Tear it Down: New York’s LaGuardia Once-Dubbed ‘Third World’ to be Rebuilt Under $4 Billion Plan

Image via Port Authority
Image via Port Authority

It was just last year that Vice President Joe Biden called New York’s LaGuardia Airport “Third World,” a description that every traveler who has crossed through the beyond-repair airport has thought. Yesterday, though, Biden and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the airport will be torn down and rebuilt into a state-of-the-art airport—a transportation hub worthy of the late, great Mayor La Guardia. The $4 billion project will reduce flight delays, add public transportation (including an AirTrain and ferry service), among a slew of other improvements.  “This is what New Yorkers deserve and have deserved for a long time. And now we’re going to get it,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “There is no way to fix this. We need to literally tear it down and rebuild it. It’s not a plan, not a sketch, not a dream, not a vision, it is actually happening. New York had an aggressive, can-do approach to big infrastructure in the past — and today, we’re moving forward with that attitude once again.”

The New York Post has the highlights of what’s to come: 

  •  A new, unified terminal that will be 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway, providing 240 percent more space for runways and flight operations.
  • High-speed ferry service that will have boats docking at the existing Marine Terminal.
  •  Passenger access to their gates via raised pedestrian bridges, high enough for aircraft to taxi underneath.
  • A state-of-the-art, post-9/11 security system that will be three times as large as the current operation, slashing wait times.
  • Nearby roads reconfigured to improve access for passengers and reduce traffic.
  • A new Central Hall with increased space for high-end amenities including retail shops and a 200-room boutique hotel.
  • An increase in passengers from roughly 27 million in 2014 to 35 million when it’s finished.
  • Creation of 8,000 construction jobs and 18,000 permanent jobs both at the airport and in businesses that service the airport. “Middle-class jobs. Jobs you can raise a family on,” Biden said.


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