Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport has won a $620,000 New York State Airport Infrastructure grant, part of $10 million awarded for airport capital project improvements across New York State from the Governor’s Aviation Capital Grant Program.

The grant will fund construction of a Flight Academy Building at the airport that will significantly expand the breadth and depth of training services offered at the airport. The project involves construction of a new 2,500 square foot single-story office-type building to house a dedicated flight training center, including flight simulation rooms, a lecture hall, classroom and meeting rooms, conference areas, and offices for instructors and support staff.

The flight training center will be operated by a new not-for-profit entity, the East Hill Aviation Academy, using resources from the existing East Hill Flying Club, an FAA-certified flight school.

“Nationwide and in Tompkins County, air service is being held back by a growing pilot shortage,” said Airport Manager Mike Hall. “With the Governor’s support, we will now expand pilot training at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport to help address the critical requirement for more pilots."