NEW YORK | LaGuardia Airport Renovation

Renderings show an updated LaGuardia

By Rebecca Harshbarger
March 19, 2014 | 3:22am

Photo: Global Gateway Alliance

This is what LaGuardia Airport could look like by 2021 — a far cry from the current dilapidated “Third World” facility.

Manhattan design firm Neoscape created renderings for the advocacy group Global Gateway Alliance that showcase a modern-looking airport with an airy main terminal, based on parameters established by the Port Authority.

The 1.3-million-square-foot space is one-third larger than the current central terminal.

LaGuardia currently handles double the amount of passengers for which it was built. About 12 million people travel through the airport each year, and the number is expected to rise to 18 million by 2030.

The new airport design leaves space for a future direct subway line.

“This comprehensive vision integrates a modern, efficient and innovative design, including the striking all-glass facade, into La Guardia’s main terminal,” said Joseph Sitt, chairman of the Global Gateway Alliance.

The PA will complete the LaGuardia makeover by 2021. It is expected to pick a firm in the next few weeks for the project.

In February, Vice President Joe Biden said if he blindfolded someone and took him to LaGuardia, he’d think he was in “some Third World country.”

LaGuardia workers who hail from countries around the world then told The Post it’s actually worse than that.

Photo: Global Gateway Alliance

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Thinking Big. Then Thinking Bigger.

By John Leland. 7, 2014

Mr. Venturi has an idea to transform La Guardia Airport, in part by using defunct transit infrastructure, including a railway line in the Bronx. Credit Brian Harkin for The New York Times

To solve La Guardia’s problems, Mr. Venturi decided, it wasn’t enough to annex Rikers. On the advice of a friend, the architect Henry Smith-Miller, he began to look at the Bronx. The industrial Port Morris neighborhood, with its sewage treatment plant and assorted warehouses, was just across the river from the jails and had access to Amtrak, Metro-North and subway lines, including the abandoned rail tracks west to Spuyten Duyvil. It was ripe for the taking, Mr. Venturi thought.

…So he let his imagination go: Why not build a massive, 22-track rail station and airport terminal in Port Morris, and put the gates on Rikers — connected by a shuttle train, as at the airports in Atlanta and Denver? The present La Guardia space could then accommodate four runways instead of the current two, with extensions into the East River to lengthen them.

The longer runways would enable international flights and reduce weather delays, Mr. Venturi said. And the Bronx terminal would make the airport accessible by mass transit — subways, commuter trains and a ferry.

It was a big idea, but Mr. Venturi was not done.

“Part of this project is, there’s a social, moral, what-kind-of-New-York-do-we-want element to it,” he said. The kind of New York he wanted, he said, was one that was connected.

Poring over old and new subway and train maps, he began to look at Penn Station and the rail yards in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Queens — both places that had a lot of subways and rail lines.

Why not make another transit hub in Sunnyside, joining the subways that already stop there — the E, M, N, R, Q and 7 trains — with new connections to Metro-North, Amtrak, the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit? The rail lines could continue to Penn Station in one direction, and up to the new La Guardia superstation in the other. (He’d extend the new Second Avenue subway up there as well.) “It would connect the boroughs with each other and with the suburbs,” Mr. Venturi said.

At the same time, he proposed moving the unsightly Sunnyside train yards up to Port Morris, near the airport, and building a massive convention center over them to replace the Javits center.

On the old Sunnyside site, he would build a 300-acre park. The park and transit station, he said, would draw developers — office towers, apartment buildings, restaurants — creating a real downtown Queens to compete with Manhattan or Brooklyn.

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Airlines Take New York City Airport Modernization Into Their Own Hands

By Ismat Sarah Mangla November 12 2014 12:24 PM

A rendering of the new international extension at Terminal 5 at JFK. JetBlue Airway

JetBlue Airways opened an international arrivals hall extension to its home at Terminal 5 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday. The new addition, which cost the airline $200 million, allows JetBlue’s international passengers to go through customs and make connections in the same terminal – and features JetBlue’s signature sleek look, including glass walls and upcoming amenities like an interactive “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math” children’s area to debut later this year.

JetBlue isn’t the first airline to help upgrade New York area airports, which have earned a reputation for being sorely behind the rest of the world when it comes to amenities and basic facilities. New York is one of the largest airline markets in the world, and it seems that airlines have taken on the role of helping bring its airport facilities into the 21st century.

…But the airlines have already been upgrading New York airports. In 2013, Delta Air Lines spent $160 million to make over its terminals at LaGuardia; now passengers can access complimentary iPads throughout the terminal to surf the Web, order food and check flight status. Delta also unveiled a $1.4 billion international terminal at JFK last year that includes a giant Sky Club for its elite passengers, featuring a rooftop deck.

United recently announced a $120 million makeover of of its hub at Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport that will add 10,000 outlets and USB interfaces to the terminal seating as well as 6,000 iPads for traveler use.

These improvements are necessary, airline analyst Henry Harteveldt told USA Today. "New York is the most competitive and most prestigious airline market in the country, and perhaps, the world.

“The growing volume of long-haul international flights at other U.S. gateways increases the competitive pressure on New York to make sure its airports can deliver efficient, pleasant experiences or the region risks losing those passengers.”

…"JetBlue’s Terminal at JFK is state of the art, and its international expansion only improves it,’’ Sitt said. “That’s the kind of 21st century experience, and leadership, that all 112 million passengers at New York area airports deserve, and the kind that’s been lacking for too long. But we cannot forget that there are other critical fixes, like the long overdue overhaul of LaGuardia’s Central Terminal and the modernization of Terminal A at Newark, that must be completed for our airports to truly see a renaissance.”


NYC Airport Lobby Calls for Speedier Plan to Redevelop LaGuardia

By Martin Z. Braun, Nov 18, 2014 12:00 AM ET

A group representing New York’s real estate and hotel industries wants to speed the rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport’s 50-year-old central terminal.

The Global Gateway Alliance is sending a letter today to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey urging it to choose a builder and operator for a $3.6 billion terminal by its December board meeting. The selection process, which began three years ago, shouldn’t be delayed by a contest to redesign the city’s two major airports that was announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo last month, wrote Joe Sitt, chairman of the group.

“It’s time to come to a conclusion, choose a developer, and get the project started,” wrote Sitt, chief executive officer of Thor Equities LLC, a city-based developer.

The letter was also signed by labor officials and Kathryn Wylde, chief executive officer of the Partnership for New York City, an association of executives of companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co…

Rail Access

Cuomo wants the proposals to show LaGuardia with improved rail access and plans for high-speed ferry service from Manhattan. For JFK, he’s seeking a better transportation network and more hotels and dining options. The Port Authority’s board will select the best three designs for each airport. The governors of New York and New Jersey each appoint six commissioners, and the governors can veto the actions of the commissioners they appoint.

Ron Marsico, a Port Authority spokesman, said in an e-mail that the design contest and the selection of the LaGuardia redevelopment team will proceed simultaneously. He said the agency hasn’t received the letter.

The LaGuardia plans call for construction of a 35-gate, 1.3 million-square-foot terminal with more restaurants and lounges, bigger gate areas and improved passenger and baggage screening. Twenty new gates will open to passengers in the fourth quarter of 2018, and the project will be completed in 2021, according to preliminary plans. The airport is projected to handle more than 30 million travelers a year sometime between 2015 and 2020, up from 27.6 million last year, according to the Port Authority.

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Port nears choice for huge LaGuardia makeover

The bistate agency whittled the list of bidders for the innovative public-private partnership job down to two on Wednesday. Consortia with Goldman Sachs and another with Citigroup both make the cut.

By Daniel Geiger on December 9, 2014 12:26 P.M.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will narrow the field of bidders vying to win the $3.6 billion job to rebuild LaGuardia Airport’s main terminal building on Wednesday. The move will come during a private executive session after the bistate agency’s scheduled public board meeting.

The Port will select two finalists from a pool of three large consortia that have competed for the past 16 months for the mega-project, which is the biggest single infrastructure upgrade in the Port Authority’s current 10-year capital plan.

According to sources, Port Authority staff will present LGA Central Terminal Consortium and LaGuardia Gateway Partners as the two finalists to the agency’s board of commissioners. One of those two bidders will likely be crowned the winner either in January during a special board session or an already-scheduled board meeting in February.

LGA Central Terminal Consortium is a partnership that includes Goldman Sachs, Tutor Perini, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Zachry Construction, Aéroports de Paris, Arup & Partners and airport operator TAV. LaGuardia Gateway Partners consists of Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Skanska, Meridiam and Vantage Airport Group, as well as other partners.

Both consortia combine financial capacity, airport operational expertise and heavy construction capability—the blend of skill sets necessary to tackle the LaGuardia project. It will be one of the first the Port Authority has undertaken as a so-called public-private partnership in which the winner will not only build the new 1.3 million-square-foot terminal and surrounding infrastructure, such as roadways leading to the building, but will also operate it in return for a cut of its revenue.


Delta Air Lines Opens Revamped Terminal at JFK Airport

By Joe Jackson on January 13, 2015

…Delta’s upgrades come as JFK and La Guardia Airport stand to undergo overhauls in coming years. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is expected early this year to select a construction team to remake La Guardia’s aging Central Terminal Building.

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Inside LaGuardia Airport

February 28, 2015

LaGuardia Airport, voted by some travelers as the worst airport in the nation, is planning a $3.6-billion renovation that is supposed to address the airport’s problems such as tight hallways, low ceilings and crowded conditions as well as expand amenities desired by travelers.

The newer control tower at LaGuardia Airport belies the old buildings, right, that reflect another era in aviation history. (May 15, 2012)

The Central Terminal at LaGuardia Airport, seen from a parking deck, displays a somewhat austere view. (May 15, 2012

Passengers and employees are reflected on a door along a narrow passageway near a ticketing and security area of the Central Terminal at LaGuardia Airport. (May 15, 2012)

Passengers and others walk a narrow passageway near a ticketing and security area of the Central Terminal at LaGuardia Airport. (May 15, 2012)

Taxis and cars roll past the Central Terminal at LaGuardia Airport. (May 15, 2012)


Don’t Rehab La Guardia Airport. Close It.

By George Haikalis on May 8th, 2015

LAST week, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey put off, yet again, deciding between two proposals for a nearly $4 billion project to rehabilitate the dilapidated Central Terminal Building at La Guardia Airport. Disdain about the disrepair, crowds and grubbiness at La Guardia is so pervasive that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has likened La Guardia to an experience “in a third world country.”

But piling billions of taxpayer dollars into upgrading La Guardia, which opened in 1939, won’t solve its fundamental problems. It can’t easily expand. Its two runways and four terminals are surrounded on three sides by water, making landing difficult and hazardous. Parking is a nightmare.

Moreover, some 50,000 people who live near La Guardia are subjected to a level of noise higher than the standard deemed acceptable by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to a 2011 study by the Regional Plan Association. (Another 95,000 living near Kennedy International Airport, also in Queens, and 44,000 living near Newark Liberty International Airport, are affected as well.)

The popularity of La Guardia, which serves nearly 30 million passengers a year, is almost entirely related to proximity — a typical nine-mile trip to Midtown Manhattan can be done in about 20 minutes during off-peak hours, 10 to 30 minutes less than it would take to get to Kennedy or Newark. But proximity comes with a price.

With the consolidation of the major United States airlines and the sluggishness in the global economy, the much larger Kennedy and Newark airports could accommodate La Guardia’s passenger load, by adding more frequent service and using larger aircraft, if the F.A.A. were to lift the caps on the number of flights allowed there. Kennedy, with its two sets of parallel runways, could handle many more flights, particularly as new air-traffic control technology is introduced in the next few years.

Most flights serving La Guardia already duplicate flights that serve Kennedy and Newark. Many of these flights are to a relatively small number of regional hubs. Average loads per flight at La Guardia are only two-thirds those at Kennedy. Small regional jets, with fewer than 100 seats per plane, make up a little more than half of La Guardia’s peak-period flights. Airline efficiency would be improved by concentrating traffic on fewer, larger aircraft, while still maintaining service to major hubs.

The Port Authority, which operates all three major airports, is conducting noise studies, at the request of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The governor sees an overhaul of the 1964 central terminal as the centerpiece of a $4 billion plan that would also include a $450 million AirTrain connection to the No. 7 subway line in Willets Point, Queens. But he should reconsider.

Mayor Bill de Blasio should insist that the La Guardia study examine the feasibility of closing the airport, and that plans for a new terminal be put on hold until the study is completed.

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LaGuardia Renovations Will Help New York Get Its ‘Mojo’ Back, Cuomo Says

By Katie Honan June 14, 2016 11:49am Updated on June 14, 2016 5:38pm

EAST ELMHURST —A fired up Vice President Joe Biden returned Tuesday to LaGuardia Airport, which he once said resembled a “third world country,” to help break ground on a $4 billion renovation project there.

The vice president cheered the state’s investment in infrastructure, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo said will help the state get its “mojo” back.

Earlier this month, construction started at Terminal B under the management of the airport’s new public-private partnership, LaGuardia Gateway Partners.

The multibillion dollar project will build a new 1.3 million-square-foot gate with room for a 35-gate terminal, a new parking garage and a new AirTrain connecting it to Willets Point’s Long Island Rail Road and 7 train stations.

It’s the first complete rebuild of an airport in the United States in more than 20 years, according to the governor’s office.

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They need to do much more to JFK and especially Newark. Newark is a disaster of an airport.


We need to organise in levels of bad… For now the worst of the 3 is definitely Laguardia. Newark and JFK are bad but nothing compared to laguardia…

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JFK has many major terminals. Some are brand new and are very nice.

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The problems with LGA goes beyond the terminal. There are significant air side problems that should be addressed. These should be part of the redevelopment. Specifically, it’s two runway are too short and intersect. I would do the following:

  • Fill in the old seaplane basin (Bowery Bay?), and build more landfill out to the line of the Rikers Island bridge. I’d replace that bridge with a bridge from the Bronx, where they now have the prison barge docked. I’d also build a smaller landfill at the east end of the airfield to extend the length of the 13-31 runway(s) in that direction also.
  • Close runway 4-22.
  • Build the new terminal where the 4 end of 4-22 is currently (think the end of the runway that abuts the Grand Central Parkway)
  • Demolish all the old terminals.
  • Extend the existing 13-31 runway to 9,000’. This would now become 13L-31R because I’d…
  • Build a new parallel runway 13R-31L, 10,000’ long 1000’ to the south. By going to two parallel runways instead of to intersecting runways, operations can likely be increased as much as 50%
  • In certain weather conditions, the lack of a crosswind runway could be problematic. If this proves to be enough of a problem that it would have to be dealt with, I’d build another runway across Flushing Bay that would join with the existing airfield near the end of the existing runway 31 and angle at about 45 degrees to the north of that. This would likely be in a follow on phase, after the new airfield configuration is in operation, and if the need for a crosswind runway is confirmed.

There is a side benefit of this. The approach to runway 4 causing air traffic issues with aircraft departing JFK’s 31 runways. JFK should expand the number of runways on that orientation or similar (that would be a completely different thread.) Getting rid of runway 4 would eliminate that problem.


Opinion - Letter to the editor June 15, 2016 12:01 a.m.

Bad call to scrap Queens rezoning

To the Editor:

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to scrap the city’s plan for Flushing West, a proposed rezoning that was hampered because it would interfere with flight patterns at LaGuardia Airport, should be reconsidered as part of a much larger plan to close this postage stamp-sized airport and replace it with the equivalent of two Co-op City-sized affordable housing developments.

Without the flight conflicts, a more sensible plan for a high-rise Flushing West could be advanced and other high-rise developments in downtown Flushing could be considered. LaGuardia is popular because of its proximity to Manhattan, but its limited footprint and short, intersecting runways preclude any significant increase in flight activity. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ill-advised, taxpayer-funded “vanity project” to upgrade terminal buildings at the airport only means that air passengers, stuck because of flight delays, can while away their time shopping at luxury stores.

A more sensible plan would be to restore the 3.5-mile disused LIRR Rockaway Beach Line in central Queens and operate a world-class, one-seat-ride express rail service between Manhattan and each of the terminals at John F. Kennedy Airport. With four, much longer runways, JFK could easily accommodate the diverted LaGuardia travelers, using larger aircraft and more frequent flights. It’s time for the governor to take charge, and not leave it to self-serving bureaucrats at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to run the show.

George Haikalis


The writer is a civil engineer and transportation planner.

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Credit: LaGuardia Central



What is it?

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Great photos, guys!

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It looks like this part of the new airport:


LGA will look AMAZING!