BGM to Remain Open During Airport Construction

Airport construction project will not close the airport.

The Greater Binghamton Airport will not be closing for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the primary runway in the month of May. However, it will interrupt air service for that month.

The Greater Binghamton Airport has two runways and our primary runway is in dire need of reconstruction. Much like a highway, runway pavements become deteriorated over time and need reconstruction. We know that potholes are bad in a highway, however they could be disastrous on a surface that aircraft are using for taking off and landing.

When highway construction is happening, traffic is diverted to other lanes or routes so that the work can be done, similarly the Greater Binghamton Airport has a secondary runway that is available while the work on our primary runway is being completed.

So, the burning question is, why won’t there be air service during this project? The simple answer is that SkyWest Airlines who is providing the Binghamton to Detroit service for Delta Airlines has made the decision to not operate using the shorter alternate runway during this project.

To be more specific, SkyWest operates Canadair Regional jets for their BGM-DTW route. This aircraft is capable of using our alternate runway however it would likely have to do so at reduced capacity. In other words, rather than selling 50 seats for each flight they would be restricted to say, 35 seats and this could have a negative impact on their profitability for that month. Because of that they have unfortunately, but understandably made the decision to use their aircraft and aircrews elsewhere during this project.

Why Now? With less airlines serving BGM, why is this construction happening now? Simple answer, it’s needed, it’s a matter of safety and this is the best time that will impact the least number of people.

More specifically, we have a responsibility to maintain a safe facility and infrastructure for aircraft operations. As our primary runway, this pavement gets the most use and has been showing increased deterioration requiring more and more maintenance. Airport Administration had requested and received funding from the FAA to do this work and May was considered the time that would be best suited based on volume of passenger traffic and historical weather patterns. Prior to May there would be more chance of weather delays and after May passenger traffic increases.

The runway is made of asphalt and has about 1.1 million square feet in overall pavement area (not including shoulders and transition services to taxiways). To put it in terms of a highway, we’re talking over 17 miles in length of a DOT highway lane. To complete such a project in one month is really quite remarkable. Think of how long roadway and highway projects take. These tend to last up to the full length of summers and into the fall. To reduce the impact to the Broome County flying community the timeline was truncated and coordinated to affect the least amount of people. It will be a great project that allows for the runway infrastructure at the Greater Binghamton Airport to continue to serve its community for decades to come.

SkyWest Airlines has expressed to us that they are pleased that we are addressing the runway and they look forward to resuming three daily flights to Detroit Metro Airport in June.

 

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Catching Up With Our Air Traffic Controllers!

Dustin Durham, William Peterson, Arianna Bocci, Jason Burgos

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William and Arianna checking the radar.

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Everyday the Air Traffic Controllers of BGM put their time and energy into keeping the travelers and pilots of the Greater Binghamton Airport safe! Although we may not see much of them, they make sure to watch over all of us! They are located high up in the control tower of BGM and guide pilots, their planes and the passengers from taxi to takeoff, through the air and back safely on the ground. Day-to-day can change dramatically for them but they know how to handle whatever “flies” their way. Aside from handling arrivals and departures of commercial air traffic, they deal with pilots in training, sight-seeing airplanes and military aircraft practicing different landing approaches. They keep track of updates on procedures locally and nationally, track weather that could affect travel and use radar and other technology to track planes but, overall their goal is to keep us all safe while traveling through Binghamton.

On occasion, their job can get pretty stressful. Tracking weather storms that pop up and handling any airplane malfunctions are just some of the things they deal with. Throughout summers and winters here in the Greater Binghamton area, we all know that weather can take a turn at any given moment, the Air Traffic Control team makes sure to get every plane on the ground safe and sound! Handling planes that could have malfunctions or problems and talking pilots through it is another necessity that they need to know how to handle for potential situations. But, given that they are highly trained with a zero margin for error, they remain calm under the pressures thrown at them.

Although these four spend so much time together during the work week, they like to hangout outside of work too – meeting up with local pilots and others in the aviation industry!

We’re so thankful to have this great group of people on our team here at BGM!! 

Take These 5 Holiday Travel Tips With You!

The holiday season can be stressful for anyone and it’s no secret that mixing travel into these hectic weeks only adds to that stress. But, traveling through BGM doesn’t have to be a hassle. There are a few steps you can take before your flight takes off that can create an easy and stress-free travel experience.

  1. Leave early. Make sure you get to the airport between an hour and two hours before your scheduled boarding time. By getting to the airport early, you will ensure that you have enough time to check your bags, go through screening and board the plane. Give yourself some extra time so you don’t stress about small stuff that could take up extra time during this season.
  2. Stay up-to-date. Check your flight status ahead of time to make sure that you are still on schedule. There are a variety of different apps that you can download on your phone that will send you notifications about your flight including Fly Delta or FlySmart.
  3. Pack light. Although it may be tempting to pack multiple options for that family holiday party, it will make it easier to pack only what is necessary before you leave to keep your bags from overflowing. Weigh your bags ahead of time and remember, if you bring a carry-on, make sure that it is 22″ x 14″ x 9″ or a total of 45″.
  4. What to do with gifts. If you’re traveling with a gift, it may be wiser to consider mailing it to your destination ahead of time. If that is not an option, we suggest waiting until you reach your destination to wrap your gift or using a gift bag so that your gift is easily accessible for TSA.
  5. Be prepared. Make sure that you’re prepared with the phone numbers of your hotel, your car rental agency, your airline, or friends at your destination. You want to pack extra snacks, travel pillows, earphones and any other necessities you may want while traveling. Make sure that all your electronics are fully charged and packed in your carry-on.

With these 5 tips, your travel experience through BGM will be a lot more jolly and less stressful. Here at BGM, we hope that you all have a happy holiday and a great trip wherever you are headed this season.