By Bill Parry
The final piece of the LaGuardia Airport reconstruction puzzle is now in place after the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners voted to authorize $600 million toward a new terminal for Delta Airlines.
Delta, the airport’s largest carrier, will design and construct a new 37-gate terminal to replace Terminal C & D at a projected cost of nearly $4 billion and construction will begin in 2017, pending the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration..
The new terminal will connect with LaGuardia’s new Central Hall and 35-gate Terminal B. The entire cost of the airport redevelopment project has ballooned to an estimated $8 billion, according to the Port Authority.
“Nearly a year ago, Gov. Cuomo unveiled his vision for a 21st century, unified LaGuardia Airport,” Port Authority Vice Chairman Steven M. Cohen said. Thursday after the vote. “With nearly 80 percent of the $8 billion project funded through private finance and existing passenger fees, the new LaGuardia Airport is a model of the private sector and government working together to deliver critical transportation projects for the region.”
The new central terminal building and Delta’s new facility are to be built closer to the Grand Central Parkway, which will create more room for an additional two miles of aircraft taxiway space and increase flight operations by 240 percent, according to Cuomo. “That means more flights coming in, and turning around faster for departure,” he said.
LaGuardia is vital to the region’s tourism and economy, welcoming more than 28 million passengers annually, according to officials.
The Port Authority will contribute $600 million and Delta nearly $3.6 billion to the new facility with its least extended to 2050. LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the consortium of developers which entered a 35-year lease on June 1 to build and operate the airport, has its lease until 2050 as well.
The Port Authority contribution will cover the costs of concourses and ramp work, the construction of an electrical substation, roadways, other infrastructure and the expansion of the East Garage. Delta will be responsible for performing and managing the construction work, with full responsibility for any cost over-runs, officials said.
The rebuild will create 18,000 direct and indirect jobs, $1.3 billion in wages and $5.2 billion in economic activity, according to Cuomo, helping New York “get its mojo” back.
It will also create headaches for those looking for parking for many years to come.
The Port Authority issued a travel advisory Monday warning that all parking lots at the airport are expected to reach capacity early every Tuesday and remain full until late every Thursday until Labor Day weekend because of ongoing construction projects. Travelers flying from LaGuardia Airport between mid-mornings on Tuesdays through late evenings on Thursdays until Labor Day weekend are urged to use ground transportation that does not require parking at the airport.
Additional parking is available off-site. For a list of independent parking operators, travelers can visit lagua
The Port Authority said on-site parking will become available in the future as current construction projects are completed.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr