FAA Dedicates New Air Traffic Control Tower At Long Island MacArthur Airport


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FAA Dedicates New Air Traffic Control Tower At Long Island MacArthur Airport

By Mike Mitchell

May 23, 2011 - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday dedicated a new airport traffic control tower for Long Island MacArthur Airport that will replace the one that has served the airport since 1963.

"MacArthur Airport continues to play a vital role in serving travelers in the New York metropolitan region,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This new tower will enhance the safety and efficiency of air travel in and out of Long Island.”

The new airport traffic control tower is more than 50 feet taller than the old tower, giving controllers a better view of airport operations. Additionally, controllers will now be using the latest in voice communication technology to communicate with pilots.

“We're committed to providing controllers with the best possible technology and supporting their mission to keep the flying public safe,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “The enhanced sight-lines and a state-of-the-art communications system represent important safety enhancements for passengers flying to and from MacArthur Airport.”

The facility has the most advanced equipment to record air traffic communications. It also has state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems, as well as fire protection, security, power distribution and grounding systems. The new 158-foot high tower has a 525-square-foot tower cab. The total cost to design, equip, and construct the new tower was approximately $20 million. In 2010, air traffic controllers at MacArthur Airport handled nearly 155,000 takeoffs and landings.

Long Island MacArthur Airport, formerly known as Islip Airport is a public airport located on Long Island, in Ronkonkoma, Town of Islip, Suffolk County, New York, United States. It is seven miles (11 km) northeast of the central business district of Islip hamlet. Long Island MacArthur Airport (LIMA) covers an area of 1,311 acres (531 ha) containing four runways and two helipads. The Town owns and operates the airport, which serves approximately two million commercial passengers a year, as well as a thriving general aviation sector.

Located midway between Montauk Point 60 miles to the east and Manhattan 60 miles to the west, MacArthur Airport serves primarily the three million residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties. In addition, the airport serves travelers from the Greater New York Metropolitan Area and around the nation who want a more convenient alternative to the congestion at JFK and LaGuardia airports both located in Queens.


The FAA designated LIMA an Official Metro Airport, meaning it is now being grouped with LaGuardia, JFK and Newark in travel and informational searches for New York airports, providing better exposure to the traveling public. MacArthur Airport, which does not share the congested air space of the city-centric airports, also has an exceptional record of on-time performance. During 2009, for instance, 83.6% of flights arrived on time and 85.6% of flights departed on time.

During 2007, the airport served more than 2.3 million commercial passengers. For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2007, the airport had 182,142 aircraft operations, an average of 499 per day; 80 percent general aviation; 15 percent scheduled commercial; five percent air taxi and approximately one percent military.


There are 243 aircraft based at the airport: 63% single-engine; 10% multi-engine; 19% jet aircraft; seven percent helicopters; and less than one percent military. The Town-owned Foreign Trade Zone is located adjacent to airport property.

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