MacArthur Airport in search of more passengers

Long Island news from Eyewitness News

April 23, 2012 10:35:48 AM PDT
Officials are looking for ways to revitalize Long Island's MacArthur Airport, which has seen a dramatic decline in passengers.

Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci told Newsday that ideas being explored include a light rail between the LIRR train station in Ronkonkoma and the airport's east side and runway upgrades.

According to the airport's figures, total passengers in 2011 were off 9.44 percent from the year before. And last year was the fourth straight year of declining numbers since the recession hit in 2008.

Sen. Charles Schumer says in the short term MacArthur needs to lure airlines.

Although it has a market of 1.8 million potential passengers on Long Island, the airport captures only a small percentage of their travel. Many opt for nearby LaGuardia and Kennedy airports, which offer more airlines.

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