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Niagara Falls International Airport Welcomes One Millionth Passenger

The Niagara Falls International Airport welcomed its one millionth passenger this morning. Bill and Anna Egbert of Summerfield, FL. arrived courtesy of Allegiant, on a flight from Sanford, FL.

Technically, the Egberts are ‘one million’ and ‘one million and one.’ They accepted the honor as a couple and received round trip tickets for a future flight thank to Allegiant, luggage from the airport and a Niagara-themed gift basket complements of the Niagara Tourist & Convention Corp. The basket includes a stay at The Giacomo Hotel, a $50 Hard Rock CafĂ© certificate, a bottle of wine from the Flight of Five Winery, a gift certificate to Encounter Niagara, treats from DiCamillo’s Bakery and a matted photograph print of Niagara Falls, USA.

Vice Chairman Henry M. Sloma was on hand to officially recognize the one millionth passenger, particularly fitting because he was passenger number one out of the terminal in December, 2009.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, “The NFTA made a $42.5 million investment in 2008 to construct a new state-of-the-art terminal that would be efficient, user-friendly and ready to meet the sophisticated needs of 21st century aviation. It has become an engine for growth and development with a yearly economic impact of $200 million.”

William R. Vanecek, NFTA Director of Aviation said, “The airport continues to mature and has become a valued regional asset as a direct result of our dedicated workforce that keeps the airport running professionally and efficiently. Further, by working closely with our airline partners we continually discuss opportunities to add flights and new destinations for our customers.”

In 2014 the NFIA surpassed the 100,000 enplanement mark for the first time and ultimately set a record with 105,273 passengers departing the facility. In total, 207,597 (outbound & inbound) passengers utilized the NFIA during 2014. This year the airport is on target to surpass the 2014 total having already served 87,571 departing passengers through August, a 17.5 percent increase year-to-date.

Allegiant and Spirit operate from the airport with service to warm weather destinations. Allegiant travels to Fort Lauderdale and Myrtle Beach, while Spirit connects to Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda/ Fort Myers and Tampa/St. Petersburg.

The airport’s four-gate facility provides for efficient, customer oriented passenger processing, a two level layout with jet bridge boarding, free Wi-Fi, food and beverage concessions, convenient on-site parking, a federal inspection station, in-line baggage screening, 12 stationary ticket counter stations, an ATM, tourist information counter, car rental and a Metro transit center, for convenient access to public transportation.

(Photo: Vice Chairman Henry M. Sloma, Executive Director Kimberley Minkel, Anna and Bill Egbert, Director of Aviation William Vanecek, Commission Margo Dawn Downey.)

New Cars on the Block

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As of 1 p.m. January 23 automobiles are back on the 600 block of Main St. sharing the road with Metro Rail, reversing restrictions that began in 1979. The 700 block was revised in 2009, and construction on the 500 block is underway, continuing a push to return cars to all of Main St.

The 600 block of Main runs from Tupper to Chippewa and includes Shea’s Performing Arts Center and the Market Arcade. Access to businesses and buildings in this section has increased, but that is not the only improvement. The streetscape is fresh and more appealing. It continues the enhancements begun on the 700 block: trees, bike racks, maps, signage, upgraded streetlights.

Metro Rail has taken the opportunity to make some improvements of its own. As NFTA Executive Director Kimberley A. Minkel explained, “The numerous enhancements to the streetscape will complement the $6.65 million investment made by the NFTA to install new track and new concrete panels to enhance our riders traveling experience.”

Work continues on the stretch between Chippewa and Mohawk streets. The city hopes to eventually see automobile traffic on all the way to Scott St.

Main Street Opening To Traffic 2015 - by Full Circle Studios