ITHACA, N.Y.(WENY)-- The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport was awarded  $720,447 in a federal grant. The money was secured in order to help the airport purchase new snow removal equipment to keep the run way safe and clear of snow and ice. The airport has a similar machine now, but the New York winters can hit hard and the workers need more advanced equipment to ensure the safety of passengers and staff at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. 

"In one pass you can take the deep snow down to just a thin coating and then broom it off and that is really important to us operationally because with a few accidents in recent years where air crafts slid off the run way the FAA basically requires that the runway be bare," says Mike Hall, Airport Director at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. 

WENY News also took time to check on how the airport renovations are going along, as they have been in the works for coming close to a year now. When entering the building, work can be seen inside and out. Mike Hall said the construction is right on schedule and they will be opening up the front terminal shortly. 

"The front end of the terminal will actually be opening right around labor day and then the security area and the departure concourse will open between thanksgiving and the first winter holiday is Hanukkah, December 22nd," says Hall. 

Once everything is complete and ready to open to the public, Governor Cuomo will come to the airport to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony.