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The White House came to Republic Airport

towertaxiAir Force One, carrying the President of the United States, arrived at Republic Airport in March, allowing Mr. Bush to participate in a 9/11 memorial service, visit an example of entrepreneurial business success and meet his campaign supporters during a day on Long Island that was as much hectic as it was historic.

For the Republic Airport management team the arrival of Air Force One offered unprecedented challenges and opportunities. It required them to work with a spectrum of security that ranged from the Secret Service and Military Police to the State Police, Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, FAA, White House protocol, communications and press operations as well as coordinate the ongoing air operations of one of the busiest airports in the State of New York.

"Our successful support of Air Force One was due to the incredible professionalism and dedication of the Republic team," stated Airport Director Hugh Jones. "Every facet of your operation comes under enormous scrutiny. We are dealing with the security of the President, his aircraft, his support equipment and staff. We not only host the Chief Executive but the Governor, members of Congress and others who have arrived to greet the aircraft. There is no margin for error on any front."

Managing at the Point

The point person designated to coordinate the airport's response was airport Manager Stephen Williams, an executive with AVPORTS. "This is a professional opportunity that comes once in a career," offered Williams. "We needed to manage and anticipate virtually every operational component we take for granted. This ranged from sweeping the ramp of sand left over from previous snow storms to accommodating the Presidential limousine in our facilities garage to working with our tenants to minimize the flight restrictions surrounding Air Force One's arrival and departure."

convoyWilliams was supported by his assistant, Shelly LaRose and by head of airport security John Lauth, George Barnes, the airport's Maintenance Manager, and his assistant Charles Ciecirski.

Air Force One is the designation given to any fixed wing aircraft that the President travels in. In this case it was a Boeing 757 that touched down and taxied to the ramp of Long Island Jet on the northeast end of the airport. The arrival was so carefully planned that the height of the temporary stairs brought up to the 757 hatchway had been pre-measured by LI Jet Center president Bill McShane.

McShane observed, "On one hand the arrival of this aircraft is not unlike any of the other transient aircraft that arrives on our ramp - you service it to the very best of your ability. And on the other hand - your eyes water when this 757 in Presidential markings taxies up beside your hangar and shuts its engines down for the day."

History and Images

The arrival of President Bush marked the first time that a sitting President has made use of Republic during its tenure as a public airport operated by the New York State Department of Transportation.

Governor George Pataki, EDC Chairman Charles Gargano, Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro and a host of other VIPS waited on the tarmac for the arrival of Air Force One, marveling at the size and solid construction of the Presidential limo. Observed Chairman Gargano, "I guess he has no need for an Easy Pass."

Sand filled dump trucks were brought in to block off taxiways and helped create perimeters where the Secret Service would deny access. Nearly fifty motorcycles were propped up along the fence line of New Highway as highway patrol officers waited in their distinctive putties and slouch hats for word to form up.

LI Jet Center was permitted to refuel Air Force One at "the standard government rate of reimbursement," dryly noted McShane. With the precision of a military marching team, Air Force One advance staff stood at rigid attention to direct the taxing aircraft to stop at a precise location on the LI Jet Center ramp. And it did.

The surrounding businesses felt the positive economic ripple impact of Air Force One and the arrival of its support crew. Many in the security detail sent out for pizza and Chinese food from the neighboring Airport Plaza retailers during their day long stay at the airport. "If we only could have gotten through the security `frozen zones' we would have also brought in bagels and made it a true New York experience," commented Jones.

Everyone took pride in being able to support the mission no matter how modest the contribution. Denied access to the ramp, and even the museum's historic control tower during the arrival of Air Force One, Larry Starr, director of the American Airpower Museum pointed to the movable steel fencing that kept him off site and proudly announced, "That's my fencing."

Steve Williams was among those who met the President as he left Air Force One. Wearing his dual hat as president of the New York Aviation Management Association as well as Republic Airport manager Williams lobbied Mr. Bush about the need for a vibrant general aviation industry and the valuable role airports like Republic play in supporting the goal. "I knew it may be the only time that I will ever be afforded the chance to make our case and I wasn't going to ignore it," he stated.

Jones, Williams, McShane and the entire Republic team put in a very long day, electing to remain on site until the evening hours when the Presidential motorcade returned, the President strode up the steps, Air Force One closed its doors and then taxied out for departure. Its visit was an historic moment that will long define not just the strategic role of the airport but the commitment and skill of the professionals who run it. Top


h_jonesWelcome to the latest edition of "Republic Airport Highlights." It has been an exciting and eventful year since our last report. As noted in our lead story the President and Air Force One made history here as the region welcomed him to Long Island onboard Air Force One. Last Fall we hosted an emergency evacuation drill that, ironically, occurred on the eve of a passing glance of an angry hurricane. And we have been notified that the Blue Angels Navy flight team will operate from Republic as they prepare to honor the 75th anniversary of the world renown Jones Beach State Park complex.

Perhaps the most important strategic occurrence over the past twelve months was the day long Business Aviation Forum and Static Display sponsored by National Business Aviation Association that showcased some of the most innovative general aviation designs in the world and offered the aviation community dozens of exhibits, seminars and briefings from which to contemplate how best to navigate in this very demanding industry. Some 1,200 industry leaders got to "kick the tires" of thirty of the latest business jets worth over $250 million.

Mitch Pally, Vice President of the Long Island Association, told the region, "The decision by a nationally respected business aviation organization to hold this forum at Republic is the most dramatic endorsement I can think of regarding the role that this airport plays in supporting Long Island's business community and our economy. It focuses our attention on a transportation asset that is uniquely qualified to assist Long Island in the fierce competition for market share."

His comments were well received. Pally's organization is the premier business group on Long Island, representing companies and institutions that comprise the heart and soul of the bi-county economy. As an advocate for business they view Republic as the airport for Long Island executives and one as important as the Long Island Railroad and the Long Island Expressway.

NBAA's decision to host the event at Republic underscored the importance of this airport. NBAA Vice President of Marketing and Membership Joe Ponte said, "We fully believe the NBAA event on Long Island at Republic Airport complemented the Association's efforts over the past few years to communicate with members locally. In addition, the business aviation marketplace clearly indicated to us that such a venue was necessary for vendors and operators to interact at the local level." The group fosters an environment in which general aviation aircraft flown in support of commerce are recognized as important business tools that contribute to economic growth. NBAA represents member companies who employ 19 million people worldwide and earn annual revenues of approximately $5 trillion - a figure that is more than half of the U.S. gross domestic product. (Our industry's contribution to New York State's economy is noted elsewhere in this report.)

This airport could not effectively operate without the efforts of the Republic Airport Commission and its Chairman Frank Nocerino and Vice Chair, Gerard Toner. These individuals lead a commission that continues to help position this airport so that it is poised to meet the challenges faced by every airport, its role as a solid neighbor committed to working with the surrounding community. While the NBAA forum allowed us to showcase who we are and how we contribute to the region as a whole our Commission members continue to provide us with the insight and guidance that enable us to fulfill our potential.

I urge each and everyone of you to take advantage of attending our commission meetings where we create a platform for discussion and dialogue about the crucial role of Republic Airport. For the balance of 2004 the meetings are schedule for Room 201 at the airport's administrative building. They start at 7:00 p.m. and are tentatively scheduled for June 8, August 10, October 12 and December 14. Phone 631-752-7707 to confirm these dates. Top


ramproofRepublic Airport in Farmingdale, Long Island, continues to be one of the critical components of the region's multi-billion dollar economy, providing crucial access to the heart of our region's crucial markets.

It does so while wearing the scars of the September 11 attacks when, among the many aftershocks of those assaults, was the temporary shut down of Republic Airport. Yet the inherent strength of the airport to come back from such a blow is evidenced in the fact that this facility is the third busiest airport in the State of New York and directly contributes to a multibillion dollar economy.

Not surprisingly, a recent document prepared by the New York State Department of Transportation underscores statewide what is being demonstrated everyday at Farmingdale. It notes on a typical day aviation will generate $97 million in the State, spending its dollars inside the very heart of neighboring communities. Some 12,000 aircraft landings and takeoffs will take place at the State's airports, while 28,000 visitors will arrive via the airports. And those airports will see 216,000 state residents report to work at those airports while another 131,500 jobs are supported indirectly by a vibrant aviation industry.

The economic overview for New York's airports is stunning. Over $35 billion in annual economic activity among New York businesses and institutions is attributable to aviation. That is some 4.3% of New York's gross product. Payroll from aviation makes up $13.4 billion or 2% of the total income in the State. And the report notes that general aviation has become increasingly important as air charter flights continue to increase. These charter flights have become a preferred choice for many businesses to move executives, clients, vendors and investors point-to-point in a timely and cost effective manner.

The State report also reports that over $2.8 billion in State and local taxes are generated from aviation related activity throughout New York. These taxes are then used for all types of community projects not necessarily related to aviation. Thus, this tax revenue benefits all New York citizens, not just those in aviation.

Copies of this economic analysis are available by contacting Republic Airport and asking to be mailed "The Benefits of Aviation in New York." The airport's phone number is 631 752-7707. Top