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Rochester airport redesign project breaks ground

Work is underway at the Greater Rochester International Airport to transform it into a state-of-the-art transportation center.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on hand Tuesday for the groundbreaking of the nearly $54 million redesign. Some $40 million in funding came from the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization competition that was awarded in September. The competition is administered by the state Department of Transportation and was open to all owners of upstate public-use airports.

A number of transformative projects will take place in Rochester, including the redesign of the terminal to feature upscale shopping and dining, a new façade with solar lighting and a digital information hub.

“Across New York we are investing in bold, visionary infrastructure projects like never before, and by transforming the Rochester airport, we create a world-class hub to drive economic activity and growth throughout the region,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This transformation builds on our investments in the Finger Lakes to create a new gateway to all the region has to offer and help us keep moving the Finger Lakes Forward.”

Finger Lakes Forward is the region’s economic growth blueprint that was proposed by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council in 2015.

Rochester’s proposal was put together by airport director Michael Giardino and his team, working with SEI Design Group Architects DPC, Passero Associates DPC and engineering firm CHA Consulting Inc. It includes a number of innovative designs and technologies.

The project includes enhanced safety measures, new signage, color-coded navigation between concourses A and B, as well as a play area designed with input from the Strong National Museum of Play. The terminal also will feature enhanced accessibility, incorporating state-of-the-art technology engineered by Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

“Gov. Cuomo recognizes that transportation is key to New York’s success—and the New York State Department of Transportation is ready to implement his blueprint for the future,” said DOT Commissioner Matthew Driscoll. “From airports and trains to roads and bridges, and everything in between, we are building a better and stronger New York in every region of the state.”

Officials noted that Rochester’s airport supports nearly 10,000 jobs in the Finger Lakes region, and funding through the program will increase economic opportunity, expand retail options and improve the overall passenger experience.

Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email

One comment

  1. Mr. Cuomo continues his missguided fiscal priorities….Transportation as an economic driver is positive only if you have Business/Career Dynamic Opportunity…..Rochester continues missinformation,economic Development /Tax Abatements and False Employment Data to further Political gains !…Reality has not been vetted in years!…….


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