CMM’s groundbreaking Economic Impact Study examining the potential economic impact of more inbound flights at Long Island MacArthur Airport was revealed at the HIA-LI “Future of Tourism” event on March 2. Demonstrating exponential growth potential, the study attracted enormous media attention and community support for Long Island’s hometown airport and tourism industry.
Spearheaded by Joe Campolo and his team at CMM in partnership with HIA-LI, Discover Long Island, the Town of Islip, and MacArthur Airport (“ISP”), the study is based on forecasts and assumptions regarding overall air travel capacity at ISP and general economic indicators in the Long Island tourism sector. A primary goal of the study was to demonstrate how critical both MacArthur Airport and tourism are to the Long Island economy. The staggering results are already mobilizing the business community to support the airport, Discover Long Island, travel and tourism.
Essentially, the study examined the potential economic and tourism impact if the airport increased its daily inbound flights. Using the standard metric that approximately 10% of MacArthur Airport deplanements are tourists, the study calculated the additional tourists that could be attracted to Long Island through more nonstop destinations and inbound flights. The study further calculated the spend of these tourists across the sectors of Food & Beverage, Transportation, Recreation, Retail & Service Stations, and Lodging using Long Island tourism data from the Tourism Economics database. Overall, the results show that the addition of more nonstop flights into ISP has the potential to generate unprecedented new revenue for Long Island, creating a win-win scenario to help Long Island thrive.
The Economic Impact Study follows closely on the heels of CMM and HIA-LI’s August 2021 survey that examined the current and future travel needs of the local business community. With over 500 businesses responding, the results of the survey were revealed in October 2021 and indicated that the addition of more nonstop flights from MacArthur could result in a 218 percent increase in travel dollars spent on flights at the airport – an unparalleled economic opportunity for the region. These results were instrumental in attracting Breeze Airways, the newest airline created by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, to MacArthur with its inaugural flight in February 2022.