Rome, NY (WIBX) - Hangar 783 at Griffiss International Airport is officially open for business! That's according to Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, who today, unveiled the completion of the renovation project at the site formerly known as, Nose Dock 783.

Picente says Griffiss can be a major player in the airline industry, and says officials on many different levels, are continuing to lay down the groundwork for the county's long term plan to maximize the potential of the area. He said,  "The construction taking place at the airport to add hangars and other essential facilities has always been part of the plan to give Oneida County an aviation facility that can serve as a springboard to job creation." Picente goes on to say, "My vision for the future of the airport is to use it as a unique regional asset that can maximize the potential of commercial, corporate, military and general aviation enterprises. Upgrading facilities is an important step to making that vision a reality."

The county executive hesitated to give a timeline for when the airport will, or even can be used for commercial or international flights, pointing to the need for additional infrastructure upgrades like a terminal building, additional roads and signage, and airline service providers. Picente also talked about a cooperation with nearby airports like Syracuse Hancock International Airport and Albany International Airport that's in the works for future partnerships involving economic development. He put to rest any concerns of unhealthy competition between the airports, saying that an additional airport in the region would help alleviate a shortage of planes that fly to nearby destinations like, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania or New York City.

Also at hand for the unveiling was Rome Mayor, James Brown. He says he fully supports the changes taking place at Griffiss. Brown said, "This is the nucleus for development for the future, because ladies and gentleman, the future is upon us and change is hear, and we don't look at new and unique opportunities, especially in transportation, we're going to end up in the rear of the plane and not the front of the plane."

The Hangar is one of five "Nose Docks" used for airplane maintenance. According to Picente, 95 percent of the project was funded by the federal government through the Military Airport Program. The county and state each paid $62,093---the remainder of the cost. The total cost for the construction project was $2,359,563.