Cuomo Opens New LaGuardia Terminal
Late last week Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled the brand-new Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport, the project’s biggest milestone to date in the ongoing $8 billion renovation work, which includes the demolition and replacement of nearly every terminal and concourse.
The 850,000-square-foot, four-story terminal opened to the public on Saturday (June 13) and serves American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Air Canada.
Officials noted in the unveiling that the size of the terminal is an asset in regard to the current COVID-19 pandemic guidelines.
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:
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 took 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.
Most recently, last month, Cuomo announced plans for a “supercharged” reopening of New York City, which involves a fast-track for multiple infrastructure plans, including the work at LaGuardia.
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.
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.
"The opening of the new Arrivals and Departures Hall at Terminal B is the biggest milestone to date in the transformation of LaGuardia Airport into a world-class transportation hub that is worthy of New York State," Cuomo said.
"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."
The massive space includes details such as:
The terminal is also home to 17 concessions of New York-based businesses as well as four permanent public at installations commissioned by the Public Art Fund.
The governor’s office notes that all areas of the terminal are being cleaned “to the highest CDC cleaning standards.