Editor’s Note: The following was submitted by Barbara Lifton, who represents the Ithaca area in the New York State Assembly.

To submit a guest column, contact me at jstein@ithacavoice.com.

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Barbara Lifton

ITHACA, N.Y. — Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP – 125th) joined several of her upstate Assembly colleagues in signing a letter urging the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to uphold the 1,500 mile permiter rule at LaGuardia International Airport.

The rule limits the distance traveled by flights out of LaGaurdia to no more than 1,500 miles. The Port Authority is currently studying the issue to determine whether the rule should be lifted.

The change, if it happens, could have a negative impact on Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. At present, the rule assures the safe operation of airline services in the congested airspace above New York City, and serves as a critical mechanism for serving regional markets, including Upstate New York.

Should the perimeter rule be lifted, there is the strong likelihood that airlines will transition their limited slots at LaGuardia away from Upstate cities like Ithaca and towards more lucrative long haul flights originating on the West Coast or abroad. This action could result in Upstate airports experiencing a reduction in flights and increased fares as a result of airlines abandoning regional airports for more profitable destinations.

“I was happy to sign this letter to Governor Cuomo expressing opposition to the possible lifting of the 1,500 mile perimeter rule at LaGuardia,” said Lifton.

“By encouraging airlines to shift away from regional markets towards more profitable long-haul flights to the West Coast and beyond, this change could have have a damaging impact on our local economy.”

“Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is accountable for millions of dollars in economic activity and local taxes. Lifting the 1,500 mile perimeter rule could seriously impair our ability to compete with other states and the rest of the world.”

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