R.A. Wiedemann & Associates, Inc. was selected to develop a business plan for Griffiss International Airport, in the Utica/Rome area of New York. The facility is a former Air Force Base that now is operated by Oneida County. The Airport has a significant MRO operation and is branded and marketed as a one-stop MRO facility. Aircraft from helicopters to large B-747 wide-bodied aircraft can be maintained or refurbished at this facility. The recommendations of the business plan rested on four primary strategies:
1) Airport Branding, Marketing, and Promotion: For Griffiss International Airport to grow, the County must develop a brand identity that represents a value that can attract new activity.
2) Attraction of Corporate/Business Aviation and Retention of Existing Tenants: The retention of existing tenants and attraction of increased corporate/business aviation tenants and transient activities to Griffiss is vital to future Airport revenue generation.
3) Improved Partnership with Mohawk Valley EDGE: As a business development strategy, improving the Airport’s partnership with the County’s economic development agency is a critical part of achieving the County’s growth goals at the Airport.
4) Implementation of Utility System Upgrades: The cost of operating the antiquated utility system infrastructure leftover from the old Griffiss Air Force Base is significant, and has required more than $920,000 annually in recent years. Therefore, upgrading existing utility systems from aging steam-heat to natural gas is a central strategy toward improving the ability of the Airport to achieve self-sustaining revenue levels.