Schumer pushes for $70 million for MacArthur upgrades

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U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and other elected officials are pushing for $70 million in federal funds to help cover some of the costs of a $125 million plan to revamp MacArthur Airport.

Schumer says routes to the West Coast are now possible because of new planes that fly farther and are able to use MacArthur's shorter runways.

All officials need to do is attract big-name airlines, which MacArthur has struggled to do for years. Schumer says the larger carriers want to see things like brand-new construction and up-to-date terminals.

American, Southwest and Frontier are the only commercial airlines that currently fly to and from MacArthur. Travel agents say the expansion would boost tourism on Long Island, especially if airfare prices are competitive.

If the federal funding is approved, Schumer hopes to break ground on the project next year and have it finished by 2022.

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