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How can the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport become financially independent or grow service?

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  • Staff Report 

In efforts to rejuvenate airline service at the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport (ITH) to its pre-pandemic glory, the Tompkins County Legislature’s Facilities and Infrastructure Committee has greenlighted a $156,700 deal.

The contract, reported first by the Ithaca Voice, Connecticut’s QED Airport Aviation Consultants, aims to chart a financial pathway for the airport to achieve self-sustainability.

In 2019, ITH offered eight daily flights totaling 400 seats.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

However, the current status, as confirmed by ITH director Roxane Noble, stands reduced to four flights and a mere 252 daily seats.

The county legislature has consistently supported the airport during its pandemic-driven slump, approving roughly $2.7 million over the next three years, culminating in 2025.

Fare price and flight frequency are the airport’s primary challenges in re-establishing market prominence, per Noble. Notably, a Delta one-way ticket from ITH to JFK International Airport is priced at a minimum of $329, whereas a similar flight from the larger Syracuse International Airport starts at just $149.

The county legislature will cast its final vote on the consultancy contract come November 8.