve increased enplanements commercially by 450 percent,” said District 8 Legislator James Nabywaniec.

Not only has the airport been busy with travelers, but it has also been busy with projects. Between state and federal grants, the airport has recently been awarded around $35 million.

On Friday, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, state Senator Mark Walczyk, and state Assemblyman Scott Gray got a look at improvements the airport has made and the direction it’s going in.

“It’s always good to see the assets and see what’s happening. So I explain that and make it real to the people in Washington,” said Tenney (R. - 24th District).

The tour included a look into the airport’s aircraft rescue and firefighting facility - a $6 million project.

They also checked out the new $1.5 million air ambulance hangar.

There’s more to come for the Watertown airport. In the next few months, construction will begin on a new $28 million terminal. It’ll include a restaurant and a jet bridge.

Later this fall, the airport will bring back its 6 a.m. flights to Philadelphia.

Tenney, new to representing the district, says she’s impressed by the airport’s staff and efficiency.

“I can’t emphasize enough the fact that this is all being done in a fiscally sane way without overburdening the taxpayers, without raising taxes, by allowing a service that’s affordable, and a service that is accessible to the community,” she said.

Construction on the terminal is expected to start in October or November.