A Comprehensive Plan to Revitalize Our Airport
Our airport is in crisis. MacArthur should be the crown jewel of Islip – connecting our township to the rest of the country and world. Instead - it’s become one of our biggest challenges.
According to the Town of Islip 2023 Budget, MacArthur is projected to see a $1.9 million deficit, with $16M in projected revenues and $17.9M in projected expenses. The Town Budget attributes this deficit largely to the loss of American Airlines flights into and out of MacArthur. It should come as no surprise that American has left Islip – and no other major, established airline has taken its place. Airlines do not trust airports managed by ill-qualified, patronage employees.
Airport management is just the beginning of the issues. The area around MacArthur has been declared a state superfund site – a government designation for locations contaminated by hazardous waste. According to state officials, groundwater samples in the area contained levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – synthetic chemicals linked to several forms of cancer, decreased fertility, and developmental delays – more than 2,000-times the state legal limit.
Just last week, state officials announced that the Town of Islip would be considered the responsible party for the cleanup, meaning that Islip taxpayers may be on the hook for millions of dollars in cleanup costs.
So – how do we turn things around at MacArthur? Here’s where Angie and I stand:
Cut airport jobs: “The airport will continue to streamline staffing due to the size and frequency of larger air carrier aircraft.” - Islip Town Budget, 2023
Slash employee benefits: “Reductions in the areas of overtime for sick and vacation leave will be paramount.” - Islip Town Budget, 2023
Deny the health risks: "There is no safer water anywhere in the land than Long Island drinking water." - Supervisor Angie Carpenter in interview with CBS
Improve airport management: replace the current system of political appointment with a transparent, competitive process for hiring top-level airport management
Increase revenues to generate profits: engage with major airlines to increase stock of domestic flights, create strategic partnerships for local advertising, diversifying revenues with non-airline sources (e.g., retail, dining, and rental car options) to build MacArthur into a highly profitable, world-class airport
Invest in our hamlets: reinvest all profits generated directly into improved services for our residents, particularly those in the hamlets surrounding our airport, including the hamlets of Ronkonkoma, Bohemia, and Holbrook
Ensure safe drinking water for all residents: Implement independent, third-party testing of groundwater and private well water, and make results available to the public; collaborate with state and federal government to fast-track the cleanup of the MacArthur superfund