Glenn H. Curtiss Airport

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Features, History, Queens, Transportation

Before LaGuardia, There Was Glenn H. Curtiss Airport

By Dana Schulz, Thu, August 27, 2015

Glenn H. Curtiss Airport, North Beach Airport, LaGuardia Airport, airport history NYC

Glenn H. Curtiss Airport c. 1930, courtesy of Richard Porcelli via Jim Freeman

Last month, Governor Cuomo revealed his $4 billion plan to overhaul LaGuardia Airport, the third-worst airport in the country that Vice President Biden recently likened to a third-world country. While today it’s hard to imagine New York City without its sub-par airports (JFK is THE worst airport in the nation), they weren’t always a fixture in the city. In fact, LaGuardia was preceded by a much more modest facility with links to world aviation history — Glenn H. Curtiss Airport. It opened in 1929 as a private airfield off Flushing Bay; became a commercial airport called North Beach in 1935; and a decade later was changed to what we know today when then Mayor La Guardia wanted the city to have its own airport and not have to rely on Newark.

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