Governor unveils plan to completely rebuild LGA
by Shane Miller
Jul 28, 2015 | 8402 views | 1 1 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A rendering of the elevated walkways that will allow for more taxiways.
A rendering of the elevated walkways that will allow for more taxiways.
Joined by one of LaGuardia Airports most high-profile critics in Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a plan to completely dismantle the airport's fragmented terminals and replace them with one single terminal.

Pending approval by the Port Authority, which is expected sometime in early 2016, the first half of the project should be open to passengers by 2019. It will cost an estimated $4 billion. The second half of the unified terminal will be built by Delta Air Lines, which is currently reconstructing its Terminals C and D.

“We are transforming LaGuardia into a globally renowned, 21st century airport that is worthy of the city and state of New York,” said Cuomo at the announcement.

The new terminal will be located closer to the Grand Central Parkway to better utilize the airport's footprint. Passengers will access terminals via raised walkways that will be high enough for planes to pass under, creating two additional miles of taxiways.

The change is expected to make the airport, one of the most delayed in the nation, more efficient. Another plan to make the airport more efficient was the implementation of NextGen technology in 2012 that redirected some flights over nearby neighborhoods at lower altitudes.

The new satellite-based technology has been at the heart of noise concerns across the nation – from Phoenix to Chicago – not just in Queens and Long Island.

Several community groups sprung up to address the issue, and the Port Authority recently formed a community roundtable to address noise concerns associated with the changes, among other airport-related issues.

Borough President Melinda Katz referenced the need to balance increased capacity and upgrading infrastructure at the aging airport with the needs of residents living in neighborhoods surrounding it. She suggested the Port Authority expand its Aircraft Noise program throughout the construction phases.

"As much as LaGuardia and JFK International are tremendous economic assets to Queens and to the region, with them has come the need to mitigate the direct, daily impacts of growth upon the thousands of families immediately surrounding them,” said Katz. “When convening this blue-ribbon panel on which I have had the pleasure to serve, the Governor charged us with ensuring that community needs are addressed, especially with regard to noise and alleviating traffic congestion.”
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Queens Commuter
August 01, 2015
There is so much wrong with LaGuardia, it is hard to know where to start. It has 2 short runways and no mass transit direct to Manhattan. The 2 runways are 7,000 ft. - by contrast, Newark has runways of 10,000 ft., JFK's longest is 12,000 ft. and the second longest in this area is at Stewart. LaGuaria's runways intersect, which further restricts operations. There are almost always birds in the area, and the city has just opened a new garbage handling facility near the runways. LaGuardia is built on fill, so it started to sink when it opened. Hydraulic jacks keep the main terminal from sinking any further. Steel supports were put in and seem to have stopped the subsidence but inadvertently have created electric fields above ground, so pilots are warned not to rely on compass readings at LaGuardia because of "electrical anomalies". The airport is in a flood plain, which means it is prone to flooding, and sea levels are rising. The whole airport is underwater every few years. The list goes on but the point is that the $4 billion plan proposed by Gov. Cuomo does not deal with this airport's fundamental problems. All we get is a nice waiting room where we can cool our heels. Really?