02.21.19

SCHUMER PUSHES FAA TO LAND MAJOR FED FUNDS AT LI’S MACARTHUR THAT COULD ADD LONG-SOUGHT WEST COAST DESTINATIONS & NEW CARRIERS TO ISLAND TRAVEL OPTIONS; SENATOR ALREADY BUILT-UP FED FUNDS AIRPORT NEEDS FOR PROJECT TO FLY

With NYC Airports Busting At Seams, MacArthur Is Poised For More Demand, But It Still Lacks Service To LA & Other Major Destinations, As Well As Carriers Needed To Answer Call 

Multi-Million Dollar Airport Project Would Change The Equation & Revamp Hundreds-Of-Thousands Of Square Feet To Meet Growing Demand

Schumer: MacArthur & LI Will Take-Off If Feds Back Airport Overhaul

With NYC Metro airports busting at the seams, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, today, urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to back a multi-million dollar MacArthur Airport capital project that would inject millions of dollars into the local economy, support several local businesses and create good-paying jobs in the process. Schumer revealed details and progress about the project, which includes a revamp to more than 350,000 square feet and a desire to land west coast destinations like Los Angeles, as well as new carriers. Schumer also said the airport and Long Island need these upgrades to sustain 21st Century demands and grow the economic impact of the Island’s busiest airport.

“Today, we are asking the FAA to clear the runway for MacArthur to land critical fed funds that will help it meet the needs of a metro market busting at the seams, and at the same time put Long Island in a position to attract more carriers and long sought destinations, like Los Angeles,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “The good news here is we’ve done the hardest part already when we passed the 2018 appropriations bill. As part of the deal, I was able to increase the total funding to the FAA by about $2 billion, and now, today, we are saying, put that funding to good use and deliver it to Long Island so it can have the economic impact it was designed to have, boosting this busy airport, a slew of jobs and the satisfaction of MacArthur’s customers.”

Schumer explained that Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) has applied for federal funding for a multi-million dollar capital improvement project that includes the Reconstruction of the West Terminal Apron, Redevelopment of the West Concourse, and Terminal Building Improvements in an effort to recruit new carriers. These capital projects include the installation of durable concrete, the construction of a new building for airport customers, and several improvements to the Terminal Building.

Schumer explained that MacArthur Airport has identified several large metro markets for potential new carriers that would be profitable for the airport, including the Los Angeles metro market. Schumer argued that with these federal funds, MacArthur Airport will be able to attract new carriers and use existing infrastructure in conjunction with the improvements from the capital projects to establish new routes. The airport can establish new routes because newly manufactured aircrafts such as the Airbus A220 are capable of flying transcontinental without an extended runway.

In the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus negotiations, Schumer secured a $2 billion FAA increase, bringing the FAA’s total budget to $18 billion. Included in this was an additional $1 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), the same kind of dollars MacArthur now needs to advance this local project.

This past September, the Federal Aviation Administrator awarded $205 million in supplemental funding for infrastructure grants to nearly 40 secondary airports. These federal funds are for small airports to improve aviation infrastructure. The FAA anticipates announcing the last tranche of these airport infrastructure grants before July. According to the FAA, this funding is in addition to the $3.31 billion already awarded in regular Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding during fiscal year 2018.

As a secondary airport, ISP is eligible for these federal funds to complete the capital projects through the 2018 omnibus program. ISP has proposed a $125 million design and construction capital project proposal on track for 2020 construction and a 2022 completion date. Furthermore, the airport has already secured $12 million from New York State, Suffolk County, and the Town of Islip for the capital projects.

Schumer explained that the FAA’s funding of these projects would position the airport to significantly enhance its current infrastructure, invest in current assets, and capitalize on customer experience allowing the airport to attract new carriers interested in point-to-point service with competitive fares. Schumer added that expanded service at MacArthur Airport would greatly improve transportation infrastructure in the New York Metropolitan area.  

“On behalf of the Town of Islip I would like to thank Senator Schumer for his continued support of Islip’s own Long Island MacArthur Airport. Working together with our partners in the Federal Government to invest in the future of MacArthur will have a positive impact…not only the Town of Islip, but the entire Long Island Region. New technology will make it possible for ISP to serve a broader spectrum of destinations in the near future, and by investing now, we will be ready for this game changer,” said Angie M. Carpenter, Islip Town Supervisor.

"Long Island MacArthur Airport is a fantastic resource that deserves funding for critical infrastructural upgrades. An investment now will pay off in dividends later in the form of revenues due to increased utilization and additional flight options, will provide convenience for our residents and will open access for tourism," said New York State Senator Monica R. Martinez.

“The continued development of Long Island MacArthur Airport with more travel options at an affordable price will spur economic growth for the entire region and thus I commend Senator Schumer for seeking new federal funding, and Supervisor Carpenter for her steadfast commitment to unlocking the full potential of the airport,” said Kevin S. Law, President & CEO of the Long Island Association.

“The continued efforts of all to provide additional service to and from Long Island MacArthur Airport is essential for the continued growth in our economic development and tourism sectors,” said Mitchell Pally, Chief Executive Officer of the Long Island Builders Institute and Chair of the Town of Islip Airport Advisory Committee. “I commend Senator Schumer for his continued support of the airport and Supervisor Carpenter for her efforts to continue to improve operations at the airport.”

“Senator Schumer has long recognized that Long Island MacArthur Airport is one of the region's crucial connections to a global economy. The senator's advocacy will greatly accelerate MacArthur's efforts to broaden its flight operations and thereby strengthen its ability to attract new businesses, expand tourism and land transcontinental flights,” said Kyle Strober, Executive Director of Association for a Better Long Island.  

“Long Island is D’Addario’s home but we have facilities in other U.S. cities and abroad,” said John D’Addario, III., President of D’Addario & Company, Inc. “D’Addario not only has its D’Addario Woodwinds factory located in Los Angeles but has several significant customers located there. Flying out to California from MacArthur Airport would be incredibly convenient for employees who routinely travel there for business and we support Senator Schumer’s efforts to not only secure federal funding for MacArthur Airport but to establish routes to Los Angeles and other west coast cities.”

The Town of Islip owns and operates Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) in Ronkonkoma. The airport currently hosts three major US Air Carriers: American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Southwest Airlines and served more than 1.6 million commercial passengers in 2018. The airport sits on 1,311 acres of property with 3 runways, serving 11 non-stop destinations with connections worldwide. The airport has a large economic impact, providing approximately 6,000 direct and indirect jobs and contributing almost $600 million in expenditures and economic activity to the region.

Schumer has been a staunch advocate for MacArthur Airport by securing millions of dollars in federal funds in past years. In 2017, Schumer and Gillibrand secured nearly $1 million in federal funds for Long Island MacArthur Airport to rehabilitate the airport’s longest runway. Additionally, in 2016, the Senators secured nearly $10 million in FAA federal funds to construct an aircraft rescue and firefighting building at the airport.  

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to Acting Administrator Elwell appears below:

Dear Acting Administrator Elwell:

I write in support of the following capital projects at Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) in Islip, New York. I ask that your prioritize ISP’s application for the Rehabilitation of the West Concourse, Apron, and Terminal Improvement Projects. The FAA’s funding of these projects would position the airport to significantly enhance its current infrastructure, invest in current assets, and capitalize on customer experience allowing the airport to attract new carriers interested in point-to-point service with competitive fares. Expanded service at MacArthur Airport would greatly improve our transportation infrastructure in the New York Metropolitan area, a regional necessity I have long advocated for.   

ISP serves over 2 million passengers each year and provides thousands of jobs, generating significant economic impact.  ISP is at a pivotal moment to attract new carriers and expand service.  Due to its proximity to the New York City Metropolitan area, in 2019 ISP hopes to attract new carriers and help disperse traffic from the larger NYC airports. ISP has proposed a $125 million design and construction capital project proposal on track for 2020 construction and a 2022 completion date. ISP has already secured $12 million from New York State, Suffolk County, and the Town of Islip. I write in support of the following projects:

  1. Reconstruction of the West Terminal Apron- $9,405,000
    1. These funds will remove 250,000 sq. ft. of pavement, replacing it with more durable concrete as a smart long term investment.
  1. West Concourse Redevelopment- $30,000,000
    1. These funds will build a new two story, up-to-date facility that prioritizes customer experience. The project will demolish the existing building to construct a new 100,000 sq. ft. concourse with three narrow-body contact gates.
  1. Terminal Building Improvements- $9,000,000
    1. These funds will provide overdue terminal improvements to rehabilitate baggage claim, modernize terminal doors, replace carpeting, roof improvements, and update electrical and plumbing.

I was proud to push for robust funding to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the 2018 appropriations process. In the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus negotiations I secured a $2 billion agency increase, bringing the FAA’s total budget to $18 billion. Included in this was an additional $1 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). As a secondary airport, ISP is eligible for these funds to complete these capital projects. I hope that you utilize the increased omnibus appropriations I fought for to make great projects like these a reality.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. I look forward to working with you to ensure that the MacArthur Airport continues to grow and thrive. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Charles Schumer

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