MacArthur Airport gets $4.5M grant for airfield improvements

Photo credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

by Candice Ruud, Newsday
August 4, 2012

A recent $4.5 million grant awarded to Long Island MacArthur Airport will be used to fund airfield improvements that should make takeoffs and landings at the airport easier and safer, officials say. 

The grant, 95 percent of which came from the Federal Aviation Administration with the rest split between the state and town's departments of transportation, will fund the extension of taxiway B and the realignment of taxiway E, Islip Town officials said. It will also pay for the installation of airfield signs, taxiway edge lighting and pavement markings. 

"Right now, an aircraft entering runway 33L has to enter the runway and make a 90-degree turn to the right, and then make a 180-degree turn to the left in order to line up at the extreme end of the runway," said interim airport Commissioner Terry Hennessey. "It's inefficient. This improvement will allow aircrafts to enter at the end of the runway, make one 90-degree turn and then take off." 

Hennessey said the improvements would save time on takeoffs and landings. And while he said these improvements alone would not entice other airlines to come to MacArthur, it would make operations more efficient.

"This project will allow for more effective operations so that aircraft can depart without the buttonhook turns that delay operations, especially when another (aircraft) is on final approach," said town Supervisor Tom Croci. 

Construction will take 145 days, though officials said they are unsure when work will start. Most of the construction will take place at night, to avoid travel delays or inconveniences for Southwest Airlines, Hennessey said.

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