The "No Hassle" Airport

History of Long Island MacArthur Airport Print

In 1943, the Town of Islip provided land on which the United States Government spent $1.5 million to build the Long Island MacArthur Airport, an air base for potential use during World War II. The Town constructed the first terminal in 1949, and the "General MacArthur Terminal" opened in 1966. The name of the Airport was changed to Long Island MacArthur Airport in 1978. Commercial passenger service commenced in the early 1960s with service to Boston and Washington on Allegheny Airlines.

The Federal Aviation Administration constructed the current seven-story control tower at the Airport in 1962 along with the FAA Flight Service Center which provided weather information and assisted general aviation. The 45,000 square-foot terminal originally opened in 1966 and expanded in later years as new air service was introduced by various commercial carriers. With the addition of east and west concourses and new ticketing and baggage areas, the enclosed area of the terminal expanded to approximately 121,000 sq. ft. by 2002.  The construction of a New FAA Control Tower began in late 2008, and the new state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2010.

In 2004 a total of 114,000 sq. ft. was added to the passenger service area of the Airport with the completion of the Veterans Memorial Concourse. This $60 million expansion hosts four passenger gates, a new aircraft parking apron and additional security screening areas. The Veterans Memorial Concourse also includes elevators and escalators, administrative offices, public restrooms, one newspaper/gift shop and four restaurants. Phase II of the project, completed in November, 2006, included the addition of four more passenger gates, one gift shop, a seafood restaurant and a link to the Main Terminal. Over 2.1 million passengers passed through the Airport in 2008, an average of more than 5,500 per day on 60 flights per day.