Senator Chuck Schumer was at MacArthur Airport in Islip on Monday in an effort to persuade officials to make the airport international, starting with flights to destinations like Aruba and the Bahamas.
Schumer met with the Department of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help develop, execute, and approve the plan, which he believes will increase local economic activity. Though many airlines have already written letters of intent to sign on to Schumer’s plan to go international, including Interjet and FlyA, MacArthur airport would need to create certain facilities and hire more personnel before the idea can get off the ground.
The plan that is currently being developed by the airport would have the relatively quiet site retrofitted so that it could take on increased flight traffic.
“A customs facility at Macarthur could be a magnet for new carriers, helping the airport regain some of its lost flights and giving Long Islanders direct access to some of the most popular tourist destinations,” said Schumer in a press release. “The feds can make this happen, and I’m asking them to work hand-in-glove with the local airport authorities to produce a plan and get it through the approval process.”
The plan is still in its development stage, and when complete, it will have to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security before the airport can begin offering international flights.
"Long Island MacArthur Airport has consistently had a staunch advocate in Senator Schumer. He lives this airport as Islip does. He has never hesitated to work with Islip to continue to build on the growing successes at our airport from new airlines, more direct flights and improvements to the terminal. The addition of this customs and agriculture inspection capability brings our residents exactly what they have been asking for....more direct flights from the hassle free airport down the road... Long Island MacArthur,” said Town Supervisor Tom Croci.
MacArthur currently provides flights from Southwest Airlines, U.S. Airways, and Pen Air, which all travel within the country. The only way to travel internationally from the airport is to get a connecting flight.
[Source: Press Release]