Long Island MacArthur Airport and state and town officials revealed plans Wednesday for a new ground transportation and vehicle center and pedestrian connector.
The $8.4 million intermodal ground transportation facility is the Islip airport’s first step in its plan to rehabilitate and modernize the terminal’s existing infrastructure over the next several years.
The Ground Transportation and Vehicle Center — expected to be completed by the fall of 2021 — will offer non-stop service to and from New York City, a convenient passenger walkway and a welcoming environment for travelers.
All ground transportation — rental cars, taxi stands, ride-hailing services, hotel courtesy shuttles and more — will be centralized into a modern structure.
The airport’s rental car kiosks will also be relocated to this facility, as well as serve as the new pickup and drop-off area for transportation to and from the Long Island Rail Road.
Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said centralizing around ground transportation services will be a convenience to Long Islanders who prefer mass transit over driving.
“It will help offer railroad customers more non-stop service to New York City, and a one-seat train ride to and from our wonderful MacArthur Airport,” Carpenter said.
The location of the Ground Transportation and Vehicle Center will allow travelers with a boarding pass to get through the TSA checkpoint in a shorter amount of time.
Carpenter said MacArthur Airport is one of only a few airports that has remained open every day during the pandemic, and the town board continues to work on ways to improve the customer experience at the airport.
“It’s time to move forward with positive action,” Carpenter said. “Travelers are expecting more, they are certainly anxious, and we are providing what they want and need — to fly comfortably, efficiently, and most importantly today, safely.”
Shelley LaRose-Arken, the airport’s commissioner, said other efforts MacArthur Airport has implemented to modernize the terminal include safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MacArthur Airport is the first airport in the country to install an air pathogen reduction system and anti-microbial films to all the high-touch areas in the terminal, LaRose-Arken said.
“The airport has focused on marketing products and services of our airlines, recruiting new carriers, improving customer service, and most recently ensuring the health and safety of employees and customers,” she said.
Lt. Gov. Kathleen Hochul expressed her excitement for the commuter-focused facility, which is supported by an $800,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation and a $650,000 Empire State Development grant.
The lieutenant governor said this project is a testament to Long Island’s determination to add to the estimated 6,000 jobs the terminal provides and help the travelers who rely on MacArthur Airport.
“This is an indication during the pandemic (that) we are still building back better,” Hochul said. “Projects like these could’ve been put on the wayside — no, this is the state of New York, we keep building, building and building.”
The project, Carpenter said, is not only beneficial to the airport but for all of Long Island.
“Over the last four years, more than $50 million in capital improvement projects are complete or are in progress,” she said. “This major renovation project comes at no expense to local taxpayers and provides many benefits to our airport and community.”
“It’s an economic boost Long Island truly needs,” she added.
Below are the renderings of the new MacArthur modernization project and photos from today’s ceremony.
Top: Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter,