ONEONTA – An allocation of $225,000 in federal funding will allow Oneonta Municipal Airport to buy new snow-removal equipment, U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer, the minority leader, and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced
The funding comes through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
LAURENS – A 9-year-old boy was airlifted to Albany Medical Center after an ATV crash last night near the Oneonta Municipal Airport.
State Police responded to a call at 8:58 p.m. that the boy had overturned an ATV on a trail on private property near the airport, which is in the Town of Laurens. He was not wearing a helmet, and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center, where he was treated for minor injuries.
The investigation is ongoing.
By IAN AUSTIN • for www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – At the ribbon cutting at the Oneonta Municipal Airport this afternoon, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, hailed the work with an announcement that he has secured a $70,000 grant to help complete the job. “First impressions mean a lot,” said Seward. “This terminal tells those who arrive in our community ‘this is a great place to live, to visit and to work.'”
In remarks beforehand, Oneonta Job Corps Director Chris Kuhn praised his students’ work on th terminal. “They did not disappoint. We’ve been involved with a lot of projects over the years, this has been the best so far.”
HALL OF FAME WEEKEND 2015
Oneonta Airport Hosts Fewer Planes
For Induction, But Sees a Few Surprises
Baseball’s Heroes Fly Into Oneonta Airport
If you saw Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan or contender Don Mattingly at the 75th Induction Weekend in Cooperstown, you can thank Dennis Finn and the Oneonta Municipal Airport.
Over the weekend, 28 corporate jets, plus two private planes, landed and took off, said Finn, city Airport Commission chairman. “This is our busiest time of the year,” he said, and this Induction Weekend was the second busiest, after the Ripken/Gwynn event in 2007.
The jets began arriving on Thursday, June 24. Some dropped off their visitors; others, like the New York Yankees’ Falcon 900 – the biggest plane on the tarmac – parked for the weekend. “We had to buy a special bar to tow it,” said Finn. “A scratch would cost us a quarter million!”
Springer’s, the Oneonta Kubota dealer, provided a tractor to help tow the aircraft. “When the pilots see that, they don’t worry,” he said. “It instills confidence in the owners.”
While many of the Hall’s guests, including Inductee Joe Torre, arrive through Albany or other airports, the Oneonta landing strip offers private jet owners the most convenience, Finn said. “This is the closest paved runway to Cooperstown,” he said. “They don’t want to drive an hour and a half from Albany or Rome. They want to come in here.”
Last month, Finn began the task of calling team owners and pilots to line up arrival and departure times. Some of the planes parked overnight or for a few days. Saturday-Sunday night, “we were here at midnight, still parking planes,” said Finn. “We know the importance of planning, and the success we have comes from that.”
NetJets, Warren Buffett’s private jet company, is a different story. “They pop in whenever they want, even if the apron is closed,” said Finn. “They know the runway is open, so they just drop off their passengers.”
At midnight, Sunday, July 27, a NetJet flew in, but when the pilot tried to ready for takeoff, the engines wouldn’t restart. “We had to park the plane,” said Finn. “Their mechanics came in to fix it.”
After a near-death experience in 2010, the Oneonta airport is undergoing renovations, via Oneonta Job Corps, adding a conference room, new bathrooms and a redesigned lounge to the terminal.
The airport is also in talks with the FAA to extend the 4,200-foot runway to 5,000 feet to accommodate larger jets.
“We could get even more in here if we had that longer runway,” said Finn. “You can see how essential this airport is.”