NEW YORK – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction on the new LaGuardia Airport has begun – marking the first complete rebuild of an airport in the United States in more than 20 years. The Governor, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, made the announcement as construction began on a new 1.3 million square foot, state-of-the-art 35-gate terminal, along with a new west parking garage and other supporting facilities.
The groundbreaking follows the recently executed lease agreement and financial close reached by LaGuardia Gateway Partners and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on June 1. The new airport will begin to open to the public in 2018, with all portions of the redesigned Terminal B slated to open by the end of 2021. New renderings of the new LaGuardia Airport are available here.
“LaGuardia is a key driver of New York’s economy and transportation network, but for far too long it has been outdated, overcrowded, and unworthy of the Empire State,” Governor Cuomo said. “Today, we are not just breaking ground – we are building an entirely new LaGuardia and transforming it into a world-class transportation gateway for the 21st century. This state has always been built to lead and now that legacy continues with this unprecedented project that will drive growth and generate continued prosperity for generations to come.”
21st Century LaGuardia Airport
The $4 billion redevelopment project, which will completely reconstruct Terminal B and create a central entry hall, together with Delta’s planned rebuild of its terminals, will transform LaGuardia Airport into a single, unified main terminal with expanded transportation access, significantly increased taxiway space and best-in-class passenger amenities. Construction begins with a roadway network and a new 3000-space parking garage that will significantly reduce congestion at the airport. The design reflects the recommendations from the Governor’s Airport Advisory Panel, including the new light-filled central hall where passengers arrive, and which connects Terminals B and C for the first time.
The project is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification for sustainable design. The terminal will be flooded with natural light at all levels, have short curb-to-gate walking distances, include capacity for retail, food, and beverage concessions, and spacious comfortable waiting areas with more seating capacity.
The airport’s interior will be intuitive for passengers to navigate, and will facilitate efficient movement throughout the terminal. The design will also take into account the realities of post-9/11 air travel, with additional space for security check-in to help diminish wait times for passengers as they pass through mandatory TSA screening.
Construction will be on an expedited basis, with operations at the airport continuing uninterrupted over the course of the project. Half of the new gates in the new Terminal B will open to the public in 2018. The main terminal area will open in early 2020, and a second set of gates will open in two phases – one later in 2020 and the last phase in 2021.
By moving the terminal closer to Grand Central Parkway, the project will increase airport taxiways by more than two miles and reduce airport ground delays. In addition to the new terminal and central hall, LaGuardia Gateway Partners will also construct new utilities, runway improvements, and other supporting infrastructure.
Delta Air Lines is in advanced negotiations with the Port Authority with respect to the redevelopment of its existing C and D terminals and has declared its intention to rebuild them both on a parallel construction track.
Q70 Limited Bus Service – “LaGuardia Link”
The Governor also announced that beginning in September 2016, buses on the current Q70 route serving LaGuardia Airport will be relaunched with a distinctive new look designed to help customers and tourists quickly find their way between LaGuardia Airport and two regional transit hubs in Queens that connect to five subway lines, Long Island Rail Road and seven bus lines.
The Q70 offers a convenient option for customers going to LaGuardia Airport via a connection right outside two transit hubs in Queens: Woodside-61 St 7 train station, where a LIRR transfer is available, and the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av 7, E, F, M, and R train station. From those stations the Q 70 operates non-stop to LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal (B), Terminal C, and Terminal D. Commuting times from midtown Manhattan to LaGuardia can be as fast as 35 minutes, and the connection to the bus is free for subway customers who use their MetroCard.
The route, nicknamed the “LaGuardia Link,” will also become a Select Bus Service which employs convenient off-board fare technology that allows customers to pre-pay their fare and enter and exit through any bus door, eliminating the need to wait to pay at a single fare box, and decreasing dwell time at stops. The LaGuardia Link will also continue to offer travelers convenient luggage storage racks.
The improvements on the Q70 Limited route are part of Governor Cuomo’s plans to enhance the experience of bus customers, which include rolling out more than 2,000 new state-of-the-art buses over the next five years.
Nation’s Largest Public-Private Partnership
The groundbreaking follows the financial close of $2.4 billion in bonds for the complete redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport on June 1. LaGuardia Gateway Partners’ tax exempt and taxable bonds were issued by the New York Transportation Development Corporation, an affiliate of Empire State Development.
Under the design-build contract, LGP – the nation’s largest public-private partnership – will design, build, operate and maintain the facility. More than two-thirds of the project will be paid for by private financing and existing passenger fees. Overall, the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport is expected to create 8,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs, generating $1.3 billion in wages and stimulating $5.2 billion in direct economic activity.
LGP, a consortium of firms with extensive experience in terminal operations, construction, design and finances, was selected by the Port Authority in May 2015 following a competitive RFP. The consortium includes:
The risk of cost overruns and schedule delays will be born solely by LGP under the design-build contract.
Consistent with Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading goal of 30 percent participation of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE), construction of the new Terminal B project will provide extensive economic opportunities for MWBE contractors in the Borough of Queens and throughout the New York Metropolitan Region.
Pat Foye, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said, “Today’s groundbreaking is a huge step forward in Governor Cuomo’s vision to modernize LaGuardia Airport. The new Terminal B and Central Hall will be a 21st Century facility offering a high level of customer service and amenities. The LaGuardia Public Private Partnership represents the second major PPP entered into by the Port Authority in less than three years.”
George Casey, President and CEO, Vantage Airport Group and LGP Chairman of the Board, said, “Vantage is proud to be at the vanguard of this new way of developing and investing in airport infrastructure that brings private sector innovation to how a project is delivered. Governor Cuomo’s leadership in seeing the P3 model as a way to maximize value for businesses and communities and to minimize risk to taxpayers will ensure that New Yorkers have an airport they can be proud of well into the future.”
Stewart Steeves, Chief Executive Officer of LaGuardia Gateway Partners, said, “LaGuardia Gateway Partners is excited to be the team that will deliver to New York a world-class terminal, the latest amenities and an unparalleled customer experience. We applaud Governor Cuomo for putting this project front and center so that LaGuardia can be a better airport for the communities and businesses it serves.”
Jane Garvey, Chairman Meridiam North America and LaGuardia Gateway Partners Board Director said, “The LaGuardia Central Terminal B Redevelopment Project is groundbreaking in many regards. It is the first greenfield airport P3 in the US, one of the largest, most successful bond issuances for a P3 project, and its transformation will take place while the airport remains fully open to the more than 14.3 million passengers who travel through LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building annually and the airlines who serve them. We understand the vital role that LaGuardia plays as a transportation hub, a regional economic engine, and a critical link in the nation’s aviation network. We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and vision on this project and look forward to delivering the best possible terminal to fulfill each of those essential roles.”
Mike Minerva, Vice President of Airport and Government Affairs for American Airlines, said, “This is an exciting and important day for American and all the airlines in the Central Terminal Building. We look forward to a great future and an improved customer experience at LaGuardia and continuing our relationship with the Port Authority and LaGuardia Gateway Partners for many years to come.”
Henry Kuykendall, Delta’s Vice President-New York, said, “Delta congratulates LaGuardia Gateway Partners and the Port Authority on moving forward with the construction of their new terminal. We are in final discussions with the Port Authority to rebuild our own terminals here at LaGuardia and plan to move on a parallel path with LaGuardia Gateway Partners on this important project for New York. Delta is proud to operate a key hub at LaGuardia, and this redesign aligns with our long history of investing in New York and our ongoing commitment to providing an exceptional experience for New Yorkers both here and across the state.”
Dan Tishman, Chair of the Governor’s Airport Advisory Panel, said, “Today’s groundbreaking of a new airport demonstrates the tremendous dedication and talent of the professional staff at the Port Authority, within Laguardia Gateway Partners, and on our Panel – all of whom I want to thank. We know the work that has been done will result in a better airport for New York, and none of it could have happened without the steadfast leadership of Governor Cuomo.”
Richard Cavallaro, President and CEO of Skanska USA, said, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to a modern, 21st Century Central Terminal at LaGuardia carries on the legacy of the airport’s namesake. Much like Mayor LaGuardia, who pushed for an airport in the city, the Governor’s vision for building a modern facility at LaGuardia through a public-private partnership model not only will make getting to New York City easier for millions of people every year, it is a blueprint for how to rebuild our country’s infrastructure. Skanska is honored to be part of the consortium that is financing and rebuilding an essential part of New York City’s transportation network.”
Robert Chicas, AIA, terminal design manager and Firm-wide Director of HOK’s Aviation + Transportation practice, said, “HOK is thrilled to be part of this defining moment for LaGuardia Airport and New York. The development of this state-of-the-art, 21st-century terminal complex will completely redefine the passenger travel experience at LaGuardia, giving it world-class amenities and customer service that will position it among the world’s best airports. Indeed, going from ‘worst’ to ‘first’. As a lifelong New Yorker, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this incredibly important project.”
Gregory Kelly, President and CEO of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff in the U.S., said, “We are proud to be a key contributor to the LaGuardia Gateway Partners team. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has made its impact on some of New York City’s most iconic buildings, transportation and infrastructure projects and now we are honored to contribute our innovative engineering expertise as part of the design joint venture for a new terminal at La Guardia. We commend Governor Cuomo for his commitment to transforming LaGuardia into a 21st century airport deserving of the Empire State.”
Dan Walsh, Co-Chairman, Walsh Construction, said, “We are honored to play such a prestigious part in New York’s history. This is an outstanding opportunity to bring world-class construction services to a project that will serve generations of New Yorkers and their visitors. We look forward to our continued partnership with Governor Cuomo on this transformational project and to setting a new standard in aviation infrastructure and customer service.”
Bill Rudin, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York, said, “It was nearly 80 years ago that Fiorello LaGuardia broke ground on the airport that would ultimately bear his name. Today, New York is breaking ground on a new era for this facility which is one of the busiest airports in the country. After years of neglect and delay, this project is key to maintaining New York as crucial transportation hub, enhancing our competitiveness as a global city in the 21st century and beyond. We applaud Vice President Biden, Governor Cuomo, and the Port Authority for their vision and commitment to our nation’s critical infrastructure.”
Congressman Joe Crowley, said, “The groundbreaking for the construction of the new LaGuardia Airport signals to the world New York’s commitment to remaining the first-rate city we all expect it to be. Vice President Biden and Governor Cuomo both recognize the importance of strengthening our infrastructure and I applaud them for their vision and leadership in getting this transformational project off the ground. LaGuardia is not only an essential gateway to New York but also for the rest of the country, and I’m thrilled that soon, we will have a 21st century airport that we can all be proud of!”
Congresswoman Grace Meng, said, “The overhaul of LaGuardia has been a long time coming and I’m thrilled that shovels are finally in the ground. Thanks to Governor Cuomo for his continued leadership in transforming the airport into a modern and first-rate facility that will better serve New Yorkers and those who visit our city. I look forward to the project progressing in the months ahead.”
Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, said, “LaGuardia International Airport is a critical point of entry to the greater New York metropolitan area, facilitating access for businesses and tourists alike. This long-needed overhaul will revitalize LaGuardia as an important national transportation hub and continue to contribute to the economy of our region.”
State Senator Jose Peralta, said, “Modernization is not only key for survival, but it is also vital to compete in today’s markets. LaGuardia Airport provides thousands of jobs that are important for our City’s economy, and this case, they are particularly essential to Queens and my District. Building an airtrain similar to the exiting one for JFK International Airport will allow LaGuardia to finally take off and land in the 21st Century. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his plans and want to thank him for his leadership in the modernization of our airport.”
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said, “This is an important juncture for Queens. Infrastructure upgrades are critical to the economic engines of our borough and our city. When it comes to our airports, we must plan and execute for infrastructure and technology of the future. The transformation of LaGuardia will make all the difference between our city staying competitive or stifling our growth potential. Today’s groundbreaking is a significant step forward in creating a 21st century, state-of-the-art airport and entry portals that are befitting of the international capital of the world.”
Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland said, “I am excited to see construction beginning at this site of the new LaGuardia Airport here in East Elmhurst, NY. LaGuardia Airport is an economic engine in this region and has been long overdue for a facelift. I look forward to standing with this community to see the finest iteration of this airport rise from this dirt below. I also look forward to working with city, state and federal officials to ensure that East Elmhurst and neighboring communities benefit from this project just as the rest of this great city will benefit from this new & improved airport.”