August/September Business View Magazine

130 131 ITHACA TOMPKINS REGIONAL AIRPORT ITHACA TOMPKINS Regional airport I thaca Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH) is a public-use airport in upstate New York that supports commercial and general aviation. Located just 10 minutes from Cornell Univer- sity and downtown Ithaca, the Airport is close to many destinations in the Finger Lakes, a popular leisure and recreation area. In 2017, more than 200,000 passengers were served at Ithaca Tomp- kins, which generates over $30 million for the local economy and nearly $456,000 in sales tax revenue. The Airport serves as a national and interna- tional link for Cornell, Ithaca College, and the area’s major employers. Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is home to three major carriers; United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines, as well as fixed based operator, Taughannock Avia- tion Corporation, a charter service provider. THERE AT THE BEGINNING Ithaca can boast of playing a key role in the development of the nation’s aviation industry, starting in the early 1900s, when a group of Cornell students formed an aeronautical club. The club had 80 members by 1903, when the Wright Brothers made their historic, first sustained-pow- er flight. In 1914, the Ithaca Board of Trade invited air- craft designers,William T. and Oliver W. Thomas, to establish an aircraft manufacturing plant in the city. Formed near the conclusion of World War I, the Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation became best known for its Thomas-Morse Scout. One of their iconic, single-seat biplanes is being re- stored and will fly on September 29, and then be retired to the local history museum, says Ithaca Tompkins’ Airport Manager, Mike Hall. “It’s quite a remarkable old airplane,” he notes.