New York’s smallest, and predominantly domestic airport, LaGuardia has often been labelled New York’s worst airport, and for good reason. It has not had any significant upgrades in decades and is bursting at the seams in terms of aircraft and passenger movement, prompting most travellers to avoid it like the plague when they can. It proved so unpopular that U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, once likened LaGuardia to something a traveller might find in a “Third World Country”
Well that is all about to change. In late July, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Vice President Biden, announced that as part of a $4 billion project the entire LaGuardia airport will be completely transformed, with an expected finish date of 2021. The majority of the money will be spent on tearing down the Central Terminal Building, rebuilding it and fixing the surrounding road infrastructure to better serving departing and arriving passengers.
It has proved so unpopular that U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, once likened LaGuardia to something a traveller might find in a “Third World Country”
Mr Cuomo announced that after extensive design and development consultations the planning committee came to the agreement that there was no other way to proceed than a complete dismantle and rebuild of the airports terminal areas. The main consideration was to take what is currently a disjointed series of terminals and combine them into one aesthetically pleasing unified airport. The new terminal would actually be built closer to the existing roadway to allow the creation of new taxiways to help alleviate some of the chronic delays that are often associated with LaGuardia airport.
The new plans also call for an improvement of public transport connectivity to the airport with the reopening of the ferry service to the airport as well as a rail connection to the subway station at Willets Point on the number 7 line.
To suggest the upgrade is overdue is an understatement. A recent study by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics identified that LaGuardia ranked last out of 29 of America’s largest airport for on-time departures, with only 70% of flights departing on-time.
Photos of planned LaGuardia redevelopment
What does this mean for Australians travelling to New York
Whilst in the short term the construction of the new terminal will cause some headaches, however as with any new build, the benefits for the long-term are far outweighed by short term inconveniences.
Most Australian’s travelling to New York will arrive via either New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport or New Jersey’s Newark International Airport, if Australian’s are travelling to New York from any other Eastern or North Eastern city, such as Boston, Washington DC, Orlando or Miami, there is a greater chance that your flight will arrive into LaGuardia, so this airport upgrade will greatly enhance the arrival or departure experience.