Long Island Jet Centers to get $50M upgrade

 - December 10, 2007, 12:30 PM

All three Long Island (N.Y.) Jet Centers (LIJC) will soon get major facelifts. The three separate projects are expected to cost about $50 million, collectively, with work starting early next year and taking up to three years to finish. Long Island Jet Centers include facilities at Francis Gabreski Airport (FOK) in Westhampton Beach; MacArthur Airport (ISP) in Islip; and Republic Airport in Farmingdale.

The FOK location is its most seasonal and least elaborate–with the Jet Center facility and ramp area on the north end of the field. Company president Bill McShane told AIN that LIJC plans to invest up to $10 million in a “scratch-built” terminal and hangar complex and to develop a master plan for 11 acres to be given over to individual hangars. He expects the new generation of very light jets (VLJs) to represent a significant portion of traffic and hangar tenancy in the coming years, industry-wide, and especially at FOK. “You have to plan for what’s being built,” he said.

Currently, the Westhampton location focuses on accommodating many of New York’s wealthiest individuals with their summer homes on eastern Long Island, but that may be changing. Watching the real-estate trends in the Hamptons and surrounding towns, McShane sees an increase in year-round residents deepening their roots in the resort area. LIJC’s 10-year plan anticipates continued increases in year-round activity at the airport.

The Islip FBO, slated for a $15 million facelift, currently has 180,000 sq ft of hangar/office space (to be renovated under the development plan), five acres of ramp and an additional 30 acres of airport property under Jet Center management. McShane intends to build as many as three new corporate hangars and dedicate a portion of the leasehold to piston-powered aircraft. “We’re looking to separate the jet and piston traffic at ISP,” he said. Company services also include airline servicing. Total fuel pumped at ISP is around 11 million gallons annually, split between the Jet Center and New York Jet FBOs.

Finally, the Republic Airport facility will receive a $25 million ground-up complex, including a new terminal and office building, at least three 20,000-sq-ft hangars and up to 40 individual hangars earmarked for single-aircraft operators, such as VLJ owners. Currently the busiest LIJC facility, Farmingdale is home to the widest array of services, including fueling, flight training, aircraft charter, management, hangar leasing (120,000 sq ft of hangar/office space available) and maintenance for both piston and turbine aircraft. Long Island Jet Center also houses and sponsors the American Air Power Museum, featuring a World War II-vintage Republic P-47 Thunderbolt housed in the same hangar that served as the final assembly point for the fighter during the war years.

The Long Island Jet Center at Republic is a Texaco Chevron dealer, open 24/7 and with Customs service available with advance notice. De-icing, flight planning, catering, courtesy transportation and rental cars are available.