After much anticipation, Governor Cuomo unveiled his plan yesterday to overhaul LaGuardia Airport, which he called “un-New York” in its current state. The $4 billion project includes consolidating the four terminals into one hub and moving the entire facility south the length of two football fields, according to Crain’s. Additionally, Cuomo’s controversial AirTrain, which will connect travelers to the 7 line in Willet’s Point, will be put into effect, as will a 24-hour ferry service that will operate out of the landmarked Art Deco Marine Air Terminal. The development will be handled by LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a new public-private partnership formed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who will oversee the construction, financing, and operation of the new terminal under a 35-year lease.
Delta Air Lines owns Terminals C and D, and the Port Authority owns A and B. The two entities are on board with the plan, said Cuomo, who announced the overhaul with Vice President Biden (who previously likened LaGuardia to a third-world country). By moving the airport 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway, there will be 240 percent more space for airplanes.
The current Terminal B will be demolished for a new unified space for Delta’s two terminals. An island-gate system of raised pedestrian bridges (high enough for planes to move underneath) will link terminals and create two miles of new roadway to lessen plane traffic.
Other components include new parking garages, an automated tram, and a retail and hotel complex. The Vice President emphasized that the redevelopment would create 8,000 direct middle-class jobs and an additional 10,000 indirect jobs.
“It’s not a plan; it’s not a sketch; it’s not a dream; it’s not a vision—it’s actually happening,” said Cuomo. The project still needs the approval of the Port Authority, but if all goes according to plan, it will break ground in 2016 and be completed by 2019.
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All renderings via Governor Cuomo/Flickr