Latest News from Long Island MacArthur Airport

1. Falling numbers:

The Long Island MacArthur Airport, owned by Islip, has been in a vicious circle since its inception. For a long time, airlines have been reluctant to provide services due to lack of passengers, and passengers have been reluctant to use the airport because airlines have failed to provide the services they seek. Over the past five years, this phenomenon has virtually made it non-existent.

Although the 1.8 million passengers in East Nassau and the Suffolk County catchment area make an average of 3.7 trips per year, these favorable facts end here because only 25% of people travel using MacArthur. If only uninterrupted service is considered, it has increased to 50%, and this statistic highlights the benefits of carrier services.

Indeed, in the five years from 2007 to 2012, the annual departures dropped from 14,784 to 7,930. This is the largest decline among all medium-sized airports in the United States. In fact, the facility on Long Island was reduced to 1999, which was triggered by Southwest The latest growth cycle.

Apart from being hit by the economic downturn and rising fuel costs like other terminals, it has historically been forced to operate in the shadow of the three major New York airports, so it uses many of the same market bases, but it depends almost exclusively on the Southwest Airlines to serve them. The trend of airline consolidation has further increased, resulting in a reduction in the number of potential air service providers. Nearly all airlines have operated from airports at some point in the past, and current fuel prices have made their code-sharing regional jets Unprofitable operations have prompted carriers to evacuate once-important hub feeds, such as Atlanta Southeast [ASA], Comair, Cincinnati, and Continental Express in Cleveland.

Southwest Airlines chose to deviate from its low-level, overpriced, second-tier airport business philosophy at the beginning of its establishment, and responded to passenger demand for major markets, gradually rebalancing aircraft assets from smaller cities to larger cities In order to achieve the maximum benefits, but most of the Islip market that has been dismantled by itself is nurtured in the process.

Contrary to that assessment, Southwest Airlines said the strategy reflects industry changes across the system, not just changes to MacArthur.

However, the factors involved in the Long Island market go beyond the trends of the entire system industry. After acquiring AirTran, it secured additional flights at LaGuardia Airport, which prompted Southwest Airlines to increase the frequency and destination of flights at high-yield and high-passenger airports.

During the peak hours of 34 flights a day on Long Island, it gradually reduced its business and stopped providing services to its two key cities, Nashville and Las Vegas, thereby cancelling the flights they represented.

By June 2012, when the Chicago Intermediate route was suspended and transferred to LaGuardia, its number of flights had almost halved to 18.

Although it is thought to revive the airport, it has now become an obstacle to its development in many ways. Because of its dominance and low fare structure, it has served as a deterrent to other airlines planning to serve there, especially on routes to Florida, where it has always monopolized it. However, like walking the tightrope, officials in Islip Town have been struggling to maintain a close relationship with the airline, as the future of the airport depends on it.

But this future depends not only on flights and passenger numbers. It also depends on the financial situation, and these are not optimistic. For example, in the three years from 2010 to 2012, the airport lost nearly $ 4.2 million, forcing it to use the funds it received from the $ 11 million in land sold to the Long Island Railroad in 2009 to compensate for the deficit and attract business leases. Terminal stores; the first general aviation landing fee; and reduced staff numbers and overtime.

However, what is needed is a more effective strategy to turn the tide. According to the situation at the time, is there?

2. Infrastructure improvements and suggestions:

As the region's economic engine, Long Island MacArthur Airport can only remain operational only if the town seeks innovative ways to attract fueled airline services, so it has undergone a series of infrastructure improvements.

On land, a $ 10.6 million terminal road redevelopment project began in September 2011 to redirect and simplify vehicle traffic, including an island in front of the building and a 750-foot canopy To make it easier for passengers to get off. Private transfers to and from public transportation. The project also includes lighting, drainage and vehicle safety checkpoints.

The project is funded by passenger usage fees collected from ticket sales. The project was completed two years later [ie January 10] with a budgeted cost of $ 300,000.

Another onshore project took place on the west side of the airport, Smithtown Boulevard. The planned removal of 52,000 square feet of outdated and unsightly wood, steel and concrete block structures is intended to attract businesses and operators afflicted by existing epidemics.

Of its three fixed base operators, Sheltair agreed to invest $ 20 million over seven years in exchange for a 40-year lease on 25 acres of its 36 acres, paving the way for the construction of 29,000 square feet of offices and 161,000 square feet Hangar space.

ExcelAire also signed a 40-year lease and also purchased $ 4.5 million to upgrade its facilities. The business jet services company was recently acquired by Hawthorne Global Aviation, South Carolina, and its jet services company demolished adjacent buildings and plans to add 32,000 square feet of office and hangar space to Capable of accommodating a new generation of very large business jets. , Such as Bombardier Global Express, Gulfstream 650 and Falcon 7X.

At the airport, Nakajima Air Services also follows its own lease and refurbishment agreement.

The reconfiguration of aerial land taxiways reflects the readjustment of onshore lanes. A $ 4.5 million grant was provided to the airport, 95% of which came from the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] and the remaining 5% from the State and Township Department of Transportation, which helped streamline aircraft taxiing to runway 33L, reducing turns and time And fuel consumption. The project includes the expansion of taxiway B, the rearrangement of taxiway E, and the installation of airport signs, lights and road markings.

The bids were awarded to the Rosemar Patchogue contract [taxiway construction], Maryland's JKL project [taxiway design], and Ronkonkoma's Savik and Murray [runway obstacle clearance and equipment supply].

The result of the airport's short-, medium- and long-term master plans are other projects that include light rail personnel mobility to connect the terminal with the Long Island Rail Station and extensions, a 7,000-foot second runway to enhance the existing Operational security and attract new, remote.

It even suggested that the airport be transformed into an international gateway. To this end, Senator Charles Schumer, a longtime supporter of MacArthur, has launched a public campaign to this end, and a press conference was held on June 10, 2013, urging U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to establish a single door Facilities so that carriers can start flights to the Bahamas. And Aruba, often sun-dried destinations.

This promotion, stimulated by a letter of intent issued by Mexican low-cost airline Interjet and similarly priced but only proposed long-range European operator FlyA, could greatly expand the airport's operating range.

Although the Department of Homeland Security regularly reviews the need for such requests, its own resources are stretched and it is unlikely that it will commit to using potential, actually not necessary, facilities, and the well-equipped New York Airport itself was immediately able to adapt to this. Class flights without changing infrastructure.

These ambitious proposals created their own Catch-22 situation, much like the vicious airliner cycle at the airport. Although they may have succeeded in attracting new carriers and routes, it is almost impossible to justify their costs when the decline in traffic requires almost no existing ones.

3. Airlines:

Although these infrastructure upgrades and promising suggestions may improve current operators. From the operational experience point of view, the ultimate is the ability of Islip Town to attract airlines, which will inject the lifeline into Long Island Regional Airport. Therefore, it has made great efforts to this end.

A. Existing airlines:
After relocating the aircraft to Southwest La Guardia Airport, its latest appearance is only a shadow of the peak period. Under the current economic conditions, it is unlikely to increase the frequency of flights or open flights to new destinations. flight.

However, it emphasized its continued dedication to regional airports. Although, in theory, a provision in its 25-year contract would enable it to suspend all services after ten years, it has no plans to do so.

On the contrary, despite the substantial layoffs, the 68% load factor it experienced two years ago has intermittently increased to the current 92% due to its service reduction strategy. And, despite the fact that their simultaneous presence in LaGuardia and MacArthur seems to dilute the same market, their respective business and leisure orientations dispel that perception.

Nevertheless, the town of Islip has successfully negotiated new services with another existing airline, US Airways.

As the original tenant of MacArthur and the one with the longest service, and then Allegheny, the flight restrictions imposed by the 2001 terrorist attack forced him to cancel the scheduled service. It was renamed USAir to re-establish direct flights to Washington Reagan nationals. One. The route itself is the second route after Philadelphia, thanks to the exchange of flights with Delta of Delta in LaGuardia.

To commemorate the first of two 50 CRJ-200 regional jets operated by Wisconsin Airlines on March 25, 2012, the airport fire truck baptized them after landing at 12:50 pm.

According to Press day "Is looking forward to working with our senators and members of parliament to ensure that Long Island MacArthur Airport is a jewel in our town and has achieved its full potential," said Tom Croci, the director of Islip Town. Resources and attention needed for potential. & # 39; & # 39;

The aircraft provides important urban links to the U.S. capital and eliminates the need to take an hourly train from Southwest Airlines' similar Baltimore service, re-departing at 1:28 pm

Senator Charles Schumer said the new connection only confirmed Long Island as an untapped market. Although American Airlines carries only 6% to 7% of its traffic, it is considered overly important because its routes are commercial and hub oriented.

B. New airline:
Attracting existing operators to open services is only one aspect of the town's strategy. Attracting new customers is another matter, for which the Long Island Association, the largest corporate and civic organization, sent a letter to three airlines expressing interest in potential services: the three airlines mentioned above, as well as JetBlue and MRT Canada.

Although for the most part of the past decade, Southwest ’s stimulating demand and the effects of airport expansion initially left a mark on McArthur, its layoffs reversed that trend, and JetBlue Similarly, it was originally single-plane, with low fares and cheap decoration. Operators are considered to have the same positive impact.

White Plains has covered the New York area with three major airports in New York and its two secondary airports. Islip is the airport of Westchester County and Newburgh & # 39; s Stewart International and is one of three new destinations it has recently planned to serve.

Schumer played a role in the initial service of the New York route in the early 1990's, providing Schumer with 75 slots in exchange for a realistic upstate route, which is considered to be the missing piece of JetBlue's "Jaland Airways" ". Together with former director of the town of Islip, Phil Nolan, he highlighted their support in working with airlines and state and local governments to close deals.

Accompanied by Schumer himself, JetBlue CEO Dave Barger took a three-hour airport tour as part of the airline's evaluation process. Schumer introduced him as he passed about 30 departing passengers, and informed them that he was trying to persuade him to start the service, and sparked spontaneous applause.

With a total of 2.9 million residents in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Barger considers the area to be "a decent city" and because the Caribbean is a target growth area for the airline, he found the airport to be the Caribbean Regional and Latino demographics are favorable.

While JetBlue reflects its southwestern competitors in many ways, these ways [at least relative to the Long Island plant] have become the image of spitting everywhere. Having won auctions of eight flights at LaGuardia Airport, the company changed the capacity of the aircraft to a rival in New York.

Despite seemingly disappointing results, Bagh emphasized that, under optimal conditions, serving Islip is not a question of "if, but when."

Another airline contacted by the town has expressed interest in the Islip service, and the airline itself has expressed interest in the Islip service.

Market research shows that 58% of passengers in the airport catchment area have reason to fly to Canada, and more than 30 industrial parks covering 4,200 acres in the town of Islip have further strengthened such routes. In 2011, the two-way trade volume between New York State and the United States reached 34.8 billion US dollars.

Specifically, ties with Toronto are considered a win-win strategy. As the airline's 60th cross-border connection, it will provide it with non-crowded airport and airspace operations, minimizing fuel costs and delays, while passengers can use its main hubs for Canada, Europe and Asia Flight convenience. As pre-clearance immigration and customs facilities already exist in Canada, MacArthur does not need to make any changes.

However, La Guardia's dominance once again reduced it to a footnote. Since WestJet is its most powerful competitor, having just won eight seats at New York Airport, it is more prudent to focus assets here to maintain market share rather than transfer it to Long Island.

Alaska-based PenAir is the town's penultimate aircraft carrier exploring new services and has achieved more.

Through the FAA's Aircraft Carrier Reward Program, which reduces the cost of new entrants or existing entrants establishing new routes, the agreement saves them $ 120,000 in office, rental, operating and landing costs-or two years, provided that It continued to provide services for two years after that.

PenAir replaced the daily shuttle business shuttle and the subsequent American Eagle Saab 340 to Boston-Logan service, but was suspended in 2008, and PenAir opened on July 25, 2013 using the same turboprop equipment twice daily The round-trip service is considered a reasonable extension of Boeing's evolving Northeast route system, including Bar Harbor, Plattsburgh and Presque Isle.

The flight departs at 8:40 am and 7:10 pm and departs at Boston at 7:00 am and 5:30 pm with a one-way fare of $ 119.

The final carrier contacted Allegiant Air and also brought its wings to Long Island.

According to its press release, "The Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company is committed to connecting travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations. The company operates low-cost, efficient, full-flight passenger jet airlines by Company: Its subsidiary, Allegiant Air, also offers other travel-related products such as hotel rooms, car rentals, and attraction tickets. "

After market research revealed the need for air services to Florida's west coast, the town of Islip courted the air carrier. The air carrier found itself with good customer base and announced its intention on August 20, 2013. This is one of 14 resorts served by the 99th city in the United States.

"We are excited to add beaches in southwest Florida as an affordable and convenient destination choice for Long Islanders," the press release said. "We are confident that the community will appreciate the convenience of direct access to Punta Gorda."

Offering a one-way fare of $ 69 and a round-trip fare of $ 99, Allegiant has launched Punta Gorda / Ft. Four months later, on December 20, Myers flew an MD-80 with 166 passengers as Flight 999, which departed at 7:20 PM. This date is considered a traditional holiday and Florida The beginning of winter.

Based on the response, seasonal and year round trips to Myrtle Beach, Michigan, St. Louis, St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Ft. Lauderdale and Las Vegas will be considered.

4. Current services:

Long Island MacArthur Airport needs sufficient air services before it can have an economic impact on the region. However, as of January 2014, 23 starting points were provided, two of which were not even daily, and this goal was barely achieved.

Southwest Airlines remains the main airline, offering five flights to Baltimore, three flights to Orlando, and two flights to feet. Lauderdale, two to West Palm Beach and one to Tampa-or a total of 13 operated by 737-700 aircraft. This is just more than one time it provided in 1999, when it inspired the airport's latest development period and restored it to its original development.

Since serving in Allegheny, American Airlines has been a stronghold, offering four de Havilland DHC-8 turboprop flights every day, flying to Philadelphia via its Piedmont regional carrier, and Bombardier CRJ- twice 200 regional jets to Washington, Wisconsin.

PenAir connects Boston with two Saab 340 flights, while Allegiant Air connects MD-80 with weekly services to Long Island Oilfield through Ft. Myers / Punta Gorda.

Resuming important business dealings with Boston and Washington, with two flights per flight accommodating 50 or fewer passengers, allowing travellers to avoid the traffic congestion and commute times associated with LaGuardia and move towards the right A step in the direction. But this is just a baby. If Long Island MacArthur is to grow into a regional supplier again and achieve its own economic sustainability through landings, operations, offices, concessions and parking fees, more aviation service injection is needed.