By Bill Parry
Delta Airlines got the green light to begin construction on its new $4 billion, 37-gate terminal at LaGuardia Airport. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Board of Commissioners gave final approval to a new lease agreement with the airline last week, putting the final component of the airport reconstruction project in place.
“The transformation of LaGuardia Airport into a state-of-the-art transportation hub is key to the economic growth and strength of the entire state,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “With this action, we are taking the next major step in our work to build a new LaGuardia — an economic engine and world-class airport worthy of New York.”
The Delta work will begin later this summer. All of the new airport terminal facilities, including the Delta project, will be located closer to the Grand Central Parkway as part of the new unified airport design, providing significantly more airfield space. The move will increase the efficiency of aircraft moving to and from runways, thereby reducing delays.
The new Delta terminal will feature four concourses connected by a centralized check-in lobby, security checkpoints and baggage claim areas. Other upgrades include 30 percent more concessions space and a new Delta Sky Club, featuring a sky deck with airfield views, locally inspired food options and artwork from emerging New York artists.
“With the approval of Delta’s new lease at LaGuardia Airport, we are now looking forward to breaking ground on our historic state-of-the-art facility,” Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian said. “This is an important step forward for our customers and employees at one of our most important hubs and builds on years of investment in New York.”
The Port Authority has committed a fixed amount of $600 million to the Delta project, with the airline providing $3.4 million and assuming responsibility for any cost overruns. The new terminal will offer direct access between the parking garage and the airport’s new Central Hall, improved drop-off and pick-up areas as well as a curbside check-in bypass leading directly to the security checkpoint.
“Today’s Port Authority action continues Governor Cuomo’s transformative vision for a modern, united and customer-friendly LaGuardia Airport,” Port Authority Executive Director Pat Fore said.
“In addition to bringing LaGuardia customer’s experience into the 21st century, this agreement with Delta will create construction jobs and long-term permanent airport jobs that will help boost the region’s economy.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr