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Travelers at Syracuse Hancock Airport will Have Easier Time Exiting Terminals with New Portals

Scott Willis

  Anyone who's passed through Syracuse’s Hancock Airport in recent years has probably been perplexed by the awkward automated exit portals at the terminals.  Airport Authority Executive Director Jason Terreri says they’ve been replaced with more efficient security lanes.

“One of the biggest complaints we always got was the exit portals. Why do we have to have these? It’s slow... ” said Terreri “...the way these are set up is a seamless transition as you walk through. You can come, just start walking through. There’s no need to stop. The doors don’t close after each individual person. You can have a constant stream of people coming through.”

The new exit at Terminal “B” is complete, and Terreri says Terminal “A” should be finished before the Thanksgiving rush.  Funding for the $1.5 million project came from pandemic relief in the CARES act, which Congressmember John Katko helped secure.  He knows as a member of the Homeland Security Committee that terminal exits have to be protected.

“Terrorists are obsessed with trying to take out airplanes and cause mayhem in airports. These exit lanes are vitally important because they have to be secure and you don’t create a backdoor for people getting something into the airport security area that they’re not supposed to.” said Katko.

Credit Scott Willis
L to R: Joe Nehme with Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office, Airport Authority Executive Director Jason Terreri, Authority Board Chair Jo Anne Gagliano, Congressmember John Katko, and Mayor Ben Walsh.

Meanwhile, passenger traffic at Hancock continues to slowly recover after bottoming out in March.  But Jason Terreri says they haven’t stopped their marketing efforts.

“We have a social media campaign. We partnered with our airlines. We’ve done tours for key business travel agencies that come through to understand the process from beginning to end: to be safe, sanitary and people will be comfortable flying again.”

Today at the airport, there seemed to be a fair amount of passenger activity during a typically less busy time. 



Aiport officials note that travel restrictions from the Governor's office due to COVID spikes are in effect. Airlines inform passengers with specific guidlines to travel from state to state.

If you are considering travel, airline websites have suggestions from each carrier. Hancock Airport officials have taken a number of steps to try and make travel through the terminsals as safe as possible:


  • Airport has installed UV-C lighting in our HVAC units and in dwell points such as the checkpoint
  • We purchased and use a hospital grade misting machine to sanitize surfaces
  • We increase cleaning of high tough points
  • We installed social distancing markers throughout the airport.
  • Airport tenants such as concessions have implemented social distancing protocols in their areas of the airport.


Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at