$8B LaGuardia Project to Get Fast-Tracked

FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2020

The state government and airlines are in agreement as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans for a “supercharged” reopening of New York City, which involves a fast-track for multiple infrastructure plans, including work at the $8 billion LaGuardia Airport project.

In addition to the governor’s announcement, Delta Air Lines also recently revealed that it’s looking to finish construction “much, much sooner” than originally planned, taking advantage of reduced airport traffic amid the COVID-10 pandemic.

LaGuardia Background

In July of 2015, Cuomo revealed a massive plan to remake LaGuardia Airport from the ground up—rebuilding Terminals B, C and D—totaling 2.5 million square feet—to improve the overall impression and atmosphere for passengers and expanding exterior space to ease ground congestion.

At the time, the plan called for demolition and redevelopment of existing structures to make way for a new “grand entryway” 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway, the main highway serving the airport.

Partners in the project include the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) and Delta—who are both planning on leasing their terminals from the Port Authority until 2050. LGP is composed of a number of firms, including:

  • Vantage Airport Group—which manages nine airports across three continents and has transitioned 19 airports from public to private management;
  • Skanska and Walsh Construction—construction joint venture;
  • HOK and Parsons Brinckerhoff—design joint venture; and
  • Vantage, Skanska and Meridiam—a global infrastructure investment fund.

The Port Authority is providing roughly 50% of the funding for the project, with the private partners kicking in the remainder.

In addition to the terminals, work includes the construction of a central utilities plant; 8 miles of road, including 20 bridges; airside facilities; and a 2,700-space parking garage. Work is being reportedly completed by 28 unions and a team of 2,400 professional and trade workers.

Delta’s $4 billion part of the project takes place at Terminals C and D and began in 2017 and parts have been completed. Terminal B is taking up the other $4 billion. (Its first 18-gate new concourse opened in December 2018.)

In October 2019, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Board of Commissioners approved the investment of approximately $4.5 billion for projects that aim to accommodate the continued record passenger growth at three of the Port’s major airports, which included LaGuardia.

What Now

During a press conference from Cuomo earlier this week, he said that work on LaGuardia and the Penn Station rebuild should be fast-tracked while “ridership is low and while we need the jobs.”

While some of the “supercharging” will need federal approval, the issues are on the docket for the governor’s next discussion with President Donald Trump.

Cuomo’s plan announcement came just days after Delta CFO Paul Jacobson went on record to say that the airline is seeing an opportunity to accelerate construction on its terminal projects.

This move, he says, could not only complete the project faster, but it could also save money.

“We’ve got to bring in equipment to tear down, we’ve got to bring in foundation equipment, take that out, bring in structure equipment, etc.” he said. “If we have an opportunity to bring down multiple concourses at the same time, we can actually save on that iterative construction process.”

The initial plan was to work on one concourse at the time in order to preserve gate capacity and limit the impact on travelers. With capacity less of an issue, however, more than one concourse can be redeveloped at the same time.


Tagged categories: Airports; COVID-19; Economy; Funding; Government; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America

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