Your Stories: Flight patterns changing at Hancock International Airport due to runway construction

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Neighborhoods that are not used to seeing low flying planes will start seeing them Wednesday morning April 28th, and it’s not just because air traffic is picking up at Hancock International Airport. Flight patterns will be changing at the airport until the fall.

Thousands of planes have touched down and taken off from runway 10-2-8 since it last got a major reconstruction, about 15 years ago.

“We have very strict standards that we have to meet to be able to accept commercial traffic,” said Jason Terreri, Executive Director of the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority.

Some of the runway will be totally torn out and replaced, while other sections will be ground out and paved. Edge lighting, sensors, and signage will also be replaced.

“Based on the age of the asphalt out there and the fact that we have a very short construction season here in the northeast, we have to be very aggressive. Starting early and for a project of this magnitude, it really requires all 160 calendar days,” said Brian Dorman, Director of Planning and Development at the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority.

Instead of the normal east-west flight pattern, the airport will use its secondary runway, which is on a northwest-southeast track.

Terreri said, “The airplanes actually start lining up over Caz Lake, and it’s a straight shot in from there and they just get on a decent pattern down. So planes are going to be low coming in over Manlius, Fayetteville, Minoa.” 

Take-off will be over North Syracuse, and once in the air, planes will turn east or west.

“Areas around the airport that are going to see increased traffic outside of that,” Dorman said. “If you’re flying in or out of Syracuse, it should just be business as usual.” 

“It’s not constant, you know, from sun up to sundown aircraft,” Terreri said. “We do have certain peaks where you will see maybe four airplanes in a row and then it’ll be quiet.  And that’s kind of what you’re going to be seeing, little spurts of traffic.”

With passenger traffic picking up, you’ll see bigger jets back in the air, but not to worry. Terreri says they are quieter than the smaller regional jets.

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