"Dedication of the New Long Island MacArthur Airport Tower"
J. Randolph Babbitt, Islip, New York
May 20, 2011

Long Island MacArthur Airport TowerTower Dedication

Good morning, Carmine (Gallo) and thank you for that introduction. It’s a pleasure to be here today in Islip. And I want to extend a special welcome to Congressman Steve Israel and representatives from the town of Islip who are here today.

This is an important day for the Town of Islip and Long Island.

We are here today to dedicate the new Airport Traffic Control Tower at MacArthur Airport.

This 159-foot tower replaces the old one that opened in 1963. It will bring an extra layer of safety for pilots and passengers here at the fifth-busiest tower in the state of New York.

The new $20 million air traffic control tower is part of the FAA’s continuing effort to enhance the safety and efficiency of our national air space. 

The tower is more than 50 feet taller than the old tower and will give controllers improved visibility of airport operations. Additionally, controllers will now be using the latest in voice communication technology to communicate with pilots.

This facility has the most advanced equipment to record air traffic communications. It also has new heating and cooling systems, as well as fire protection, security, power distribution and grounding systems.

The air traffic controllers, FAA technical specialists, and the town did an outstanding job in switching to this new tower. In fact, they helped us use it a few weeks early during the severe snowstorms in New York after Christmas.  

I want to thank our technical operations specialists and controllers for their flexibility and quick thinking in keeping operations moving safely and efficiently during that period. I also want to thank the unions – NATCA and PASS – for their collaboration and engagement on this and many other projects.

In this facility, our air traffic controller workforce will be able to maintain the highest levels of safety on the airport’s surface and in the skies above it. 

Long IslandMacArthur Airport has a long history of flight with a humble beginning in 1943, just as aviation began to grow after World War II.

Airport traffic was controlled from a small wooden tower located on the west side of the airport until a new tower opened in 1963. 

Now the airport handles about 155,000 takeoffs and landings per year, including commercial passenger jet service from major carriers, small general aviation aircraft, and student pilots learning to fly. About 225 aircraft are based here.

We are very pleased to contribute to the enhanced safety and efficiency of Long Island MacArthur Airport. 

Investments in airports and air traffic control mean more efficient travel and more jobs for American workers. 

I thank you for coming out today – this is a great day for aviation.  I’ll turn it back over to Carmine.