Long Island MacArthur Airport
Long Island MacArthur Airport (LIMA) in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., is a public airport serving 1.6 million passengers annually. The airport lies 44 miles east of Manhattan and two miles south of Ronkonkoma Lake. The 1,311-acre airport is owned and managed by the Town of Islip and handles 8,850 departures each year. Formerly named the Islip Airport, LIMA is 99th out of the nation’s 847 airports for the number of passengers it serves and operates with a stellar 91 percent on-time record. LIMA was designated as an Official Metro Airport by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2011. The airport serves residents of Suffolk and Nassau counties as well as those looking for an alternative to the larger JFK and La Guardia airports.
Passenger flights are served via two terminal concourses: the West Concourse for US Airways departures and arrivals and the Veterans Memorial Concourse with eight gates to serve Southwest Airlines passengers. The airport includes four runways and two helipads to accommodate passenger, law enforcement, and general aviation flights.
In addition to its flight operations, LIMA houses three fixed-base operators: Sheltair Aviation, ExcelAire and Mid Island Air as well as a flight school. The town’s foreign trade zone operates next to airport. The airport’s cargo operators use LIMA to transport more than 1,246,000 pounds of freight and mail each year.
A law enforcement and Medevac helicopter operates out of LIMA, managed by the Suffolk County Police Department’s aviation unit and equipped with flight paramedics provided by Stony Brook University Medical Center.
In 2011, LIMA and Southwest Airlines completed a $6 million construction project to create a new jet fuel facility that contains 300,000 gallons of jet fuel. That week’s worth of capacity exceeds the standard five days’ worth of fuel.
Travelers are served by six on-site rental car companies, six restaurants, and four shops to provide all necessities before and after flights. Nursing mothers enjoy the complimentary use of a dedicated Mother’s Room. Located just past the east security checkpoint and across from Starbucks, the Mother’s Room offers two plush gliders with foot rests for comfortable nursing in a private, peaceful setting.
For those traveling with pets, LIMA provides a pet relief area just outside the terminal’s baggage claim area.
Getting to the airport is simple, given its location near a variety of major highways such as the Sunrise Highway, Southern State Parkway, and Long Island Expressway. The Long Island Rail Road offers quick, 10-minute shuttles to and from LIMA frequently throughout the day, with discounts for airport passengers.
Parking at Long Island MacArthur Airport
Short-term parking is available in the airport’s hourly lot, and long-term parking is found in the airport’s daily and economy lots. A cell phone waiting area is at lot 6B and is complimentary. Handicapped parking is available in the daily and economy lots with overflow handicapped parking available in the hourly lot.
LIMA works cooperatively with a variety of local organizations and veterans groups to operate a Hometown Hero Welcome Program. The program ensures that returning service men and women arrive at LIMA with a welcoming crowd to offer appreciation and good wishes. Since its inception in 2009, volunteers with the program have welcomed home more than 100 of Long Island’s combat veterans and active-duty soldiers.
LIMA began in 1942 as a site for military aviation during World War II. Originally called Islip Airport, the facility was soon renamed for war hero General Douglas MacArthur. After the war, the airport partially transitioned to civil use, and a passenger terminal building was constructed in 1949. The MacArthur Terminal was built in 1966, and the Southwest Airlines section of the terminal was built in 2004.