Preview: Delta's $4 Billion Makeover of LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is finally getting a much-needed makeover — a $4 billion one, in fact — after once being compared to a "third world country" for its outdated facilities back in 2014 by former Vice President Joe Biden. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta, broke ground on the final phase of the massive project on Tuesday, with the airport transforming from a series of disjointed terminals to a single, unified facility.
Along with the announcement, the governor's office released a compilation of new renderings for the project, which includes images of what the arrival and departure areas, baggage claims and restaurants will look like once completed.
The new LGA aims to provide travelers with state-of-the-art amenities and expanded public transportation — including a planned AirTrain.
Construction on the terminal began after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey signed a new long-term lease with Delta.
Together, Delta is investing $3.4 billion — the airline's largest investment in an airport — and the Port Authority is chipping in $600 million to rebuild the terminal and gate facilities located on the eastern half of the new LaGuardia space. This will be the first airport rebuild in the United States in more than 20 years.
"This is a historic day for Delta as we break ground on our state-of-the-art facility at LaGuardia Airport," Bastian said. "This investment underscores our commitment to LaGuardia, to New York and to providing our customers and employees here and across the state with a world-class experience at one of our most important hubs." Delta has about 275 daily departures at LaGuardia — more than any other airline.
Having served 29.8 million passengers in 2016, the airport will serve 50 million passengers annually once completed, according to Governor Cuomo.
The airport is expected to be fully completed by 2021, but the first set of new gates are scheduled to open by next year.
The trio of LaGuardia Airport (LGA), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) combine to create the largest airport system in the United States.
What do you think of the new LaGuardia? Let us know in the comments, below.
Images courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo's office