In the early stages of the construction of the new terminal at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH), the crew discovered a time capsule that has been buried in the previous terminal’s wall during renovations in 1994.
The time capsule held contents such as the program from the Grand Opening Ceremony held on May 21, 1994, photos of ITH’s then staff, 1994 Mint Proof Sets, the ribbon from the Ribbon Cutting ceremony, original blueprints, and other miscellaneous local and airport-related items from 1994. Such items range from an issue of Sky Mall Magazine to a long Wegmans grocery receipt. Another item is a letter from then-Airport Manager Robert A. Nicholas. In the letter, Nicholas makes several predictions about the future, ranging from technology to politics to the future of aviation.
“Building the new terminal was a fun project and being the airport manager here in Tompkins County has been a very rewarding and interesting job,” Nicholas wrote. “I look forward to contributing much more to the future of this great little airport…hopefully I will be around long enough to see if some of my predictions will come to be.” Nicholas, was originally from Oxfordshire, England and retired in 2014 after 25 years of service at ITH. The full letter can be read at flyithaca.com.
The time capsule also included an airport brochure from the 1994 airport update, which outlines the $11 million project. The project created a new 33,000 square-foot terminal, a runway extension, additional parking spaces and boarding gates, and a waiting area for passengers.
Now 25 years later, ITH is nearing the end of its nearly year-long $35 million renovations. This project will expand and modernize the airport by double the size of the 1994 building and include six total gates, four jet bridges, a customs facility, and a restaurant and bar. In the coming month, before the renovated airport officially opens its doors, ITH will be putting together a 2019 time capsule and is asking the public for content suggestions. Airport Director Mike Hall is excited about creating the new time capsule.
“We’re looking forward to burying the new time capsule, which contains a divider so that we can fill half the capsule with the 1994 items and half with new items that represent our present moment in Tompkins County,” says Hall.