Schumer made unexpected landing at Pine Hill Airport in Barre on Tuesday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2023 at 2:26 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer speaks at a news conference in Albion on Tuesday after getting to the site behind schedule.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer was in an apologetic and thankful mood when he reached Albion on Tuesday afternoon.

The senate was in town for a news conference about bipartisan legislation passed in the Senate last week. The FEND Off Fentanyl Act would allow President Biden to place economic sanctions on China and Mexico for contributing to the fentanyl epidemic in the United States, Schumer said.

But Schumer almost didn’t get to the press conference. His plane was set to land at the Genesee County Airport in Batavia. But another plane was stuck on the runway with a flat tire.

Schumer’s pilot looked for another option nearby. Pine Hill Airport in Barre has a paved runway. That proved good enough to land the small propeller plane carrying Schumer.

The situation put Schumer about 45 minutes behind schedule. He apologized to a room of reporters, law enforcement leaders and other local officials who were left patiently waiting.

Schumer said his unplanned landing at Pine Hill was likely the first time a U.S. senator used the airport in rural Barre.

As his press conference wrapped up, Schumer said his team was concerned the runway at Pine Hill might be too short to take off. The other plane at the Batavia airport also had been tended to so Schumer drove to Batavia for his departure.