Marking a Summer of Progress on Airport's Complete Redevelopment
First Phase of New Terminal B Concourse Opens Following June Opening of New Arrivals and Departures Hall
Over 40% of Passengers Will Now Arrive or Depart from New Gates at a Whole New LGA
Seven New Gates Open in New Concourse Which Will Serve American Airlines Passengers and Extend 21st Century Experience from Curb to Gate
Roadway Work Continues Across the Airport Redevelopment Project; Nearly 75% of Roadway Work Now Complete
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the second new light-filled concourse and seven new gates at LaGuardia Airport's Terminal B, part of airport's ongoing $8 billion transformation. Beginning on August 5, the first seven new gates in new Western Concourse will be activated, welcoming more travelers through LaGuardia's Terminal B with a world-class passenger experience. The new concourse will include an indoor park, touchless restrooms and world-class amenities that convey a true sense of New York. This milestone follows last month's opening of the new 850,000 square-foot Arrivals and Departures Hall with new concessions, traveler amenities, world class art installations, and increased space for passengers to move more safely and efficiently during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
"With the opening of this new concourse, LaGuardia Airport's Terminal B is hitting two major milestones in one summer and moving closer to its full transformation into a 21st Century travel facility," Governor Cuomo said. "LaGuardia Airport is going to be the first new airport in the United States in 25 years, and we're building it while still operating the old airport. Travelers coming to New York should expect nothing less than a world-class experience, and that is what we are delivering with this modernization project."
Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said, "Today's opening of the first seven new gates in Terminal B's Western Concourse is part of 18 months of fast progress as we near the finish line of the complete transformation of LaGuardia Airport. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's vision and leadership, construction of A Whole New LaGuardia Airport continues full speed ahead with this summer's opening of the new Arrivals and Departures Hall, the early opening of the new concourse and gates, and completion of nearly 75% of all roadway work due to the reduction in traffic."
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton, LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the private consortium rebuilding and operating LGA's Terminal B, CEO, Stewart Steeves, Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry and Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee unveiled the first section of the 210,000 square-foot, new concourse at a ribbon cutting ceremony a month ahead of schedule. When the second and final phase is activated at the end of 2021, the Western Concourse will include a total of 17 new gates. The new concourse will primarily serve American Airlines and will house the future American Airlines Admirals Club. Like the Eastern Concourse which opened in December 2018, the new concourse will connect to the Terminal B Arrivals and Departures hall by an elevated pedestrian bridge. The dual pedestrian skyways are a first at any major airport in the nation.
Like the Eastern Concourse which opened in December 2018, the Western Concourse offers travelers a modern, 21st century airport experience the moment they arrive. The concourse features soaring 55-foot high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for ample natural lighting. Amenities will include a children's play area, a greenspace with landscaping and seating, spacious restrooms, family and nursing restrooms, a designated American Airline service desk, and a pet relief area. Travelers can look forward to new concessions and art which convey a sense of place and the spirit of New York.
As part of the phased construction of the new concourse, a second pedestrian skybridge bridge will connect the Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall to the Western Concourse in 2021. The second section of the concourse and ten additional new gates will open in 2022.
Earlier this summer, the brand-new Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall at LaGuardia Airport opened to the public, marking the biggest milestone to date in the airport's ongoing $8 billion transformation. The spacious, 850,000-square-foot, four-story Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall provides travelers with a 21st century airport experience that includes local concessions, large, modern restrooms and a New York-inspired shopping district. The new Arrivals and Departures Hall also showcases permanent public art installations curated by the Public Art Fund, enhancing the passenger experience and underscoring New York's global position as a beacon for arts and culture. When complete, the new Terminal B will include the Arrivals and Departures Hall, two pedestrian skybridges and two fully activated concourses with a total of 35 gates serving American, Southwest, United Airlines and Air Canada.
Stewart Steeves, Chief Executive Officer of LaGuardia Gateway Partners, said, "The opening of the Western Concourse is yet another milestone that we're proud to have completed in the overall redevelopment of Terminal B. We're grateful to our partners for helping us create a brand new Terminal B that combines excellent service for passengers with innovative and sustainable design."
Jim Moses, American Airlines Vice President of Northeast Hubs and Gateways, said, "Launching operations from the first phase of the Western Concourse is a milestone moment for American Airlines and brings us closer to a whole new LGA. The unrivaled, world-class experience offered by the all-new Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall and concourses elevates and transforms the customer journey from curb-to-gate."
Richard Kennedy, President and CEO, Skanska USA, said, "We are thrilled to celebrate another significant milestone at LaGuardia Airport, our largest and one of the most complex projects in Skanska's history. Opening these gates ahead of schedule with an exceptional safety performance is a testament to the diligence and tireless dedication of our team, subcontractors and partners—an exceptional feat in light of a global pandemic."
Assembly Member Jeff Aubry said, "It is gratifying to see the continued progress of the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport. No longer Third World but first class."
Acting Borough President Sharon Lee said, ""This new concourse will increase our borough's global competitiveness by offering travelers a welcoming airport experience filled with all the amenities that the world's airline passengers have come to expect. Queens commends Governor Cuomo for his commitment to this visionary $8 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia, a project that has already benefitted our borough by creating jobs, scholarships and STEM programs for the local community. This ahead-of-schedule opening of the Western Concourse is another milestone in the creation of a first-class LaGuardia Airport."
Council Member Francisco Moya said, "The opening of these new gates in the Western Concourse is a fantastic milestone in the transformation of LaGuardia Airport into a world-class transportation hub. I applaud Governor Cuomo and the Port Authority's focus on elevating local and Queens-based businesses and artists as we continue to reimagine the airport as well as making necessary safety adjustments to keep workers and passengers safe during the pandemic."
All areas of the terminal including the new concourse are being cleaned to the highest CDC cleaning standards. High touch surface cleaning teams are on-site and visible by the branded vests they wear. There is digital signage throughout the terminal displaying COVID-19 related safety measures including the face covering requirement, distancing guidance and reminders to wash hands frequently. TSA officers will wear face masks and follow strict procedures about glove use and sanitization when handling passenger baggage. Contactless food ordering and delivery is available using the At Your Gate App.
LGP and the Port Authority continue to test the latest technology to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19, including testing touchless technology and UV cleaning technology on escalator handrails.
LaGuardia Redevelopment Plan
In 2015, five years ago this week, Governor Cuomo first unveiled his vision for the comprehensive redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport. Under his plan, a whole new LGA will provide a world-class, 21st century passenger experience featuring modern customer amenities, state-of-the-art architecture, more spacious gate areas and a unified terminal system. The $8 billion project, two-thirds of which is funded through private financing and existing passenger fees, broke ground four years ago in 2016.
In February 2018, the new Terminal B parking garage opened with over 3,000 spaces and a dedicated level for Uber, Lyft and other for-hire car services. In December 2018, the first of 18 new gates and the first new concourse in Terminal B opened. In October 2019, the Governor opened the first new concourse and seven new gates at Delta Air Lines' new Terminal C on the eastern side of the airport. Last month, the governor opened the new Arrivals and Departures Hall at Terminal B. A modern arrivals and departures hall at Terminal C will open in 2022 with the phased opening of three additional concourses.
Also in October of last year, the Port Authority's Board of Commissioners formally authorized the funding needed, pending completion of the FAA's independent environmental review, to develop the new AirTrain LGA. With Governor Cuomo's key support, the long-awaited AirTrain LGA is on track to take its place at a new world-class LaGuardia Airport that will no longer be the only major East Coast airport without a rail link. AirTrain LGA would connect the airport with a new station at Willets Point and get travelers out of their cars and steadily reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
Overall, the LaGuardia project is expected to generate $10 billion in economic activity and $2.5 billion in wages over the life of the project. As of the opening of the new Terminal B arrivals and departures hall, LaGuardia Airport contracts with certified minority and women-owned businesses, or MWBE, have now exceeded $1.4 billion. To date, the project has met Governor Cuomo's goal of 30 percent MWBE participation.
Following Governor Cuomo's vision for A Whole New LGA, the Port Authority is working hand in hand with local elected officials, stakeholders and Queens residents to ensure local businesses, MWBEs and jobseekers take advantage of new opportunities as part of LaGuardia Airport's redevelopment and economic growth. Since the beginning of the project, more than $560 million in contracts was awarded to local businesses based in Queens.
In April 2019, Governor Cuomo announced the opening of the new Council for Airport Opportunity (CAO) office in Corona, in partnership with two community-based organizations. CAO provides airport-related recruitment and job placement services to minority and disadvantaged residents in Queens. In December 2019, the permanent LaGuardia Redevelopment office opened to the public providing airport-related recruitment and job placement services to minority and disadvantaged residents in Queens.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has also partnered with Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in Queens and funded 11 full-tuition scholarships for students from local communities to attend Vaughn College. The LaGuardia Redevelopment Program has also partnered with the Queens Public Library to offer a STEM education program for local middle-school students, now in its second year.
The new unified airport offering the 21st century customer experience New Yorkers deserve is being built while maintaining operations at the existing airport. As new facilities are completed, old facilities are demolished, ensuring the airport never loses capacity. Even during peak construction, LaGuardia continued to set new records for passenger volume. Eight of the airport's 12 busiest days on record occurred last summer when terminal and roadway work was at its apex. In 2019, LaGuardia served over 31 million passengers, a 3.1 percent increase over the previous record passenger volume handled in 2018.