FAA Won’t Move Equipment Away
The Federal Aviation Administration has agreed to leave the
Departure Control System at MacArthur-Islip Airport (ISP) on Long
As ANN reported last week,
the FAA planned to move the computerized departure system from busy
MacArthur Airport to the Morristown, NJ, airport, claiming such a
move would make New York airspace more efficient overall.
Representative Steve Israel (D-Huntington) did not agree. He and
local airport officials vowed to fight the move, legislatively if
needed. "How do you justify taking equipment away from a commercial
airport with 100 flights a day and giving it to a small private
airport with no commercial flights?" Israel asked.
The FAA argued that Morristown needed the equipment because that
airport had more destinations in common with other New York area
airports, and more shared routes than MacArthur. The FAA had also
said that the move would not have an adverse impact on Islip.
Islip officials did not agree, since their airport handles over
three million commercial passengers each year, while Morristown has
no commercial service at all.
Israel and Representative Tim Bishop (D-Southhampton) met with
FAA Acting Administrator Robert "Bobby" Sturgell last Wednesday in
Washington, D.C. to discuss the issue.
Within 48 hours, the FAA called and told officials the equipment
would stay at MacArthur-Islip.
"I think they recognized it was a pretty poor move," said
Bishop, adding that the equipment had been at the airport since
2002. "They certainly recognized our position -- that we should be
protecting commercial aviation."
Bishop was not able to attend Saturday’s news conference,
where Israel and local airport officials made the announcement.
Islip Town Supervisor Phil Nolan thanked the congressmen. "If
not for their intercession, we would have lost this equipment,"
Nolan said. "We would have experienced more delays."
The departure spacing system calculates the most efficient route
for each aircraft and automatically approves flights for
Without the system, controllers would have to manually call the
New York Air Traffic Control Center and receive approval for each
departure, a far more time-consuming process.