Construction is underway on the second phase of a $16 million restoration of the main runway at Long Island MacArthur Airport, work that is being undertaken overnight to minimize impacts on services, Islip officials said.
Renovations of the runway that stretches 7,006 feet resumed the first week of May and are expected to be completed by the fall, Islip Town's Airport Commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken said.
Removing and replacing worn asphalt on the runway that serves the airport’s three commercial airlines — Southwest, American and Frontier — started last fall. The work stopped for the winter on Oct. 31, LaRose-Arken said.
The project also includes installing new LED lighting and pavement marking grooves. The work contract was awarded to Intercounty Paving Associates LLC of Westbury.
“The runway is critical to the airport. It’s a wonderful project,” LaRose-Arken said.
The construction cost will total about $16.4 million, officials said, adding that a $14.28 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will fund most of the project. The state will fund 5 percent of the project, and the rest will come from airport passenger facility charges, the $4.50 fee assessed on every passenger ticket, LaRose-Arken said.
Work on the runway, which is named 06/24, will take place six days a week, from 11:30 p.m. until 6 a.m., LaRose-Arken said. Work started Wednesday night at a point where the main runway intersects with a second runway.
Both runways will remain open at their busiest times, LaRose-Arken said.
“This is really the best way to do construction in terms of minimal, if any impacts, on the air carriers,” LaRose-Arken said.
The airport had 132,524 incoming and departing flights in 2018. Of that, 3,021 — less than 3 percent of flight traffic — occurred between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., LaRose-Arken said. Besides commercial flights, the airport also serves corporate flights, and private planes and helicopters, LaRose-Arken said.
Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter touted MacArthur’s impact on the local economy and said the runway renovation is critical because of its long-term viability.
“The runway rehabilitation project is significant because it will maintain the structural integrity of our modern runway for the next 20 years," Carpenter said in a statement. "It’s important to the continued operation of the airport, to the commercial airlines and general aviation and to all the passengers that it serves.”