Things Could Get Busy at Syr Hancock Airport: Record Summer Travel Expected & Ongoing Construction

Jun 20, 2018

Summer travel plans? TSA explains the how's and why's of airport security measures to make things go smoothly, during what's expected to be a record travel period.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

If you’re thinking about traveling this summer, you’re not alone.  The Syracuse Hancock International Airport is expecting a record-breaking travel season.  To make sure everything runs safe and smoothly, travel experts are offering some tips on what travelers can do in advance.  TSA Federal Security Director Bart Johnson wants passengers to pack properly.  He says people bring all kinds of dangerous objects, like cork screws, switch blades and even guns, which can delay check-points.

“Know what you’re putting into the bag.  Don’t put knives in the bag.  I can’t believe I’m going to say this, don’t put guns in your bag.  We average about a gun a month here in Upstate New York, where an individual has within their bag, at the checkpoint, a loaded handgun.” 

TSA's Bart Johnson asks travelers to do their part in being ready to go through security, and help spot anything unusual that could be dangerous.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

Johnson asks people to help with security as well, by using the "see something, say something" logic.  he says numerous attacks and plots have been stopped because of the comments and reports of civilians.

The entrance to Hancock Airport looks like this. Construction has changed patterns for getting to planes and getting picked-up after arrival.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

Another thing travelers need to be aware of is ongoing construction, part of a $45 Million renovation.  Airport Executive Director Christina Callahan says customers should arrive at least an hour-and-a-half early to ensure they can catch their flight on time.   Plus, traffic in and out of the terminal might have changed since the last time you visited.  

“There’s one traffic light on our main road and that light is the key decision point for anyone coming to the airport, whether to travel, or to pick someone up or to drop someone off.  That decision point is: do I turn left or do I turn right.  And that is based on the airline, whether you need to park in the garage, or return a rental car.  So pay attention to those signs leading up to the traffic light so you make the correct turn.”

Detours will be placed in front of the terminals until Halloween when construction is slated for completion.  The airport is currently:

  • Renovating the entire front grand hall of the airport with a new front entrance, elevators and other infrastrcutrue.
  • The areas for airlines will be all-new; ticket counters will be moved out of the baggage areas and back into the center for ticketing and check-in
  • Parking and Traffic Circle improvements, including retnal car areas returned to the main floor of the parking garage. 

Callahan says all of these renovations are bringing more foot traffic through the airport than ever before.

“So we have seen month after month increases since October of last year.  We saw double digit just this April, 18%.  That’s great.  That’s clearly a sign to us that more people are traveling because we have added additional flights; there’s more capacity, more destinations.” 

Frontier Airlines will further increase the number of carriers and flight options.  Frontier will be kicking off new service July 2nd with flights to Denver and Raleigh-Durham.

For more air travel tips and to learn the do’s and don’ts of packing go to