Nolan Hails New Study as Crucial Tool to Woo Airlines
Says MacArthur Airport Aviation Demand Study
Confirms Market Strength; Opportunities for New Carriers; New Destinations
Ronkonkoma, NY (March 4, 2011) – Hailing it as powerful new tool in the Town’s efforts to bring more choice to Long Island travelers, Islip Town Supervisor Phil Nolan today released a new study designed to provide strategic direction for future growth at Long Island MacArthur Airport (LIMA.) The study – funded through a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration – provides insights into the travel patterns and preferences of Long Islanders and forecasts significant growth for the airport during the next decade.
Furthermore, it demonstrates that when non-stop service is provided to popular destinations, Long Islanders will chose the town-owned airport over more congested airports to the west. “Armed with this analysis, we will be better equipped to persuade airlines to bring service to MacArthur Airport,” said Supervisor Nolan while also stressing the importance of the Town continuing its “good neighbor” policy and seeking to protect quality of life for the communities surrounding the airport. The study recommends targeting several airlines with potential to provide the service Long Islanders want.
A significant component of the study examines “leakage” from the LIMA catchment area, defined as all of Suffolk County and part of Nassau County – an area of approximately 1.7 million people. Passengers who reside in the catchment area and have a shorter or equal drive time to MacArthur Airport, but book their flights at other airports represent “leaked” business.
Among the findings:
• The size of the market opportunity is significant bigger than current levels indicate
• Currently, the catchment generates four million enplanements annually
• Of those only about 1.1 million enplane at LIMA; 2.9 million “leak” to other airports
• In terms of total trips, LIMA leaks 5.9 million passengers from the catchment annually
• Forecasts 6.2 million enplaned passengers originating from LIMA catchment by 2025
• More than 35% of 6.2 million forecast will board flights at LIMA if service is provided
• With non-stops to popular cities provided 4.4 million enplanements forecast by 2025
“The study confirms that MacArthur Airport’s potential passenger base is bigger than our current passenger levels would indicate,” said Commissioner of Aviation Teresa Rizzuto. “It makes a strong case for the right airline with the right destinations to capture this market.”
The leakage study tells us a lot about passengers in our catchment: what airports they are flying out of; where they are flying to, and on what airlines they are flying.
“It’s important to give Long Islanders more travel options and an alternative to the congestion of other area airports,” said Supervisor Nolan. “This study confirms that if we provide it, the travelers are here and will come.”