Hancock International Airport

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Airports could be getting some love with the current emphasis on infrastructure improvements. President-elect Donald Trump has often mentioned airports as a key part of infrastructure improvements he would like to see, and New York state continues investing in airports. And these are things local airport officials are happy to hear.

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Record numbers of travelers are expected to be flying this year according to the Transportation Security Administration, and TSA officials are using the Thanksgiving holiday to remind travelers how to make the best of a busy situation.

While next Wednesday is traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year, Christina Callahan, Executive Director of Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, is expecting longer lines at the airport before then.

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The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority will be reimbursing the city three million dollars in a settlement with the Syracuse Police Benevolent Association for lost wages from 2012-2014. The airport authority did not have the power to hire a private security company when it did.

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As more people travel this summer, the Transportation Security Administration is continuing to step up its efforts to get people through security checkpoints quickly and safely. Although flying has been relatively smooth in upstate New York, the TSA has had to drastically change its operations nationwide.

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The executive director of the Syracuse Hancock International Airport told a congressional panel in Washington Thursday that the addition of the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) PreCheck Enrollment System has been very successful in cutting down on security lines at the facility.

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Hancock International Airport has become the first airport in upstate New York to have a TSA PreCheck application center on site. That means airline passengers can apply at the airport for the program that lets them glide through the TSA security checks more quickly, and without some of the hassles flyers have become used to. 

At the modern looking booth at the center of Hancock, central New Yorkers are already lining up to get the perk.

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Making sure airports are as secure as possible was the focus of a congressional subcommittee hearing held at the federal building in Syracuse Monday. Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), who chairs the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Transportation Security, said one goal of the session was to find ways to beef up security at the nation’s airports.

City of Syracuse/Department of Aviation

Updated at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday:

American Airlines has released the name of the pilot who died during a flight from Phoenix to Boston early Monday. That flight was diverted to Syracuse after the pilot became incapacitated. 

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The Air National Guard wants to fly remotely piloted aircraft out of Hancock Field at the Syracuse International Airport. The change would save time and money, as the National Guard has to send its aircraft to fly from Fort Drum because of airspace restrictions.

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JetBlue Airlines is resuming nonstop flights from Syracuse to Fort Lauderdale, Florida thanks to some convincing from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

Christina Callahan, the executive director of the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority said JetBlue stopped service to that destination back in 2009 because of high fuel prices. But now Callahan said fuel prices have gone down and the amount of people flying every year is up two percent from last year, for a total of two million people using the Syracuse airport.

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The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority has the first full year under its belt running the Hancock International Airport in Syracuse. Its annual report shows signs of success after the airport transitioned from being run by the city to being run by an independent authority.

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Two firearms were caught at checkpoints in Syracuse's Hancock International Airport this year. The number of firearms being brought to airports across the country is rising and officials want travelers to know how to fly safely with them.

 

Transportation Security Administration officials say yes, you can travel with a firearm on a flight but no, you cannot bring it on the plane with you. Lisa Farbstein is a regional public affairs manager for the TSA and says a firearm needs to be declared and checked-in at the counter where you check your bags and get your ticket.

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Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport is kicking off one of its busiest seasons of the year with a new direct flight to Florida. Allegiant Airlines will start flying to Florida on Friday.

Allegiant Airlines will be flying non-stop twice a week from Syracuse to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Airport Executive Director Christina Callahan says it’s a good time to kick off the flight, because this is the time of year the airport sees a lot of action.

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This week's snowstorm didn't slow down action at Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, in fact, the airport has stayed open through several storms this winter. Executive Director Christina Callahan says there were a few flights canceled, but only because of problems in destinations like New York, Chicago and Boston.

It's been a tough winter at the airport, Callahan admits, but adds the staff there is ready for the worst -- every year.

Courtesy of TSA

Security officers at Hancock International Airport in Syracuse caught a man with a loaded gun trying to get on a plane on Sunday. Authorities with the Transportation Security Administration say the loaded pistol was discovered in a carry-on bag as it passed through an X-ray machine.

The traveler told authorities he forgot the .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun was in his bag. The passenger, a man from Manlius, was allowed to catch his flight and the handgun was returned to a family member.

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There are several changes to the Syracuse Airport this fall ahead of the busy travel season, with hopes of increasing passenger numbers and ease of travel.

Hancock International Airport made national headlines when it installed sophisticated pod doors to enhance security when passengers left the terminal. Now, it’s one of the last airports to install a full body imaging machine at the TSA checkpoint. It went operational last week.

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It’s been a good year for Syracuse Hancock International Airport, according to it’s yearly report to the community. It added new concessions, a new airline and destinations, and improvements to the facility. But perhaps the biggest change came behind the scenes, as facility management was turned over to the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority.

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Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) has put together a wide-ranging program that would invest in central New York’s infrastructure, ranging from fixing crumbling roads and bridges to bringing high speed rail to the area. He says there has to be a mindset change in Washington for this to happen.

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Syracuse's Hancock International Airport, the region's major passenger airport, is now under the control of a private authority after an official handover from the city of Syracuse.

The hope is the airport will be more cost-efficient and creative.

Hancock airport was the last in the state to transfer to private control. It was a long process, said Mayor Stephanie Miner.

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The PreCheck program at Hancock International Airport in Syracuse has exceeded expectations so far, and the Transportation Security Administration says it's expanding the expedited screening program.

"This makes flying fun again, it's just like the old days," says Darry Srago, a frequent flyer out of Hancock. He's happy with the PreCheck program because it makes getting through security easier.

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Correction: The authority planned to take over operations of the airport is a public benefit authority and not private.

Early next year control of day-to-day operations at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport will transfer from a city department to a private public benefit authority, a move city and airport officials say will mean benefits for travelers.

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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.

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Syracuse's Hancock International Airport is one of the medium size airports that will offer the TSA's new PreCheck program, becoming one of 60 across the country that will be able to take advantage of the expedited screening.

The PreCheck initiative is a frequent traveler screening program that will make it easier for frequent fliers to get through the screening process. Syracuse Aviation Commissioner Christina Callahan says there should be demand in Central New York.

City of Syracuse/Department of Aviation

Syracuse's Hancock Airport is getting a $4.5 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration that officials say will help keep flights on time.  Airport Commissioner Christina Callahan says the funds will pay for a new taxiway, and area where diverted planes can go.

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Starting this morning, it won't take so long for you to get through security at Syracuse's Hancock International Airport. A $60 million project will funnel all outbound passengers through a new security checkpoint at the center of the airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced the midnight control tower shifts at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport will not be cut as part of federal sequestration.

New private jet hangar coming to Syracuse airport

Mar 19, 2013
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A group of private jet owners will build and operate its own hangar at Syracuse's Hancock Airport.

Syracuse Common Councilors are expanding the reach of the city's living wage ordinance. The changes will apply to about 50 workers at the Hancock International Airport.