Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $5.4 Million In Federal Funds For Long Island MacArthur Airport In Suffolk County

Dec 13, 2019

Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $5,405,000 in federal funding for Long Island MacArthur Airport in Suffolk County. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Specifically, the funding will be used to rehabilitate the west concourse and airport apron, make critical terminal improvements, and attract new airlines to the airport. These upgrades are necessary to sustain the demand at Long Island MacArthur Airport, Long Island’s busiest airport, and promote local economic development. Earlier this year, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand urged the FAA to support this funding and wrote letters of support for the Town of Islip’s grant application.

“Keeping our airports in top-notch shape is crucial to provide safe travel for area residents and in attracting business and tourism to Long Island,” said Senator Schumer. “MacArthur landing this significant federal investment 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. I’m proud to have fought for this funding which will boost this busy airport, a slew of jobs and the satisfaction of MacArthur’s customers.”

“I am excited to announce this funding for the Town of Islip and the Long Island MacArthur Airport. We need to do everything we can to help the airport continue to grow and thrive to meet the demand of people traveling to and from Long Island,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding is great news and will be used to rehabilitate MacArthur Airport’s west concourse, airport apron, and terminal building, helping to improve safety for travelers. The funding will also help bring new airlines to the airport so that travelers can reach new and popular destinations. I am proud to have fought for this funding, and I will do everything I can to ensure that our airports have the resources they need to be safe, modern, and efficient.”

“We welcome any and all supplemental funding for projects at Long Island MacArthur Airport, and truly appreciate the efforts of all our advocates in government,” said Angie Carpenter, Supervisor, Town of Islip.

Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) 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 and establish new routes. These projects involve installing durable concrete, constructing a new building for airport customers, and improving the terminal building. Long Island 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. Expanded service at MacArthur Airport will also improve transportation infrastructure in the New York Metropolitan area by relieving traffic from airports in New York City.  

The Town of Islip owns and operates Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) in Ronkonkoma. The airport currently hosts three major U.S. air carriers: American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, and served nearly 1.5 million commercial passengers from September 2018 to August 2019. 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.

This funding is awarded through the AIP and is administered by the FAA. The AIP provides grants to public agencies for the planning and development of public-use airports that are included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). Funds obligated for the AIP are drawn from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is supported by user fees, fuel taxes, and other similar revenue sources.

The full text of Senator Schumer’s letter to Acting Administrator Elwell may be found 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:

  • Reconstruction of the West Terminal Apron- $9,405,000

These funds will remove 250,000 sq. ft. of pavement, replacing it with more durable concrete as a smart long term investment.

  • West Concourse Redevelopment- $30,000,000

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.

  • Terminal Building Improvements- $9,000,000

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.


The full text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to Acting Administrator Elwell may be found here and below:

March 19, 2019

The Honorable Dan Elwell
Acting Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20591

Dear Acting Administrator Elwell, 

I write in support of the application submitted by the Town of Islip for funding from the Airport Improvement Program through the Federal Aviation Administration. This funding will be used to continue to support the Town of Islip’s efforts to enhance its current infrastructure to improve the region’s air service.

The Town of Islip Long Island MacArthur Airport has the potential to bring new airplane carriers that seek point-to-point service with competitive fairs and limited competition from legacy carriers. MacArthur Airport is conveniently located in the New York Metropolitan catchment area, which drives the need for an expanded array of air service options. In 2018, MacArthur Airport became one of the fastest growing airports across the United States with over 1.6 million travelers and continues to strive to provide these travelers with high quality travel.

The requested funding will be used to assist MacArthur Airport in the design and reconstruction of capital projects, including the rehabilitation of the west concourse and apron and terminal improvements for the Central Terminal Building. These projects are expected to begin in the first-half of 2019, with completion expected by 2022. Funding will also allow MacArthur Airport to focus on air carrier recruitment, which will enable the airport to offer a wider selection of air service options to travelers and increase customer satisfaction.

I ask that you please give this application your full consideration.