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Delta breaks ground on new LaGuardia project
By Phil Corso

One of the country’s busiest airports is about to get even busier.

Delta Air Lines executives joined with New York City officials Wednesday at LaGuardia Airport to break ground on a $160 million terminal project, ushering in a new era of airport expansion.

The project includes the construction of a 630-foot connection bridge between the airport’s terminals C and D, allowing customers to walk between terminals without having to go through security again, the airport said. The new bridge marks LaGuardia’s single largest expansion project in more than 40 years, according to Delta. Renovations also include a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal C and expanded security lanes in both terminals.

“This investment will support a major expansion by Delta in the most competitive aviation market in the world,” said Gail Grimmett, senior vice president in New York. “Our goal is to become the preferred carrier for the business traveler in New York.”

Grimmett said the project would create 700 new jobs with an additional 135 construction positions in the process. The project’s completion, scheduled for July 11, will include service to 26 new cities and nearly 100 new daily flights, the airport said.

The work coincides with a $1.2 billion enhancement of Delta’s facilities at John F. Kennedy Airport, the site of an international hub.

“All together, with our expansion projects at JFK and LaGuardia, Delta is investing nearly $1.4 billion in our New York airport facilities,” Delta Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson said. “No other airline is approaching that level of commitment to New York in the next 12 months.”

LaGuardia Airport serviced more than 12 million passengers in 2010, according to a study by the Air Carrier Activity Information System, ranking the facility 20th out of the country’s 50 busiest airports. JFK ranked sixth, with more than 22 million passengers.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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