Start spreading the news: LaGuardia will open its highly-anticipated new terminal this weekend
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But how about what’s happening on the outside?
Most New Yorkers know that LaGuardia (LGA) is in the midst of a massive overhaul. With the exception of the Marine Air Terminal, which currently houses JetBlue’s operations, the airport’s other terminals are getting a big upgrade.
In fact, we’ve seen some good progress on the redevelopment project. Late last year, Delta opened a new concourse primarily serving its shuttle flights. Star Alliance fliers on Air Canada and United have already had over a year to enjoy the new Terminal B wing, featuring high ceilings, modern fixtures and a brand-new Maple Leaf Lounge and United Club, as well as the new Terminal B parking garage.
Well, we’ve now got some great news to share for those flying to or from the airport. The Main Arrivals and Departures Hall of the Central Terminal B will be opening this Saturday, June 13. An official press conference with the full details is expected within the next few days, but regardless it’ll be open to the public come Saturday.
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The headhouse will serve as the central departures and arrivals area for those traveling from Terminal B. All passengers traveling from the terminal will be dropped off and picked up from this facility. You’ll find the check-in and ticketing areas on the departures level, as well as a new, centralized TSA security checkpoint.
For those arriving in New York, the headhouse has the baggage claim and passenger pick up area. The new Main Terminal will be connected to the gates via a pedestrian bridge that should also be opening on Saturday, June 13. Airlines serving Terminal B include Air Canada, American, Southwest and United.
We’ll have more details and photos to share once we check out the terminal for ourselves, but the current pictures look like a massive improvement from where LGA once was. In fact, I can almost see a resemblance to Los Angeles’ Tom Bradley International Terminal.
The opening comes just a few weeks after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took time on his May 26 coronavirus press briefing to mention that now’s the perfect opportunity to accelerate the LGA construction.
As part of his presentation, he acknowledged that with the decrease in air traffic, the construction of the reimagined LGA will be fast-tracked. “Traffic is low, passenger volume is even lower, so let’s accelerate that work now,” said Cuomo. Similarly, Cuomo mentioned that he’d like to see the work on the new LaGuardia AirTrain accelerated too.
Once the new Central Terminals opens this weekend, much of the LGA construction will have been completed. Most of Terminal B is complete, leaving just the construction of the Central Hall bridging Terminal B and C, as well as the redevelopment of Terminal C.
Delta currently operates from Terminal C and D at LGA. The two terminals are getting combined into a new Terminal C. But with the airline only operating a fraction of its typical daily routes from LGA and having already consolidated check-ins to Terminal C, Delta is taking this time to accelerate the work.
At the Wolfe Global Transporation Conference on May 22, Delta CFO Paul Jacobson mentioned that now’s actually a great time to accelerate the terminal redevelopment. In his mind, the travel slowdown should help the carrier “deliver it much, more sooner.”
The same story of work continuing, and getting accelerated, is true at other airports across the country.
Delta’s been hard at work creating a new airport experience in Los Angeles (LAX) and Salt Lake City (SLC). Both projects could be completed up to two years early thanks to the expected long-term drop in passenger numbers, Delta president Glen Hauenstein told staff in a May 20 virtual town hall that was viewed by TPG.
“With the drop in demand, we see an opportunity to lower the overall [airport] construction costs and deliver it sooner than planned,” said Delta chief financial officer Paul Jacobson.
Nonetheless, it’s great news that the Main Terminal at LGA is finally ready for its debut. As a New Yorker whose flown through LGA too many times to count, I’m excited that it won’t be too much longer until I get to experience the new LaGuardia.
Featured photo by LaGuardia Gateway Partners
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