Renovation of LaGuardia to Take Flight

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey recently gave the green light for the $4 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Rendering of LaGuardia Airport Redevelopment
Rendering of LaGuardia Airport Redevelopment

New York—Nothing happens in New York City transportation without the approval of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and the agency just gave a pivotal green light for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s planned $4 billion makeover of LaGuardia Airport.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a private consortium, is spearheading the project, and the Port Authority’s vote constitutes the authorization of a 35-year lease with LGP for the redevelopment and operation of Terminal B at the renowned 680-acre transportation hub in Queens. The terminal is a key piece of the modernization undertaking, as its central entry hall and concourse’s connection to Terminals B and C will result in LaGuardia’s metamorphosis into a structurally unified airport for the very first time.

“Our plan will fundamentally transform LaGuardia–replacing what is now an outdated and poorly designed complex with the world-class airport New York has always deserved. This represents a major milestone for the project–the first of many,” Governor Cuomo said in a prepared statement. The project’s design is the work of a joint venture between HOK and Parsons Brinckerhoff, which was selected by the Governor’s Airport Advisory Panel.

LaGuardia is due for a major makeover. The airport first opened in 1929 as the Glenn H. Curtiss Airport, and 10 years later, it had been taken over and expanded to the tune of $40 million by the city of New York, and renamed the New York Municipal Airport-LaGuardia Field. In 1947, it was leased to the Port Authority, which has since made capital investments in the airport totaling roughly $1.4 billion, including the construction of Terminal B in the 1960s.

The agency, however, won’t have to break the bank to finance the airport’s renaissance. LaGuardia’s redevelopment is a public-private endeavor; private financing and existing passenger fees will cover two-thirds of the construction project’s gargantuan price tag.

In addition to the rebuilding of Terminal B, the first phase will include LGP’s construction of a new West Parking Garage, as well as a host of supporting infrastructure.

Skanska and Walsh Construction comprise the construction team behind the Terminal B project, the majority of which will open 2019.