Airline industry turbulence will not leave Long Island stranded


LONG ISLAND, NY – In discussions with leaders of the Association for a Better Long Island, (ABLI) the commissioner of Long Island MacArthur Airport says she expects to see a continuing volatility among the commercial carriers serving the tri-state region and specifically those that fly into Long Island MacArthur. However, Teresa Rizzuto told the ABLI public policy steering committee that Long Island’s 2.7 million people will never want for commercial air service because the airlines can’t ignore such a powerful economic market.

“I fully expect the names of some of the carriers are going to continue to change at Long Island MacArthur and elsewhere, as that ‘local’ turbulence reflects the conditions of an airline industry reinventing itself. Load factors are no longer the simple yardstick by which service is introduced or withdrawn. Fuel costs, realigned airport ‘hubs,’ strategic marketing alliances, labor agreements, and the age of aircraft are all playing a role in determining when and where airlines will operate,” she said.

The ABLI represents some $20 billion in commercial, industrial, retail and residential real estate throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The group asked for a briefing regarding the health of commercial airline traffic into and out of Long Island as it directly impacts the marketing of the region to out of state companies.

Commissioner Rizzuto explained, “Islip Town Supervisor Phil Nolan has given airport management a very clear mandate. He has instructed us to create and run a thoroughly professional operation that allows the airlines access to a very lucrative market. The airlines themselves will have to determine how best to use such a compelling asset amidst shifting industry economic.”

Desmond Ryan agreed, “Long Island MacArthur has assumed a national standard for ground operations and its physical plant. Our members thoroughly expect to see a churning of airline flights at MacArthur since LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark are already going through these dynamics but we wanted to hear a first-hand industry analysis from the professional in charge of Islip Town’s key transportation asset so that there are no surprises.”

The airport sits on approximately 1,300 acres of property and with its four runways, handles close to two and half million passengers annually. It has strategically benefited from the $55 million terminal built by Southwest Airlines while the airport has implemented a number of improvements, introduced new amenities including restaurants, improved security control points, parking lot shuttle buses, a private diaper changing station for infants, and more. In addition, the airport acts as an economic generator for the Town of Islip.