Call to action aims to retain 1,000 high paying jobs for Long Island and highlights LIMA’s qualifications as ideal site for new Federal facility.
Ronkonkoma, NY (JULY 12, 2012) -- Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci and members of the Islip Town Board were surrounded by dozens of Long Island lawmakers and organizations in a show of unified support to urge the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to choose Long Island MacArthur Airport (LIMA) as the new home for the NextGen air traffic control facility. New York State Senators, NYS Assemblymen, Suffolk County officials, Town Supervisors and organizations echoed support for LIMA as a prime location that would surpass the FAA’s site requirements and save hundreds of high paying Long Island jobs.
The consolidation of the air traffic operations at a location off Long Island could result in the relocation of nearly 1,000 jobs currently situated in Ronkonkoma and Westbury.
“Long Island MacArthur Airport, unlike many other candidates for this exceptional FAA NextGen facility, already has exceeded the requirements for a project of this capacity. I, along with the rest of my colleagues, urge the FAA to designate Islip’s very own Long Island MacArthur Airport as the new home for the NextGen air traffic control facility,” said Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci. “LIMA’s prime location will help save important Long Island jobs and create additional jobs locally for construction and technology companies. The FAA is already a member of our community. Their employees live and shop in our Town, their children go to our schools. LIMA is a natural fit for the future of the FAA.”
An FAA location at Long Island MacArthur Airport will help prevent a shattering blow to the region’s economy by retaining nearly 1,000 six-figure Long Island jobs including: air traffic controllers, managers, administrative support staff members, and computer and technical specialists.
Not only will the LIMA location preserve and create jobs for Long Island’s economy, but it also exceeds all FAA location requirements, including available land and infrastructure, proximity to affected populations and seamless quality of life factors for FAA employees. LIMA’s location is within the 150-mile radius FAA requirement for the new facility and also meets the requirement for access to power and fiber optic lines. To accommodate the new building, as well as the needed security corridor, the location of the new facility must also meet the FAA’s acreage requirement, which Long Island MacArthur Airport surpasses as more than 80+ acres are available.
“We already have a great relationship with the FAA at Long Island MacArthur Airport. This would be vital for the Towns of Brookhaven and Islip in building and supporting future development of the airport corridor,” said Islip Town Councilman and LIMA liaison John Cochrane.
The FAA designed the NextGen control system to alleviate the frequent fight delays at New York City-area airports. A more precise global positioning satellite-based system, which will enable aircraft to fly closer to one another, will replace antiquated radar-based air traffic control, and provide less separation in time and space during take offs and landings.
"Islip MacArthur Airport and NextGen is a perfect match. The most highly skilled workforce manning the most sophisticated air traffic control systems. I join Supervisor Croci and my colleagues in government in urging the FAA to locate NextGen right here,” NYS Assemblyman Phil Boyle stated.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone lent his support this week in a letter to FAA administrators and readily pointed to LIMA as his preferred location for NextGen. “Islip’s airport offers the ideal combination of infrastructure and aviation expertise for this exciting new facility. I look very forward to working with Supervisor Croci and the Long Island delegation to keep these important jobs here on Long Island.”
Croci and Islip Town Board members have worked quickly to influence the FAA’s site location decision, highlighting key factors including the availability of land and infrastructure. LIMA can easily offer the 60+ acres of land required by the FAA for a new facility. Croci’s fellow Town Supervisors Mark Lesko, Frank Petrone, Sean Walter, and Rich Schaffer stood unified in support for LIMA as a choice location for FAA consideration.
“Long Island, with its highly skilled workforce, has long been at the forefront of air travel. Long Island is a fitting place for the next generation of air traffic control, and I urge the federal government keep these 1,000 jobs and the highly-skilled people where they belong: right here on LI,” said Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone.
“I am proud to join with Supervisor Croci and my fellow elected officials in calling for the locating of the NexGen air traffic control system at MacArthur Airport. First and foremost, it would save many valuable high-paying jobs for our region,” said Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “It would also be a win for the FAA, as LIMA is the ideal location for the NexGen facility and Long Island has the experienced professionals necessary to implement the adoption of this new technology.”
Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter eagerly joined in support and referenced Long Island’s rich aviation history. “The headquarters location for NextGen should not be ‘left in the air’. MacArthur is the natural choice. Islip sits at the hub of the most heavily trafficked air corridor in the United States. Our physical location and highly skilled work force means we can be ready to go on day one if given the chance.”
Legislators repeated their support for keeping the FAA’s presence strong on Long Island and asked the Federal government to strongly consider the unique offerings at LIMA.
“LIMA stands out among other options as the natural future home for the FAA’s proposed air traffic control operation,” Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi said. “In a town with deep roots in aerospace and at a facility destined to be the premier regional air travel hub for central and eastern Long Island, this location offers the necessary infrastructure and provides the best opportunity to retain the skilled workforce critical to optimum functionality. This would be a win-win for Suffolk County and the FAA.”
In addition to preserving local jobs, the selection of LIMA’s location will boost Long Island’s economy by adding more than 1,000 construction jobs to the region. The construction of this $95 million dollar facility, which is scheduled to be operational by 2019, represents an important opportunity for Long Island’s burgeoning aerospace and technology firms to expand and grow their business.
“It is vitally important to the Long Island economy that we fight to bring the new consolidated Air Traffic Control site to MacArthur Airport in Suffolk County, where almost 1,000 highly technical and well paid aviation personnel can remain employed. Additionally, the development of the NextGen air traffic facility will bring 1,000 construction jobs to Long Islanders who desperately need them,” said NYS Senator Owen Johnson.
"Long Island MacArthur Airport is one of the gems of the 3rd Senate District and a significant asset to our local economy," said NYS State Senator Lee M. Zeldin. "It is undoubtedly the ideal home for the FAA's new NextGen facility and placing it here will save critical, high-tech jobs and create hundreds more on Long Island. I strongly urge the FAA to make the right choice and house their new facility at Long Island MacArthur Airport."
“The facility proposed by the FAA will save money, create jobs and reinforce our state’s transportation infrastructure. Its home should be right here at MacArthur Airport,” said Assemblyman Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue), who has spearheaded efforts to have the Nassau-Suffolk delegation of the NY Assembly urge Federal officials to construct the new facility on Long Island. “By constructing the proposed integrated control facility here, we can retain these jobs and save the FAA the money needed to retrain and relocate staff.”
NYS Assemblyman Al Graf stated that “Closing the facility at Long Island Mac Arthur Airport, and relocating a new facility somewhere else, will have a devastating economic impact on our region. We can ill afford to lose the current jobs associated with the air traffic control center presently functioning at the airport, much less the potential of hundreds more. As goes Long Island, so goes the rest of the state. The economic health of Long Island is paramount in the economic recovery for the rest of New York."
With an overwhelming support for the Ronkonkoma Hub Project, the placement of the NextGen facility at LIMA will amplify the two-town effort between the Town of Islip and the Town of Brookhaven in revitalizing Ronkonkoma’s downtown area.
"I strongly urge the Federal Aviation Administration to locate its integrated air traffic control facility at Long Island MacArthur Airport. Not only does Islip’s airport have the available acreage and the property is already FAA controlled, but it is also minutes from a major redevelopment effort at the Ronkonkoma Hub where millions of dollars will be invested over the next five years in new construction and infrastructure,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko. “The jobs created at the integrated air traffic control facility will benefit from and contribute to a new vibrant hub of economic activity already in the works. We want to keep these jobs on Long Island, and MacArthur Airport is the logical location for this facility.
“It is critical that the FAA’s new air traffic control facility be constructed on Long Island and the most sensible location for this facility is at Long Island MacArthur Airport. LIA supports Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci's and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko's efforts to redevelop the Ronkonkoma Hub and locating this facility at the airport will only enhance that transformative project,” said President and CEO of the Long Island Association Kevin Law. “Moreover, this site will increase efficiencies and lower the operational costs for the FAA. In addition, it will retain hundreds of existing jobs and create hundreds of new jobs for our region.”
“Increasing economic development on Long Island is extremely important. We need to do whatever is in our power to save jobs on Long Island. Therefore, as elected officials we are encouraging the FAA to seriously consider LIMA as the new home for the NextGen air traffic control facility,” said Suffolk County Legislator Ricardo Montano.
Local and regional organizations rallied in support of the possibility of an FAA facility at LIMA that will provide new business and economic opportunities for their members. Long Island Builder’s Institute, Chambers of Commerce and local civic organizations cited the potential for hundreds of construction jobs, home sales, and new customers as an easy choice for highlighting Long Island MacArthur Airport as an ideal location for the new facility. The Long Island Builder’s Institute, the Long Island Association, and Ronkonkoma Civic Association have all declared their support for Supervisor Croci’s initiative. The FAA will announce their final decision at the end of 2012.
Long Island Builder’s Institute President Clara Datre echoed comments of support on behalf of her 462 members and CEO Mitch Pally, “By locating the facility near MacArthur Airport the FAA would help further develop the plan of mixed use development around the nearby Ronkonkoma train station. This equates to jobs for the construction industry. These jobs would be the catalyst the construction industry needs to get its engine going. ”
The following officials and organization have joined Islip Town in urging the FAA to consider Long Island MacArthur Airport as an ideal location for the new NextGen air traffic control facility. (July 12, 2012)
• NYS Senator Owen Johnson
• NYS Senator Lee Zeldin
• NYS Assemblyman Phil Boyle
• NYS Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick
• NYS Assemblyman Dean Murray
• NYS Assemblyman Al Graf
• NYS Assemblyman Steven Engelbright
• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
• Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer William Lindsay
• Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi
• Suffolk County Legislator Ricardo Montano
• Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko
• Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter
• Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone
• Village of Islandia Mayor Alan Dorman
• Long Island Association
• Long Island Builder’s Institute (LIBI)
• Ronkonkoma Civic Association