AirTrain and in-terminal people mover revealed for LaGuardia Airport

Posted on in News Archive

USA: New York Governor Cuomo has unveiled the vision for the comprehensive redesign of LaGuardia Airport that will transform it into a single, structurally unified main terminal with expanded transportation access, significantly increased taxiway space and best-in-class passenger amenities.

Construction on the first half of the new unified terminal, expected to be a $4 billion project that creates 8,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs, will be managed by LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a new public private partnership chosen by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to build the project.

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Construction on the first half will begin upon final approval from the Board of Directors of the PANYNJ in the first part of 2016 and is expected to partially open to passengers in 2019, with full completion scheduled for approximately 18 months later. The second half of the new unified terminal is expected to be redeveloped by Delta Air Lines, which has indicated strong support for the new vision, and anticipates beginning the redevelopment of its terminals on a parallel track with the LaGuardia Gateway Partners project to complete the new unified airport.

“New York had an aggressive, can-do approach to big infrastructure in the past – and today, we’re moving forward with that attitude once again,” said Governor Cuomo. “We are transforming LaGuardia into a globally-renowned, 21st century airport that is worthy of the city and state of New York.”

LaGuardia’s current layout, comprised of multiple, fragmented terminals, will be replaced by one main, architecturally unified terminal. This will be accomplished by demolishing the existing Terminal B building, which is operated by the Port Authority, and replacing it with a larger structure, located closer to the Grand Central Parkway, which will include new terminal space and a new Central Arrivals and Departures Hall, and will link to Delta’s Terminals C and D. This represents the western half of the new structurally unified terminal.

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The eastern half of the new unified terminal will be constructed on a parallel track by Delta Air Lines redeveloping its existing Terminals closer to the Grand Central Parkway and connecting them to the new Central Arrivals and Departures Hall.

To utilize LaGuardia's geographic footprint more efficiently, the new terminal facility will be built closer to the Grand Central Parkway. The redesigned facility will also utilize an island-gate system, in which passengers access their gates via raised pedestrian bridges, high enough for aircraft to taxi underneath, which connect back to the main terminal.

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Together, the relocated terminals and island-gate system will create nearly two miles of new taxiway space. This allows for a more efficient circulation of aircraft and reduced taxi-in and taxi-out times, which will yield shorter and fewer gate delays – a dramatic difference from today’s LaGuardia. In addition, this change will produce overall reduction in carbon emissions from idling aircraft.

In addition to the unified terminal structure, the Governor’s Advisory Panel made a number of other recommendations that will complement the new facility and bring LaGuardia into the 21st century.

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The new LaGuardia’s unified terminal will be designed to incorporate a future AirTrain terminal that will directly connect the airport to the New York City subway and Long Island Rail Road at Mets-Willets Point Station. The Panel also recommends that the airport once again be made accessible by ferry service.

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The interior of the new unified terminal will also be intuitive for passengers to easily navigate, and will facilitate efficient movement throughout the airport. A transit option to move passengers more quickly within the airport is recommended by the Panel, such as a tram or monorail, to be included as construction moves forward. This transit option would also better integrate the Marine Air Terminal (Terminal A) with the rest of the airport housed in the new unified terminal.

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LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) is a consortium of firms with extensive experience in terminal operations, construction, design and finances, including:

  • Vantage Airport Group – Currently 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
  • Vantage, Skanska, and Meridiam – a global infrastructure investment fund. Will provide the committed equity investment.

LGP would be responsible for designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining the new terminal as part of a 35-year lease.