The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency plans to examine the economic development opportunities surrounding Long Island MacArthur Airport.

The agency has hired Martin Cantor, a Melville-based consultant and accountant, to conduct a $30,000 study of the Islip Town airport. Cantor, a former economic development commissioner for Suffolk, said he had done a similar study of Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Southampton about eight years ago.

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Joanne Minieri, the current development commissioner and IDA board chairman, said the Ronkonkoma airport "is a regional asset that is underutilized and there is tremendous potential."

She also said the IDA didn't consider anyone but Cantor for the study because "he's the guy to do this."

Cantor plans to look at the operations of other regional airports, including Stewart Airport in Newburgh and Westchester County Airport in White Plains.

He said the key to bolstering MacArthur was to increase business activity in the area, which should create more demand for air service. "You attract ridership through business-related commerce."

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The IDA approved the airport study Thursday after Cantor had discussions about it with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.