Congressman Tim Bishop met this morning with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and acting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta to make the case for Long Island as the site for a new integrated Air Traffic Control system for New York's Airports. Bishop spearheaded a letter to LaHood and Huerta signed by the entire Long Island Congressional Delegation, including US Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, requesting that the proposed integrated control facility (NYICC) to replace the aging New York ARTCC (Westbury) and New York TRACON (Ronkonkoma) facilities be constructed and remain on Long Island.
"We are confident that constructing a modern, state-of-the-art FAA facility on Long Island will save money, create jobs, and reinforce New York's critical transportation infrastructure," the delegation wrote. "Additionally, maintaining the consolidated control facility in proximity to current operations on Long Island will go a long way to protect the current workforce of 850 highly-skilled FAA employees in the busiest U.S. Airspace from potential attrition and unnecessary relocation costs.
The delegation estimates that constructing the facility on Long Island will boost the region's economy and construction industry by creating over 1,000 new jobs. Bishop and other members of the delegation will meet again on Thursday with the FAA to discuss the project in greater detail and potential locations on Long Island, including Long Island MacArthur Airport. Bishop has already begun consultations with local municipalities to identify sites that will minimize costs, promote efficiencies and create jobs.
"Building a new consolidated air traffic controller facility on Long Island will create over 1,000 construction jobs and retain over 850 highly-skilled FAA jobs on Long Island. The new facility will also save federal dollars and provide a major shot in the arm to the Long Island economy. I'm pleased the entire delegation has joined with me to make the case that this new facility, and the jobs that accompany it, should be on Long Island," said Congressman Bishop.
"With hundreds of already-trained world-class aviation workers who have been doing this work for decades, Long Island should unquestionably be the home of this new cutting edge FAA facility," said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. "Building this facility on Long Island would be a win-win: a win for the FAA, which won't have to relocate or lose their current top-notch employees, and a win for Long Island through the creation of 1,000 construction jobs and retention of 850 aviation jobs that will stay right where they belong -- on Long Island."
"Constructing a new air traffic controller facility on Long Island will help grow the local economy and protect the current federal aviation jobs in the region," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "It is critical that this facility will remain on Long Island and I will continue to work with my colleagues in this effort."
"This project is essential to maintaining highly skilled jobs and creating additional opportunities for our Long Island economy," said Congressman King.
"It's common sense for the new integrated Air Traffic Control system for New York's Airports to be on Long Island. Not only will the new facility create more than 1,000 construction jobs and retain more than 850 highly-skilled FAA jobs in our region, but it will also reinforce critical transportation infrastructure in New York. That is why the delegation is coming together to fight to have these jobs and the innovative new hub on Long Island," said Congressman Israel.
"Moving these jobs out of Long Island will create a difficult and unjustified burden to a lot of families here. We're hopeful that Secretary LaHood and Acting Administrator Huerta will agree with us that Long Island's rich aviation history and pool of skilled workers at current towers make it the perfect place for the continued control of the New York metropolitan area's airspace," said Congresswoman McCarthy.
"Building the new air traffic control system on Long Island is imperative to keeping hundreds of jobs in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and preventing the region's economy from taking a major hit," said Congressman Ackerman. "If the FAA selects another location, Long Island will lose some 850 critical jobs that existing FAA employees perform right here, and it will cost our region many new jobs as well as key investments in local infrastructure. As the FAA moves forward with its plan, I urge the agency in the strongest possible terms to select Long Island as the place to construct its new facility."