Last February, Vice President Joe Biden infamously commented that if he would blindfold someone and take them to LaGuardia Airport in New York, the person would think they're in "some third-world country" because of the terminals' outdated infrastructure.
Well, that feeling is bound to change. On Monday (July 27), Biden joined New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to announce a $4-billion LaGuardia Airport overhaul, which is set to include a ferry, and moving of the terminal 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway, freeing up 240 percent more space for airplanes to manuever.
Pending final Port Authority approval, construction is expected to break ground on the airport early in 2016 with the new sections accessible by the summer of 2019 and final construction set to be finished by late 2020, early 2021. LaGuardia Airport will continue service throughout its overhaul.
As part of the plan, LaGuardia will stray away from its current fragmented-terminal layout and replace it with one main, architecturally unified terminal, according to Cuomo. They'll accomplish that by bull-dozing LaGuardia's current Terminal B building and erecting a larger structure, one that's closer to the highway. That main terminal will then link to Delta's terminals C and D. The new LaGuardia Airport will also include a "world-class retail and hotel complex," according to Cuomo.
Perhaps in an attempt to politically pat himself on the back, Cuomo told reporters Monday that he was informed by the Port Authority advisory board that the only way to significantly improve LaGuardia would be to tear it down, but that he found a way to keep service going while breaking ground on needed improvements.
Biden added that the revamped airport will create 8,000 "middle class jobs, jobs you can raise a family on" and that other states and big cities should take heed and follow suit.
As part of Monday's announcement, Cuomo also announced a green light to create a master plan for the future development of John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City's other main airport.
Sounds like it's wheels up and liftoff on improvements to New York City's airports.