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MacArthur sees increase in general aviation flights

December 14, 2012, 05:11 pm

General aviation flights have significantly increased at Long Island, New York's MacArthur Airport this year, even as commercial aviation shows signs of struggle, according to a Newsday report.

Airport officials said that in the first nine months of this year, the airport has has seen an increase in flights by smaller private planes of 33 percent when compared to the same time period last year, while general aviation flights increased 15.5 percent during that same period of time.

Terry Hennessey, MacArthur's deputy airport commissioner, said it's probably the healthiest he's seen the numbers since 2008.

Earlier this year, Hawthorne Aviation, the second-largest general aviation services and airport management company in North America, opened a fixed-base operation at MacArthur. The company added a hangar up to 32,000 square feet and office space at the airport to increase business aviation efforts.

"For private jet travelers, MacArthur Airport and our FBO is a smart alternative to the other airports in the Metro New York City area that are congested and expensive,” said Steven Levesque, president and CEO of Hawthorne. "At MacArthur, taxi delays and ATC delays are almost unheard of - making for hassle-free and time-efficient travel. Jets can be at our ramp in five minutes from their wheels touching down, and departures are equally fast and hassle-free."

General aviation pilots are always encouraged to obtain pilot life insurance before taking to the skies, especially as popularity at airports increases.

The price of gas could be close to the average of $3.23 a gallon that drivers paid last Christmas Day. The price has dropped about 50 cents since September. AAA estimates the average price will range between $3.20 and $3.40 a gallon by New Year's Day, according to AAA. That's pricey, but hardly a deterrent to holiday travel.

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