MacArthur Airport has a new commissioner.
Robert Schaefer was officially appointed to run the Ronkonkoma airport at an Islip Town Board meeting Tuesday.
Schaefer takes over Oct. 1 from Terry Hennessey, who has been acting commissioner since the Town Board fired Teresa Rizzuto in June.
Hennessey will move back into the deputy commissioner role.
"I had to go with the individual who had a proven track record of both attracting and retaining business at MacArthur and developing partnerships with the airlines," Town Supervisor Tom Croci told Newsday earlier this month of Schaefer, who served at deputy commissioner at the airport from 2004-06.
Schaefer, a Republican, has served as chief of staff to Suffolk County Legis. Thomas Barraga since 2006.
Schaefer also worked as a staff sergeant for the Port Authority, managing security and safety operations for VIPs and dignitaries at JFK airport from 1980-1993.
Republicans took control of the Town Board last year and Croci has said he wants to take the airport in another direction which led to the departure of Rizzuto, who was appointed by former Supervisor Phil Nolan, a Democrat, in 2008.
Schaefer will lead MacArthur at a critical juncture as the airport has seen its number of daily flights cut in half over the last several years. Town officials have also been pulling out the stops to get another carrier at the airport.
As of now, the airport is self-sustaining, but taxpayers may have to begin picking up the tab if things don't turn around, officials have said.