Passenger and flight volumes at airports within an hour of major hubs, like New York City and Los Angeles, have experienced 400 percent growth during that period, USA Today reported Wednesday.
The regional airports offer shorter lines and less time waiting on the tarmac.
Long Island residents can save time and city hassles by skipping LaGuardia or Kennedy and hopping on a flight at MacArthur Airport, 75 miles from New York City.
More than a million passengers made that choice in 2007, up from 240,000 passengers in 1998, USA Today reported. In response to the increased traffic, more than 100 commercial buildings have been constructed in the area, Town of Islip supervisor Phil Nolan said.
An airport in Manchester, N.H., 55 miles from Boston, used cheaper rents to get Southwest Airlines to service the area, which, in turn, has been a boon for local business, airport deputy director Brian O'Neill said.
The growth of the regional airport "has been wonderful," said Debby McElroy of the Airports Council International.