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  March 12, 2009 - Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute

Congratulations to all the people at CV-TEC and Clinton Community College who have collaborated on establishing PAI, and to all the other people and organizations in the North Country who have contributed their time and resources.  It is great news that PAI will open in September.  Plattsburgh now officially is on the map of great potential locations for aviation companies.

When this community “inherited” (using that term in its most positive sense) runway, ramp, and air support facilities from the U.S. Air Force in 1995, it was our hope that some day we could be in the aviation business.  Well, that some day has come.

Many events have led us to this point: the signing of Pratt & Whitney as the first aviation tenant; the leasing of hangar and office space to Homeland Security’s Air and Marine Branch; the establishment of Plattsburgh International Airport by Clinton County; the construction of the beautiful new passenger terminal; the great success of the passenger flights to and from the southern states; and now, the unveiling of PAI.  With this history behind us and this infrastructure in place, Plattsburgh now is poised to attract world-class aviation companies who will create excellent jobs and investment in our community. 

Every community has elements of intrinsic value that may be used to attract employers and investment.  The North Country has many (proximity to Canada, health care, education, Lake Champlain, and other), but none with greater potential than aviation.  The air facilities we have are large, underused (lots of available capacity), relatively inexpensive, clean, unencumbered, and secure.  While the old hangar buildings are tired, there is plenty of room for new construction and installation of new facilities, and our flying weather is some of the best in the entire country.

Typically, aviation companies pay high wages, invest large sums in facilities and equipment, and tend to stay for the long haul.  Also, they pay rent for large footprints of buildings and land which results in significant income for the airport operators.  This income will drive further investment in Plattsburgh International Airport by the County and further growth and improvement of the airport’s facilities, which in turn will attract more aviation tenants.  This is a good cycle to be a part of.  To have the ability, right here in our own community, to train aviation mechanics and technicians in FAA-certified programs is a tremendous resource for our youth and residents, and a fantastic marketing tool to attract aviation employers.

We wish PAI, Clinton Community, and CV-TEC the very best of success as we as a community move forward in this enterprise.  Thanks for helping to put Plattsburgh on the map.

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