SEVENTH HEAVEN:LaGuardia getting last laugh
New York’s LaGuardia – often rated as the worst airport in the US – has unveiled the latest elements of its US $8-billion makeover, which has been steadily transforming the facility since 2016 from a laughingstock into a world-class airport.
Started in 2016, the entire tip-to-tarmac remake of the 81-year-old structure is expected to be completed within two years.
However, the latest element of the renovation opened this week (Aug. 5) – the first seven gates of the Western Concourse of the new Terminal B.
In this first of two phases designed to allow the remaining gates in the original terminal to stay operational during construction, almost half of the planned 17 gates have opened, along with a newsstand and a portion of the 20,000 sq.-m. concourse’s park, featuring greenery and benches.
The concourse features plenty of natural light and soaring ceilings up to 16 m. high, two major pieces of city-inspired artwork, and restrooms with spacious stalls and above-sink shelves to keep belongings dry.
American Airlines will operate in the new Western Concourse and also continue to operate from the original terminal’s D gates while construction continues. Passengers will check-in at the new state-of-the-art Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall, which opened in June and connect to the new Western Concourse through a temporary walkway. The final phase of the Western Concourse is scheduled to open by early 2022.
Air Canada operates from the Eastern Concourse of Terminal B.
“The 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,” said Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.,
In July 2015, New York governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled plans for the comprehensive redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport, which included the new 1.28 million-sq. m. Terminal B. With a construction value of US$4 billion, the Terminal B project is one of the largest public-private partnerships in American history and the largest in US aviation. The Terminal B redevelopment includes a new 35-gate terminal, a parking garage, and a Central Hall, which will unify the airport by connecting to Terminal C, which is also being redeveloped.
First published at Travel Industry Today