6:17am

Tue October 8, 2013
Business

Syracuse council delays vote on airport authority transfer

The Syracuse Common Council says it has delayed fully turning over control of the airport to a private authority in order to get the deal right.

Councilor Pat Hogan, who chairs the airport committee, says several union representatives and employees still had questions about the deal, which would be a 40 year lease.

"There were a lot of questions that, frankly, there wasn’t any answers for," he said. "So these were questions that working class people working for the city would come up with. I thought we wanted to do this in an open and transparent manner so I decided on this course of action."

There are 102 city workers employed at the airport.

A private authority was created last year that will eventually assume control of airport operations. Proponents say it will cut costs and improve operations compared to the airport being a city department.

The airport has already hired a private security firm instead of paying city police officers overtime. Hogan says the city and the authority hope the transfer will grow things at the airport.

"I think there’s a lot of potential out there in many different venues," he said. "We have a lot of property out there that many be leased out to different emerging companies; I know they’re working on that. I think as a hub, bringing new airlines. And of course, making it easier to fly out of the airport and less expensive."

The vote will happen by the end of November, Hogan said.

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