Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Genesee County Airport

August 9, 2016 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Genesee County Airport, business.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $184,871 in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Genesee County Airport, located in Batavia. The grant will assist the Genesee County Airport in funding the full reconstruction and rehabilitation of 3,400 feet of existing runway.

“Utilizing grant funding to support our local governments is a smart investment and a responsible use of federal tax dollars,” said Congressman Collins. “Investing in infrastructure projects like the Genesee County Airport’s runway rehabilitation will significantly improve the quality, efficiency and safety of its daily operations. These efforts will allow the Genesee County Airport to continue to grow and positively impact our local economy for years to come.”

“This important federal funding will help ensure the future of the Genesee County Airport,” said Ray Cianfrini, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature.The grant will fund the full depth reconstruction of 3,400 feet of the existing runway 10/28 pavement that has reached the end of its useful life. We look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Collins to improve local transportation infrastructure and support job growth throughout Genesee County.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.

June 17, 2016 - 8:00am

098a8050.1.jpg

Batavia Rotary Club’s 14th annual Father’s Day Fly-In Pancake breakfast will be from 7 a.m. to noon this Sunday, June 19, at the Genesee County Airport, 4701 Saile Drive, Batavia. The menu consists of pancakes, scrambled eggs, omelets, sausage, coffee, tea, milk and juice.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children 4-12; children under 4 are free.

"We normally serve about 1,500 people but expect over 2,000 people because it coincides with the grand opening of the new Genesee County Airport terminal," said breakfast Chairman Paul Marchese.

Presale tickets are available from any Rotarian, Marchese Computer, or can be purchased at door for the same price.

All of the proceeds are used by Batavia Rotary to support many local agencies as well as help fund our college scholarships given to three outstanding high school graduates from Batavia, Notre Dame and Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

Treat your dad, grandpa and yourself to a great breakfast at the Genesee County Airport this Father’s Day.

Pictured from left, Rotarian Susie Ott, Paul Marchese, chairman of the breakfast event, and Batavia Rotary Co-President Paul Saskowski.

June 9, 2016 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in Steve Hawley, Genesee County Airport, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced that Genesee County Airport will receive $498,750 for construction of a new storage hanger as part of the Aviation Capital Grant Program. $10 million was awarded to 20 applicants across the state through a competitive application process.

“I am pleased to announce that Genesee County Airport will receive nearly $500,000 for upgrades to its infrastructure,” Hawley said. “The airport is an economic and commercial hub for Western New York and very important to the residents of Genesee County.

"I will support any measure that increases airport safety and allows patrons more efficient and comfortable travel. We still have many upstate infrastructure projects that deserve attention and I will be fighting to make sure we receive our fair share.”

Additional grants will be distributed through the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization competition after the application and selection process has been completed.

June 6, 2016 - 10:34am

Press release:

The Batavia Rotary Club has announced that its 2016 Fly-In Breakfast will be held Sunday, June 19 (Father’s Day) at the Genesee County Airport, 4701 Saile Drive, Batavia, from 7 a.m. to noon.

Rotarians will cook breakfast for more than 1,500 guests, as well as dozens of pilots who will fly their aircraft to the Batavia airport that morning.

Tickets are $8 for adults; $5 for children ages 4 to 12; and free for children under the age of 4. 

Residents throughout Western New York are invited to enjoy breakfast, meet the pilots, and view their aircraft.  The Fly-In Breakfast menu will feature sausage, eggs, pancakes, and beverages. Over the years, the volunteer Rotarian-cooks have become known for their “any-way-you-want-them” omelets, which will once again be available. Tickets for the event may be obtained from any member of the Batavia Rotary Club or at the door.

Saile Drive is located just north of the City of Batavia and the Batavia exit of the New York State Thruway, off Route 98.

All proceeds from the event benefit the Batavia Rotary Club’s programs for youth and community programs. Last year, the Club donated more than $100,000 to charitable causes.  

Fly-In Breakfast Co-Chair Edmund Leising said that the airport’s expanded facilities may attract more guests this year.

“We’ll have a record number of volunteers hosting and cooking the morning of the 19th,” he said. “Guests will have the chance to talk with pilots, view their aircraft, and see all the changes made at the county airport.”

May 19, 2016 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee County Airport, news.

airplanesalilemay192016-3.jpg

A WBTA reporter confirmed with Genesee County Airport authorities that a plane made an emergency landing, not at the airport, but on Saile Drive itself, within the last 10 20 minutes. No word on any injuries or other details yet. Town of Batavia Fire Department responded to the scene.

UPDATE 1:50 p.m.: Troopers are waiting to confer with FAA officials before releasing information about the incident.

UPDATE 1:52 p.m.: East Saile Drive will be closed between Bank and State streets until an FAA rep can come and investigate the scene, which would take a couple of hours.

UPDATE 2:02 p.m.: Trooper Daniel Hollands, of NYSP Troop A, Batavia, said law enforcement responded to Saile Drive after receiving a call from the Emergency Dispatch Center at 1:15 p.m. that a plane landed on the roadway on Saile Drive. They arrived to find the pilot and sole occupant uninjured. No word on who contacted the dispatchers. It will be up to the FAA to release the ID of the pilot and other pertinent information, Hollands said.

airplanesalilemay192016-2.jpg

airplanesalilemay192016.jpg

January 3, 2016 - 1:37pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, Genesee County Airport, snowy owl.

Up until recently it has not felt at all like winter. It has just seemed like an extended fall season. But as you know, shortly after Christmas the cold and snow returned.

Well it is now officially winter, by the calendar, by the feel of the ice and snow and by the return of the snowy owls to the Genesee County Airport. The owls have not been seen here this season until the last couple days. Their arrival is two months later than last year's visit. One can assume that they also did not feel winter was upon us until recently either.

Pictured below, a female snowy owl. 

untitled_shoot-0468-2.jpg

August 7, 2015 - 5:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY Aviation Adventure Camp, Genesee County Airport.

av_camp3.jpg

Students in the WNY Aviation Adventure Camp completed their course work today and received their certicates of graduation at the Genesee County Airport.

The program gives students an opportunity at a variety of hands-on learning opportunities in the aviation field. Field trips included visits to FL Soaring Club in Dansville, the Niagara Aerospace Museum along the classes at Boshart Enterprises & Aircraft Services.

Photos by Jill Breslawski include some of the activities from throughout the camp.

20150805_114243.jpg

20150805_114034.jpg

av_camp6.jpg

20150802_200121.jpg

20150802_111418.jpg

June 22, 2015 - 4:07pm
posted by Traci Turner in Genesee County Airport.

Most of the foundation for the Genesee County Airport's new eco-friendly terminal building and hangar has been completed.

According to Tim Hens, county highway superintendent, the terminal is being built to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design standards. LEED is a green building certification program that certifies building projects and rates each project based on various environmental standards. The airport terminal project received a silver rating.

"The building is environmentally sensitive so it will be a very energy-efficient building," Hens said. "It will be Genesee County's first green building."

In addition to the foundation, contractors have begun working on plumbing and electrical and building the base of the elevator shaft. While many companies are working on the construction, the general contractor is Building Innovations Group.

p1020588.jpg

Keeler construction workers were dressing the stone up from the edge of the black top to the edge of the building pad this afternoon. In the next few days, the fence near the road will be taken down and they will work on getting everything topsoiled.

The next big step is constructing the steel structure of the terminal building, which is set to begin on July 20. The structure of the hangar will start going up in August.

The project received approximately $1.5 million in state and federal grants. The rest of the building costs are being funded by the county. 

The target date for completion of the terminal and associated hangar is January or February.

March 17, 2015 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, nature, Genesee County Airport, snowy owl.

Rebecca Grela shared this picture she took Saturday of the snowy owl at the Genesee County Airport.

January 15, 2015 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Genesee County Airport, P&L Air.

Pete Lockner has decided retirement is for the birds. He'd rather get back to doing what he loves: teaching people to fly.

Next week, the County Legislature will be asked to sign off on a new one-year lease for Lockner to open -- we should say, reopen -- P&L Air, a flight school, at the Genesee County Airport.

Lockner and a partner (hence P&L) first opened a flight school in Batavia in 1986. Lockner bought out his partner when he took an early retirement from Kodak and grew the school into an operation with 10 aircraft for students to rent and learn in.

"I taught people how to have fun for 17 years and it was great," Lockner said.

After 17 years of fun, Lockner sold the business, but that operator eventually closed up shop and moved to Florida.

A second flight school opened, but was forced out of business 18 months ago in a tax dispute with the State of New York.

While taking in the dry heat of Albuquerque, N.M., Lockner heard of the vacancy at his old airport and saw it as an opportunity to get back to doing what he truly enjoys.

P&L will be a small enterprise to start, with only one single-engine plane, but Lockner is ambitious. He hopes to have a second plane in a year or so and add on from there.

"In a couple of years, I'm hopeful the business grow like it did before," Lockner said.

Lockner's interest in aviation goes back to his college days, but didn't start flying until his wife bought him a gift certificate for ground school for Christmas when he was 40.

Bit by the bug, Lockner is licensed to fly everything from a single-engine plane up to a commercial airliner. 

P&L will provide pilot training for beginners and beyond.

The basic single-engine pilot license without an instrument rating is pretty much all anybody needs to fly to any destination in the world, Lockner said.

He used to fly all over the country on such a license. 

"The private pilot license is most useful because as long you don't worry about bad weather, you can fly anywhere you want," Lockner said.

County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said Lockner returning is welcome news.

The one-year lease will expire about the time the airport will get a new terminal, and P&L, if successful, could be a nice anchor tenant.

"It's nice to have him back because he knows the airport and he knows the market, so I think he will be successful," Hens said. "He's a good pilot."

December 26, 2014 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, outdoors, birds, Genesee County Airport.

Here's one of the snowy owls out at the airport in a photo by Dylan Brew, of Schoen Productions.

December 9, 2014 - 2:18pm

A pair of snowy owls have returned to the Genesee County Airport. Jim Burns sent in these photos. Burns said he and other members of the Batavia Photo Club have been out photographing the pair, whom they dubbed George (above) and Martha.

July 23, 2014 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee County Airport, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced $630,000 in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Genesee County Airport. The grant will fund the construction for approximately 700 linear feet of taxi lane necessary to provide access to the new T-hangar areas at the airport.

“Supporting local governments with the cost of maintaining, repairing and building critical infrastructure is an appropriate use of federal tax dollars,” Congressman Collins said. “Local taxpayers send a lot of their hard-earned money to Washington and it is only proper that we get a share of it back to assist with projects that are important to our local communities.”

“The grant not only supports local construction jobs, but it allows for the construction of the aprons that are needed to erect additional facilities necessary to address Genesee County's long-standing waiting list for hangars,” said Timothy J. Hens, Superintendent for the Genesee County Highway Department. “More hangars means more activity at the airport, which is good for the county, and good for the businesses based at and around the airport.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.

May 10, 2014 - 11:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history, Genesee County Airport, Whiskey 7.

An honest bit of history was parked at the Genesee County Airport for a time this afternoon. Whiskey 7, a Douglas C-47 that actually dropped paratroopers on the beaches at Normandy, June 6, 1944, stopped for refueling on its way back to Geneseo. 

The aircraft "has been all over" said Naomi Wadsworth, the pilot. It's currently owned by the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo. After the war, it was sold to Capital Airlines, then Frontier Airlines, and then it was flown commercially in Alaska then South America before returning to the U.S. to be displayed in museums. The folks in Geneseo acquired it in 2006. 

Wadsworth said they've actually located one of the paratroopers who jumped from the plane on D-Day.

The plane is returning to Normandy on Thursday for the 70th Anniversary of the famous battle. The crew has raised enough money for fuel to make the trip there but still needs to raise money for the return flight. Six bucks buys a gallon of gas. To find out about making a donation, visit www.rtn2014.org.

 

December 31, 2013 - 4:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, nature, Genesee County Airport.

Jason Berne, manager of Parmenter Tire near the airport, sent in this picture of a snowy owl that he said a researcher brought into the shop for he and his staff to see.

"They are beautiful," Berne said.

TV news crews have been out to the airport today. Jay Terkel, in comments on our story from yesterday, said there are so many cars driving slowly around the airport "it's like Lion Country Safari" out there.

Photo by Jay Terkel.

Photo by Dylan Brew.

December 31, 2013 - 3:21pm
posted by Jay Terkel in Jay Terkel, Genesee County Airport, snowy owl.

December 30, 2013 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, nature, Genesee County Airport.

Snowy owls have become Batavia's latest tourist attraction. Birders are driving out to the Genesee County Airport from miles around to see the majestic raptors.

"It's very special to come out and see such an unusual bird," said Leslie Phillips, a Rochester resident who read about the "irruption" of snowy owls in Batavia through an e-mail discussion list for birders.

Irruptions are the irregular southern migrations exhibited by bird species that typically winter in Canada and the extreme northern United States, according to Cornell University's Project Feederwatch.

She was among six or seven birders who were on State Street Road this afternoon with scopes and binoculars watching the owls perched on snow banks or fence posts.

David Genesky, a conservationist who specializes in raptors, spent much of the day trapping the owls on behalf of a national snowy owl research program.

By 5 p.m. he had caught eight and believed there were at least two more in the airport area. (CORRECTION: It's eight for the season, three on Tuesday.)

Genesky collected a feather, for a DNA sample, and weighed each bird before banding it and releasing it. The whole process took about five minutes per bird.

"Personally, I just want to make sure the species is OK," Genesky said. "There's a lot of talk about global warming and climate change and how it would effect their nesting areas, and for me personally, that's what I'm concerned about."

Genesky said the collection of snowy owls at the airport is a great opportunity for the public to see one of the great birds of the wild up close.

"They've been as steady as can be for the last month," Genesky said. "People have come from miles away and gotten good looks at them."

Sharon Leising hasn't had to travel far this winter to see the owls. She lives on State Street Road, and when she heard about the trapping project today, she had to meet up with Genesky and learn about what he was doing. She was at the Emergency Training Center when Genesky brought one of the birds in for cataloging (inset photo; photo courtesy Sharon Leising).

"This is so exciting, to have something like this happen in our area," Leising said. "They're such beautiful birds."

Typically, snowy owls make their homes in the Arctic and don't often congregate in such numbers in the northeast.

"This year is probably is biggest number in 40 years," Genesky said. "It's very rare to get this many birds in the Northeastern United States.  The Western states have fewer birds. They seem to have concentrated here."

Genesky said the local snowy owl population seems to be in good shape.

"Believe me, these birds are all healthy," he said. "They're not starving."

While there may be as many as a dozen snowy owls in the airport area, that number will thin soon to one or two as the birds establish their territories for the rest of the winter. Grenesky said anybody interested in seeing the birds should get out to the airport soon.

Leslie Phillips

September 16, 2013 - 9:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Airport.

There's a plan in place to build a new terminal building at the Genesee County Airport. There's just no money to pay for it.

The feds have provided grants for the architectural work -- $200,000 so far, with another $200,000 in planning the work required. And the feds will pay for demolition of the current terminal building, which sits partially within the Federal Aviation Administration's required safety zone near a runway.

The feds right now are not paying for new terminal construction.

The new terminal and associated hangar will cost about $6.5 million.

County Highway Superintendant Tim Hens discussed the status of the terminal project at today's Public Service Committee meeting.

There may be some grant money available soon to help cover the cost, but if grant money doesn't come through, the current plans may need to be put on a shelf, Hens said, until funding is found.

At the meeting today, county legislators expressed full support for replacing the current, aging terminal, but how to pay for it is the vexing problem.

The county could issue a construction bond, but that would mean interest payments, so legislators peppered Hens with suggestions to ask airport users -- including Mercy Flight, the State Police and some local corporations -- to help pay for the new terminal.

Because the terminal is a critical link in economic growth, Legislator Ray Cianfrini wondered if the Genesee County Economic Development Center shouldn't kick in some cash.

"We have a lot of site selectors flying in and business people from around the country," Hens said. "For a lot of these people coming to our county for the first time, their first impression they have of our county is the airport terminal. When you're talking about a site the size of STAMP, big companies like Apple and Intel might fly in here and the terminal is their first impression."

The proposed new terminal would be two levels with space for current tenant Boshart (also leasing the new hangar attached to the new terminal), a cafe, office space, conference room space and space for a new flight school.

September 9, 2013 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Airport, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced today that the Genesee County Airport, located in Batavia, will receive two grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) totaling more than $1 million. The first grant, for $973,800, will fund the construction necessary to relocate the airport’s apron. An apron is the area of the airport where planes are parked, unloaded, refueled and boarded. This project includes 77,500 square feet of new pavement and the reconstruction of 44,000 square feet of existing pavement.

The second grant, for $63,000, will provide funding for the design of a new taxiway leading to the T-hangar at the airport. 

“Supporting local governments with the cost of maintaining, repairing and building critical infrastructure is an appropriate use of federal tax dollars,” Collins said. “Local taxpayers send a lot of their hard-earned money to Washington and it is only proper that we get a share of it back to assist with projects that are important to our local communities.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button

News Break