In response to "What's happening with Gabreski?" [Letters, Nov. 26], which described the airport as "an unutilized wasteland," I offer this update.
When Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy took office in 2004, he made it a priority to break a decades-long logjam on a vital, 58-acre airport business and technology park. Development of the park is now under way: A 40-year lease has been signed with Rechler Equity to develop more than 430,000 square feet of office and industrial space, create over 500 permanent jobs and generate nearly $40 million in revenue to the county.
In addition, more than $36 million in capital improvements have been made at the airport over the past three years, using public and private funds. This includes resurfacing the main runway, building a new Air National Guard Pararescue facility and providing security upgrades.
The Airport Community Advisory Board and the Airport Conservation and Assessment Panel were created to give community members a voice in the future industrial and aviation development, as well as to help establish procedures to ensure that airport noise does not become a problem.
Yves R. Michel
Editor's note: The writer is commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Workforce Housing.