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Long Island MacArthur Airport could add $1 billion in tourism revenue, study finds

MacArthur Airport
Wikimedia Commons

Adding more nonstop flights to and from Long Island MacArthur Airport could generate $1.3 billion in tourism for the island.

The region’s largest industry advocacy group, HIA Long Island, released an economic impact study, conducted by the law firm of Campolo, Middleton and McCormick, that explores the airport's economic impact to area businesses.

Attorney Joe Campolo praised the airport’s “untapped potential.”

“We need to support tourism, we need to support this airport that will support tourism, so we can support those sectors that need economic recovery. It's really, really important,” Campolo said.

Campolo said the airport could help attract visitors to spend money on lodging, recreation and restaurants. He said tourism on Long Island also post-pandemic recovery in the region’s second home market, retail and service sector and public transportation.

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said Long Islanders should be more willing to use the airport now that COVID-19 restrictions are lightening up.

“Long Islanders are so anxious to get back to life as we know it and they have the energy they have the will and we’re providing them the venue here at the airport,” Carpenter said during a panel hosted by the business group on Wednesday.

The study calculated the level of new tourism revenue that could be generated on Long Island if Breeze Airways were to operate at maximum capacity at the airport. The airline began operating nonstop flights to Norfolk, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina, from the airport on February 17.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.