Islip’s Long Island MacArthur Airport can now move forward with plans to reconstruct its aged Western Terminal Aircraft Parking area, thanks to $5.4 million in federal grants, the town announced today.

“This significant infrastructure improvement project will replace aging concrete and extend and enhance operational use of the West Apron for the next 20 years,” Aviation Commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken said. “This will help our airport continue to improve its facility and provide excellence to our airlines, customers and community.”

Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter expressed appreciation for the airport’s advocates in Washington, D.C.

“U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand were especially instrumental in recognizing the need for the project,” she said, “understanding the positive economic impact for our region, and securing the necessary federal funding.”

The existing West Terminal Apron dates back to when the airport was first built in the early 1940’s. Officials said the infrastructure improvements are critical, considering the age of the existing ramp and the larger aircraft utilizing the West Concourse.

The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, comes out of the FAA Airport Improvement Program’s redevelopment funding, which is derived from airport fees across the country.

“Airports across the country compete for this important Supplemental Discretionary funding,” Deputy Aviation Commissioner Rob Schneider said. “It enables MacArthur Airport to continue to invest in other much-needed improvements without utilizing its annual AIP Entitlement funding,”

The airport plans to streamline the project, while minimizing any impact on airport operations. The project will help MacArthur Airport attract and retain air service from new and incumbent carriers, while keeping costs significantly lower than those at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports.

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