MacArthur airport officials broke ground Wednesday on a $8.4 million transportation facility that will centralize access to ground transportation to and from the airport.

The project will renovate an existing building to create a 12,000 square foot space containing car rental counters, lounge areas and connections to taxis, buses, hotel shuttles, for-hire vehicles and transportation to the Long Island Rail Road. It will also create a covered pedestrian walkway.

“This new one-stop facility at Long Island MacArthur Airport will give businesses and visitors to the New York City and Long Island regions an improved and streamlined travel experience,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a news release.

The airport’s taxi stand will be moved to the new facility from the baggage claim area in the main terminal.

Airport aviation commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken said in a news release that this is the first in a series of modernization projects planned for the airport in coming years.

“It’s been more than 20 years since the airport’s passenger facilities have been upgraded and travelers expect more,” LaRose-Arken said. “Technology has changed the way we travel through airports. Centralizing ground vehicle services is a convenience for visitors to Long Island and residents who choose mass transportation options over driving.”

The ground transportation vehicle center is being built in part with an $800,000 New York State aviation grant and a $650,000 grant from the Empire State Development Corp., a state economic development agency. The remainder of the costs will be paid for through airport customer facility charges and bond financing. The airport also plans to apply for additional grants, according to a news release.

Construction is expected to take 10 months, Islip town spokeswoman Caroline Smith said. The building was previously used as a Federal Aviation Administration facility.

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said in a news release the town, which owns and operates the airport, is investing in improvements to the MacArthur’s “infrastructure to provide an excellent customer experience and modernize aging areas and components.”

The airport serves 1.6 million passengers annually, according to Islip officials.

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