The Federal Aviation Administration will build its new consolidated air traffic control center in New York, but it remains unclear if the facility will be located in Ronkonkoma.
On Monday, acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta met with local elected officials and toured Long Island MacArthur Airport (LIMA), one of the locations being proposed to house a new regional air traffic control facility.
Huerta told the Associated Press that the FAA is “very early in the process for a very important decision.”
Among the local officials joining Huerta Monday were Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci, Islip Deputy Supervisor Trish Bergin Weichbrodt, Islip Councilman John Cochrane, Rep. Tim Bishop, Rep. Steve Israel and Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Choosing a new location for its NextGen air traffic control facility is part of the FAA’s $2.3 billion modernization plan that will consolidate its 49 air traffic control facilities across the Northeast to four over the next 10 years.
Town officials have been active in promoting MacArthur Airport as the right choice for the FAA’s new consolidated facility.
“This site sits at the crossroads of some of Long Island’s most critical transportation networks, and includes the largest industrial corridor in New York State,” said Croci after yesterday’s tour and meeting with Huerta. “There is simply no other location as prepared for this project as Long Island MacArthur Airport.
Huerta’s visit to MacArthur comes two weeks after Croci hosted local and state elected officials at an as part of an effort to “encourage” the FAA to house its NextGen air traffic control facility at the airport.
At the press conference, Croci said locating the new facility at LIMA would preserve the 524 air traffic control positions currently on Long Island and add another 500 jobs. It would also have a positive impact on construction jobs in the region as well since the NextGen facility would be a new build, he said.