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The History Of Long Island Macarthur Airport

The History Of Long Island Macarthur Airport


Long Island MacArthur Airport, located on 1,310 acres in Suffolk County, is the region’s only commercial service facility which has, for most of its existence, struggled with identity and purpose. 

Its second–and oval-shaped–50,000 square-foot passenger terminal, opened in 1966 and sporting two opposing, ramp-accessing gates, had exuded a small, hometown atmosphere—so much so, in fact, that scenes from the original Out-of-Towners movie had been filmed in it. 

Its subsequent expansion, resulting in a one thousand percent increase in passenger terminal area and some two million annual passengers, had been sporadic and cyclic, characterized by new airline establishment which had always sparked a sequence of passenger attraction, new nonstop route implementation, and additional carriers, before declining conditions had initiated a reverse trend.  During cycle peaks, check-in, gate, and ramp space had been at a premium, while during troughs, a pin drop could be heard on the terminal floor. 

Its Catch-22 struggle had always entailed the circular argument of carriers reluctant to provide service to the airport because of a lack of passengers and passengers reluctant to use the airport because of a lack of service. 

This, in essence, is the force which shaped its seven-decade history.  And this, in essence, is Long Island MacArthur Airport’s story. 

1. Origins 

The 1938 Civil Aeronautics Act, under Section 303, authorized federal fund expenditure for landing areas provided the administrator could certify “that such landing areas were reasonably necessary for use in air commerce or in the interests of national defense.”  

At the outbreak of World War II, Congress appropriated $40 million for the Development of Landing Areas for National Defense or “DLAND,” of which the Development Civil Landing Areas (DCLA) had been an extension.  Because civil aviation had been initially perceived as an “appendage” of military aviation, it had been considered a “segment” of the national defense system, thus garnering direct federal government civil airport support.  Local governments provided land and subsequently maintained and operated the airports.  Construction of 200 such airfields began in 1941.

Long Island regional airport, located in Islip, had been one of them.  On September 16 of that year, the Town of Islip–the intended owner and operator of the initially named Islip Airport–sponsored the project under an official resolution designated Public Law 78-216, providing the land, while the federal government agreed to plan and build the actual airport.  The one-year, $1.5 million construction project, initiated in 1942, resulted in an airfield with three 5,000-foot runways and three ancillary taxiways.  Although it had fulfilled its original military purpose, it had always been intended for public utilization. 

Despite increased instrument-based flight training after installation of instrument landing system (ILS) equipment in 1947, the regional facility failed to fulfill projected expectations of becoming New York’s major airport after the recent construction of Idlewild.  Losing Lockheed as a major tenant in 1950, the since-renamed MacArthur Airport, in honor of General Douglas MacArthur, would embark on a long development path before that would occur. 

2. Initial Service 

A 5,000-square-foot passenger terminal and …

Catalina Honeymoons Await on the Island of Romance!

Catalina Honeymoons Await on the Island of Romance!

Planning my honeymoon had become a daunting task. My fiancé and I wanted affordable luxury, an exotic but accessible location, and a timeless romantic setting all in one. We had spent a fortune on our wedding (sound familiar?) and wanted to locate the lovely, fun, romantic places that would accommodate, well… cheap honeymoons. After considering all kinds of far away, and financially far out of reach island honeymoon destinations, I stumbled across the beautiful, historic, laid back Santa Catalina Island. Just an hour away from the southern California mainland on any one of the Catalina ferries, the aptly named “Island of romance” began to capture my imagination, and after a little investigating, we were soon settled on a Catalina honeymoon.

After considering each of the Catalina resorts, I decided on the Catalina Canyon, a beautiful Catalina resort and spa, which is modern and up to date with all of the amenities that honeymooners could ask for. They have a great restaurant and bar, complimentary shuttles that take you to and from the nearby Catalina ferry terminal, which is just a few minutes by shuttle into town. Their spa has registered massage therapists, saunas, facials and a beautiful pool and poolside… I was pleased. I told them on the phone that I would be on my honeymoon and asked for any honeymoon travel deals and the woman immediately changed my rate and was very fantastic to deal with. I found the prices extremely reasonable. I will add that at all the places I checked out there was a two-day minimum stay

Although we settled on the Catalina Canyon hotel, there were other amazing Catalina hotels that we easily could have chosen. The best Catalina luxury hotel would probably be Catalina’s newest hotel, the Avalon Hotel. A very romantic Catalina luxury hotel would be the Inn on Mt. Ada. Stunning views of Avalon Bay and beautiful grounds make the Mt. Ada hotel ideal for a Catalina honeymoon. If you’re watching your budget, a great hotel (in keeping with the cheap honeymoons theme) would be the Hermosa Hotel. It may not be the ideal romantic type, but rooms start as low as fifty dollars a night! Remember, in all of these places ask for any honeymoon travel deals or all inclusive vacation honeymoon travel deals, when you make your reservations… the hotel manager will most certainly cut you a deal!

There are tons of romantic activities on Catalina Island. You can rent scuba equipment or snorkel in Lovers Cove (yes, that’s really what it’s called), rent bikes, or just go for a hike. Wildlife abounds all over and around beautiful Catalina Island, including Bison, which were brought in for a movie many years ago and now roam wild, deer, birds, sea lions, dolphins, whales, myriad fish, including of course California’s state fish, the striking bright orange Girabaldi. There are extremely affordable Catalina island tours which for many, are the best way to see the abundant marine life, bison herds, whales and dolphins and …