More than a dozen local airports, including Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, will receive a combined $23 million in federal funding to revitalize their facilities and enhance safety, the state’s two U.S. senators said Friday.
The $23.4 million in funding for 13 New York airports was allocated through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program.
Long Island MacArthur Airport will receive $2.7 million for Phase Three of its main terminal improvement program, officials said. None of the funding went to other metro-area airports, including Kennedy, LaGuardia or Newark.
The funding will include the “replacement of the vestibule doors and baggage claim areas, along with flooring and wall coverings that will improve the look and feel of the ticketing and baggage claim areas, and further enhances the positive customer experience at Long Island MacArthur Airport,” said Angie Carpenter, supervisor of the Town of Islip, which owns and operates the airport. “Funding for this project came from several different grant opportunities provided under the Airport Improvement Program. Construction is anticipated to last approximately 12 months.”
The total allocated by the FAA for MacArthur was the third-highest among the 13 airports, behind Syracuse Hancock International, which will receive $9.2 million to improve its taxiway lighting and Greater Binghamton/Edwin A Link Field, which will get $5.4 million for safety improvements.
“This significant federal investment will allow New York’s airports make much-needed improvements and help our local economies take off,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “From Buffalo to Binghamton to Syracuse to Long Island, our local airports are gateways to the world.”
Separately, the FAA recently granted nearly $2 million to MacArthur Airport for taxiway improvements.
At a meeting on Tuesday, the Islip Town Board approved an agreement with contractor H&L Contracting for construction services to rehabilitate asphalt pavement, reconstruct an edge lighting system, replace airfield guidance signs and upgrade additional airfield signs to LED.
According to the resolution, the FAA provided 90% of the $1,912,874 allocated for airfield improvements. The state Department of Transportation provided 5% and the Passenger Facility Charge program run through the FAA provided the other 5%.
Construction is also underway on $26 million in improvements at the Ronkonkoma airport that will include equipping the main terminal with a new roof, equipment and décor; replacing three baggage carousels, lighting signage, doors and vestibules; installing new energy-efficient plumbing fixtures, a new backup generator and HVAC climate-control and air purification systems.
The improvements will take about a year to complete, town officials said.
When calculated with other projects, more than $100 million will have been invested in capital improvements at the airport in the past seven years.
“New York’s airports serve millions of travelers each year,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a statement Friday. “They need to be safe, modern, and efficient in order to facilitate tourism and spur local economic growth, and that requires continued upgrades.”
In February, the State Department of Environmental Conservation designated MacArthur as a Superfund site after detecting “significant” chemical contamination in groundwater and soil. DEC officials have said the agency is negotiating an agreement with Islip to clean up the site.