Governor Cuomo's Vision For Transformative Redesign of LaGuardia Airport Moves Forward

Written by Long Island News & PR  |  25. March 2016

Queens, NY - March 25th, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the comprehensive redesign of LaGuardia Airport has taken a major step forward, with a crucial approval vote by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The vote approves a lease with LaGuardia Gateway Partners to build and operate a new state-of-the-art Terminal B, with a central hall and concourse that will, for the first time, create a unified airport as well as the site for an air train station.

The lease clears the way for the first phase of the Governor’s redesign plan, which will ultimately transform the aging facility into a world-class transportation hub, equipped for the challenges and demands of 21st century travel and deserving of the state of New York.

The design and construction cost of the project amounts to $4 billion – two-thirds of which is financed by private funds and existing passenger fees. Construction will begin shortly, with significant completion of portions of the airport opening in 39 months after the start of construction.

“This vote marks a critical step forward in our effort to overhaul LaGuardia Airport,” said Governor Cuomo. “Our plan will fundamentally transform LaGuardia – replacing what is now an outdated and poorly designed complex with the world-class airport New York has always deserved.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 – and I look forward to seeing construction begin later this year.”

The redesign plan will completely rebuild Terminal B, and construct a central hall and connecting concourse that will turn the airport into a single, unified main terminal with expanded transportation access, significantly increased taxiway space and best-in-class passenger amenities.

The design reflects the recommendations from the Governor’s Airport Advisory Panel, including the new light-filled Central Entry Hall, which will connect Terminals B and C and unify the airport for the first time. By moving the terminal closer to the Grand Central Parkway, it will increase airport taxiways and reduce airport ground delays. In addition to the new terminal and Central Hall, LGP will also construct new roads, utilities, runway improvements, a new West Parking Garage and other supporting infrastructure.

Under an innovative public-private partnership, two-thirds of the $4 billion design and construction cost will be paid for by private financing and existing passenger fees. A private consortium, LaGuardia Gateway Partners, will design, build, operate and maintain the facility.

The risk of cost overruns or schedule delays in the LaGuardia project will be transferred from the Port Authority to LGP, a private airport developer selected and approved in May 2015 by the Port Authority Board after a competitive request-for-proposals process.

Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said, "Approval of the lease with LGP is both the first major step toward Governor Cuomo's modernization of LaGuardia Airport and the largest public private partnership for new transportation infrastructure in U.S. history.

The transaction brings private capital and expertise to an airport in desperate need of investment, and shifts the risks of complex construction in an operating airport environment from the Port Authority to well-capitalized private parties."

Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler said, “Modernizing our aging airport terminals demonstrates the Port Authority’s commitment to focusing on the region's transportation infrastructure. To achieve operating efficiencies, offer our customers the best in world-class service and meet the anticipated rise in passenger demand, it is imperative that the agency continues to make these investments in our airports.”

LaGuardia’s modernization will be a major economic boon for the region, generating $1.3 billion in wages and $5.2 billion in regional economic activity. Consistent with Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading goal of 30 percent participation of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises, construction of the new Terminal B project will provide extensive economic opportunities for MWBE contractors in the Borough of Queens and the region.

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