Ronkonkoma, NY - May 16, 2014 - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that, after his push, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to keep the New York TRACON facility on Long Island, saving 950 well-paying Long Island aviation jobs. The FAA was initially interested in combining the New York Air Traffic Control center in Ronkonkoma and the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control facility in Westbury into one Integrated Control Facility (ICF) site for the New York metropolitan region. There was serious possibility of moving the combined facility off Long Island. Schumer relentlessly advocated to multiple DOT secretaries, the White House and FAA leaders to keep the new site on Long Island; In July 2012, Schumer helped lead FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on a tour of MacArthur Airport as one of the potential sites for the Integrated Control Facilities. Schumer today announced that the FAA will rebuild and modernize the TRACON site on Long Island with the option of expanding the facility to accommodate the NY Center facility in Ronkonkoma at a later date, saving nearly 1,000 jobs.
"The bottom line here is that a new-and-improved air traffic control nerve center -- and the nearly 1,000 well-paying jobs it supports -- will remain right here on Long Island where it belongs,” said Schumer. “We worked long and hard to make this case to FAA and are very pleased they heard us loud and clear and will locate an ultra-modern TRACON operation on Long Island. This is good news for air traffic efficiency and safety – and it is great news for the Long Island economy. I will continue my fight to deliver resources to modernize the entire air traffic control operation on Long Island, including the NY Center in Ronkonkoma, as we move through this process."
The FAA initially planned to construct a new Integrated Control Facility (ICF) to improve air traffic control capabilities, reduce congestion, increase safety, and ultimately decrease travel delays. As part of the plan, two Long Island facilities would be consolidated in the process. Both the TRACON facility in Westbury and New York Center in Ronkonkoma would be consolidated in the final ICF.
The FAA had been reviewing locations for the construction of the Northeast facility, which must be within 150 miles of New York City and will service the New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. Schumer has advocated to keep the ICF on Long Island. In a meeting with Senator Schumer, the Acting Administrator committed that the control center would be built in New York, but had not yet committed to Long Island. 950 jobs exist between both the Westbury and Ronkonkoma FAA facilities. Air traffic controllers located at these two facilities have an average salary of $137,000 and the overall average salary at these two locations is $100,000. In addition to maintaining the 950 permanent jobs currently on Long Island.
In July 2012, Schumer, along with Long Island elected officials, led FAA Administrator Huerta on a tour of MacArthur Airport as a possible location for the site.
Schumer today announced that the FAA will upgrade the TRACON facility on Long Island and consider additional upgrades to the Ronkonkoma facility at a later date.