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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Potsdam plans to upgrade airport

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POTSDAM — The Potsdam Municipal Airport is updating its master plan for the first time in five years, and village residents are invited to sound off.

The village, which receives regular federal grants to maintain the airport, is required to send an updated plan to the Federal Aviation Administration every five years.

CNS Engineers, Syracuse, the company that handles most of the airport’s renovation and maintenance, has nearly finished this master plan.

“Most of what we’re going to focus on in the next two to three years is going to be obstruction removal,” said Village Administrator David H. Fenton.

Trees near the landing site have grown worryingly high and may soon pose a risk to low-flying pilots. Cutting down these trees will be the first priority.

Once the trees have been removed, the village will turn to the next major step in the five-year plan, re-paving the runway.

“The existing pavement out there has been touched up and repaired about as much as it can be,” Mr. Fenton said. The most recent repairs were made in March.

Repaving will begin in two to three years. The runway will also be widened at this time, as it is very narrow compared to most modern runways.

Although they is not part of this five-year plan, additional hangers will eventually be added to the airport. All of the existing hangers are already in use, and the airport is regularly busy, Mr. Fenton said.

Meanwhile, medical helicopter service Air Methods Inc. is moving into their new station in the airport, after already opening stations in Watertown and Fort Drum. They are slated to begin emergency transport service on October 1.

Village residents are invited to attend an open meeting at the village board room at 5 p.m. Thursday to review the master plan. Engineers will be there to answer any questions.

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