Governor Cuomo Announces Modernization and Revitalization Plan for LaGuardia, JFK, Republic and Stewart Airports

Written by Long Island News & PR  |  20. October 2014

East Farmingdale, NY - October 20, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today hosted Vice President Joe Biden at an event to unveil the Governor's comprehensive plan to modernize and revitalize LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International, Republic and Stewart International Airports – bringing them up to 21st Century standards for service, access and amenities. In January 2014, Governor Cuomo announced in his State of the State Address that the State would assume management responsibility for construction at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airports to help break gridlock and make necessary improvements. The Governor’s plan expands on this initiative by announcing Master Plan Design Competitions for LaGuardia and JFK to revitalize those two major airports and help ensure that state-of-the-art facility upgrades proceed in a comprehensive, forward-looking manner. Additionally, the Governor's plan will leverage the unique regional economic development opportunities at Republic and Stewart International Airports to further support job creation and growth in New York.

"The number one job of government is to promote economic growth and prosperity, and one of the best ways to drive commerce is by investing in infrastructure that connects New York with local, national and international markets," Governor Cuomo said. "This is more important for New York than ever before, which is why the State is ambitiously investing in roads, bridges and tunnels on a scale that we haven't seen in decades. Our airport modernization plan not only enhances how our individual airports look and act in the 21st Century – but addresses how they must fundamentally work together to strategically grow New York's economy."

LaGuardia Airport in New York City – Master Plan Design Competition
The Master Plan Design Competition will call on designers from across the globe to strategically envision the complete package of what LaGuardia Airport will look like and how it will function in the 21st Century. The enhancements and design competition should include: improving transportation to the airport, including possible high-speed ferries and improved rail service; a redesigned airport layout to increase access, including a potential ferry terminal at the airport; state-of-the-art amenities to offer best-in-class customer service and a diverse food and retail experience; and more resilient infrastructure in order to prepare the airport's facilities to meet increasing and extreme weather threats. Additionally, the Governor will work with federal partners to make New York’s air space more efficient by expediting the implementation of new air traffic technology in the area.

John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City – Master Plan Design Competition
The Master Plan Design Competition will call on planners to redesign the entire John F. Kennedy International Airport. Submitted designs in the competition should include: enhancing the transportation network, including that of the existing AirTrain that currently shuttles passengers between terminals, parking areas and the subway and LIRR; exploring the need to increase hotel capacity in the immediate area surrounding the airport; implementing state-of-the-art amenities that are reflective of the New York region and also provide guests an array of dining and shopping options; and upgrading facilities across-the-board to modernize the airport.

Stewart International Airport in the Hudson Valley – Regional Cargo Distribution Hub and Propose Creating START-UP NY Zone
A regional cargo distribution hub will be established at Stewart Airport by growing its current cargo capacity, which will relieve JFK Airport of most cargo shipping facilities and create room to expand potential amenities and services for JFK Airport. FedEx and UPS currently operate regularly scheduled flights to Stewart Airport, along with the U.S.P.S and USDA having established facilities established on the property, the airport is strategically positioned to expand into a larger air cargo role. To maximize and promote expanding distribution, the State will propose creating a tax-free START-UP NY Zone at Stewart Airport that allows companies to move back-office manufacturing into one, connected major distribution center. The efforts will complement a $20 million Federal Inspection Facility to process international passengers, which is currently being constructed and will be ready to accept travelers by 2017.

Republic Airport in Long Island – Issue RFI for Operator and Propose Creating START-UP NY Zone
The State will issue an RFI to identify parties interested in serving as a new operator for Republic Airport. The airport currently has nearly 100 acres of available space, including hangar, office, restaurant and land vacancy, and is strategically positioned in Suffolk County, one of the most populous regions in the country. To jump-start investment and business at Republic Airport, the State will propose creating a tax-free START-UP NY Zone that will make available additional resources and incentives.

The Master Plan Design Competitions for LaGuardia and JFK Airports will complement hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements by the Port Authority that are already underway. The Competitions will be held under the same conditions, but each judged by criteria specific to the airport’s needs. Beginning in thirty days, design firms will have 60 days to develop plans, which must include a project implementation timeline to ensure that work begins quickly and may utilize public/private sector partnerships to finance and run elements of the redesign. The existing RFP for LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal will continue concurrent to the 90-day master plan and redesign process, and the winning design can be modified to fit the redesign. The Port Authority Board of Commissioners will select the best three designs for each airport, and those finalists will each receive up to $500,000 to further develop their concept for further consideration. Additional details of the Master Plan Design Competitions will be available shortly.

In January, the Vice President joined Governor Cuomo for the unveiling of “Reimagining New York for a New Reality,” a $17 billion strategy that will transform New York’s infrastructure, transportation networks, energy supply, coastal protection, weather warning system and emergency management to better protect New Yorkers from future extreme weather. The Vice President expressed his desire to see upgrades in New York’s airports at the event, citing their importance as high-profile gateways to the United States from abroad.

LaGuardia and JFK Airports were constructed in 1939 and 1960, respectively, and have since experienced substantial growth in customers. Last year, the two airports served more people than at any other time in their history – a total 77 million passengers, or roughly one-quarter of the entire U.S. population. Collectively, LaGuardia and JFK Airports employ 50,000 people and generate approximately $53 billion in annual economic activity to the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. Additionally, Stewart Airport is responsible for about 5,500 jobs and $750 million in economic activity annually in the Hudson Valley, and Republic Airport supports more than 1,300 jobs on in Long Island.

START-UP NY will play a critical role in boosting business and investment at Republic and Stewart International Airports. START-UP NY helps a company start, expand or relocate qualified business to a tax-free zone in New York State. Under the program, companies creating jobs in START-UP Zones pay zero taxes for 10 years, have access top-talent college and university resources and can connect into an expansive infrastructure with national and global access.

Photo by Raphael Pinto via Free Images

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