Crazy Facts About MacArthur Airport

It's original use in the 1940s was not to for commercial passenger service.

Print Email

Postcard of MacArthur Airport. Photo: Long Island MacArthur Airport Facebook page.

When you don’t want to schlep into the city and fight the crowds at JFK or - gasp - LaGuardia, then your only other choice is Long Island’s hometown airport, MacArthur. It might not get you everywhere but it’s a sure bet if you want to jet down to Florida to visit the folks or the mouse. Recently selected by USA Today readers as one of the best top ten small airports in the country, MacArthur is super convenient and it’s getting better all the time.


Photo: Long Island MacArthur Airport facebook page.


Think you know everything there is to know about Long Island’s hometown airport? Test your knowledge against these facts below.

  • In 1942 after Pearl Harbor was bombed, the airport was built on Islip Town-owned land for military use during the war
  • The airport took one year to build and cost $1.5 million and was originally named Islip Airport
  • At the time the airfield consisted of three 5,000-foot runways
  • Islip Airport was renamed MacArthur Airport after General Douglas MacArthur
  • After WWII the Town of Islip took over ownership of the airport from the U.S. Army Air Corps
  • MacArthur airport is currently owned and operated by the Town of Islip
  • In 1944 Lockheed Aircraft Corporation built the airport’s first hangar
  • In 1955, a United Airlines test flight crashed killing three crew members. It was the only fatality to happen during a flight at the airport
  • In 1960 Allegheny Airlines became the first airline to operate scheduled passenger service
  • By 1986, Long Island MacArthur had, for the first time in its 36-year scheduled history, handled one million passengers in a single year, a level since equaled or exceeded. Article Source:
  • A scene for the movie “The Out-of-Towners” starring Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis was shot at the airport
  • Over 2 million passengers fly MacArthur Airport every year
  • MacArthur Airport covers an area of 1,311 acres
  • It has four runways and two helipads
  • The longest runway is 7,006 feet
  • In 2006, the 3rd Battalion (Assault), 142nd Aviation Regiment moved its headquarters to MacArthur Airport, bringing its Sikorsky UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters
  • In November 2009 MacArthur Airport became the only airport in the Tri-state region to offer free wireless in the entire terminal and in the courtesy cell phone parking lot
  • In 2011, the FAA designated MacArthur Airport an Official Metro Airport, meaning it is now grouped with LaGuardia, JFK and Newark in travel and informational searches for New York airports
  • About 6,000 are directly and indirectly employed by the airport according to a 2012 study conducted by NYSDOT
  • The airport’s economic impact to the area is $600 million annually, according to a 2012 study conducted by NYSDOT