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.”