Urging FAA to Choose Long Island MacArthur Airport For New NextGen Air Traffic Control Facility

Owen H. Johnson

July 20, 2012

Senator Owen H. Johnson joined with other elected officials in urging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to choose Long Island MacArthur Airport (LIMA) as the new home for its NextGen air traffic control facility. 

Senator Owen H. Johnson said:  “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 950 highly technical and well paid aviation personnel can remain employed.  Additionally, the development of the NextGen air traffic facility will bring an additional 1,000 construction jobs to Long Islanders who desperately need them.”

Federal aviation officials decide early next year where in the New York City region the nation’s first next-generation, satellite-based air traffic control facility will be.  The NextGen control system is the Federal Aviation Administration’s solution to frequent flight delays at New York City-area airports, responsible for many of the air travel delays nationwide. 

The new facility will provide more precise information to controllers and pilots so that planes can fly closer to one another and take off and land with less separation in time and space.  The NextGen facility will be built within a 150-mile radius of New York City and is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Moving the new NextGen air traffic control facility off of Long Island would mean also moving hundreds of high-paying air traffic control jobs.  Other locations being considered include Poughkeepsie, Albany, Newark’s Liberty Airport, and Stewart Air Force Base in Newburgh.
Outdated air traffic facilities at the Terminal Radar Approach Control in Westbury and the New York Center in Ronkonkoma currently employ nearly 1,000 air traffic controllers, managers, administrative support staff members, and computer and technical specialists.

Photograph from left to right:  NYS Senator Lee Zeldin (3rd Senate District); NYS Assemblyman Dean Murray (3rd Assembly District); Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci; NYS Senator Owen H. Johnson (4th Senate District); NYS Assemblyman Phil Boyle (8th Assembly District); NYS Assemblyman Al Graf (5th Assembly District) and Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi.