PLATTSBURGH - Passengers flying into Plattsburgh International Airport are now benefiting from one of the latest improvements at the facility - a new baggage carousel.
Rodney L. Brown, deputy county administrator and interim airport manager, said the seemingly small change will make a large difference for those picking up their luggage in the airport terminal. The previous carousel wasn't able to accommodate the amount of baggage from larger flights, leading many to have to pick up their luggage outside, even during inclement weather.
"The belt that was installed with the building was undersized for the level of service that we're providing out of this airport," explained Brown. "The [county] legislature made the decision sometime late summer to move forward with installing a new one."
The overall process took nearly three months, with the majority of that time preparing a design of the new carousel and putting the project out to bid. In the end, Murnane Building Contractors Inc. of Plattsburgh provided the lowest bid for the work, and was awarded the contract for approximately $180,000.
Murnane was the same business that won the contract to construct the airport's terminal in April 2007.
"Once they started work on it, they completed it in about two weeks," Brown said, referring to the baggage carousel.
The timing of the new baggage carousel's completion couldn't be better, said Brown, as the number of people using the airport will begin to increase. Direct Air and Tours, formerly Myrtle Beach Direct Air and Tours, will begin new one-stop service to Punta Gorda, Fla., this Saturday, Dec. 6. Allegiant Air is expected to begin service to Tampa Bay, Fla., beginning Saturday, Dec. 20. The number of people taking advantage of such flights is something Brown said he expects to continue through the spring as locals look to head to warmer destinations.