Republic Airport in Farmingdale will get $24 million in enhancements, primarily safety related, thanks largely to a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office said.

"The improvements will make activity into and out of the Long Island airport safer and more efficient, strengthening its capacity to serve the region by realigning the main runway, improving signage and lighting, installing a perimeter security fence and more," according to a news release Saturday from Cuomo's office.

The project is funded by $21.8 million from the FAA's Airport Improvement Program, which gives grants to public agencies for the planning and development of public-use airports.

The state, which owns the airport, would provide $2.1 million for the project.

"Republic Airport is a vital link for air traffic to and from Long Island, and serves a crucial role in keeping New Yorkers safe during emergencies," Cuomo said in the release.

Cuomo said the project "will give people and businesses more reasons to visit and ultimately call New York home."

The airport supports about 1,400 jobs, including 900 on airport property, officials said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

In his January State of the State Address, Cuomo said Republic and upstate Stewart Airport could absorb some of the traffic now flying into Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. And during a visit to Farmingdale State College in February, he said he envisions Republic as a destination for direct commercial flights to Long Island.

Those statements drew objections from residents and businesses in communities surrounding the airport.