Photos courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office
The new arrivals and departures hall at LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B will officially open on Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. The 850,000-square-foot, four-level space measures roughly 50 percent bigger than the hall it replaces and comes equipped with more check-in kiosks, security lines, and new screening systems, all aimed at improving efficiency and reducing crowds. The new hall is part of the ongoing reconstruction of LaGuardia, an $8 billion project which first broke ground in 2016.
The new hall will serve American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Air Canada. Terminal B departures level includes four check-in islands with 75 self-service kiosks. New digital signs in the security line will display wait times for passengers. At the arrivals level, there are nine new baggage carrousels.
Skanska USA led the construction and design of the new Terminal B, the firm’s largest project to date. “We’re grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine LaGuardia from the ground up, and for the thousands of employees, subcontractors and trades who logged millions of hours helping us realize this vision,” Richard Kennedy, president of Skanska USA, said.
A centralized food hall will offer 17 retail, food, and beverage shops, including local city favorites like Junior’s Cheesecake, Eli Zabar, and Think Coffee. There are also four permanent Public Art fund-commissioned installations by artists Jeppe Hein, Sabine Hornig, Laura Owens, and Sarah Sze.
Cuomo on Wednesday said the opening of Terminal B’s arrivals and departures hall is the biggest milestone for the project since the new Delta concourse opened last October.
“As we continue to upgrade and modernize this airport for the 21st century, this new state-of-the-art hall will offer passengers a unique travel experience with new concessions, traveler amenities and art installations by four of the world’s leading artists, while increasing space for passengers to move more safely and efficiently during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cuomo said in a press release.
A plan to clean and disinfect the airport to CDC standards has also been part of the terminal’s opening. Signs will remind customers to wear a face mask, keep six feet from others, and to wash hands frequently.
“The terminal features spacious, centralized check-in, state-of-the-art security technology that has been integrated from curbside to gate, and modern concessions, shopping and art,” Kevin O’Toole, chair of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said. “In the midst of this important reimagining of LGA, we face new challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
When the 2.7 million-square-foot project is complete it will contain 72 new gates across six concourses, two new connected arrival and departure halls, and new roadways.
While LaGuardia has seen passenger numbers drop by more than 60 percent because of the pandemic, Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority, said on Wednesday the opening of Terminal B shows a symbol of the region’s rebound. “Today’s opening should be a shining symbol of the region’s potential for a strong economic recovery with the vitality of New York before COVID-19,” he said in a press release.
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All photos courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office