Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to give LaGuardia Airport a much-needed facelift received a major thumbs up that will put it one step closer to breaking ground.
Cuomo announced Thursday that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had approved a lease with LaGuardia Gateway Partners to build, operate and maintain a state-of-the art Terminal B at the airport.
The terminal will have a central hall and concourse that — for the first time, Cuomo said — would create a unified airport as well as serve as the location for an AirTrain station.
“This vote marks a critical step forward in our effort to overhaul LaGuardia Airport,” Cuomo said. “Our plan will fundamentally transform LaGuardia — replacing what is now an outdated and poorly designed complex with the world-class airport New York has always deserved. This represents a major milestone for the project — the first of many — and I look forward to seeing construction begin later this year.”
The approval of the lease allows for the first phase of Cuomo’s redesign plan to begin.
The cost for the design and construction of the project to transform LaGuardia Airport is $4 billion. Out of these costs two-thirds is financed through private funds and existing passenger fees. Construction is set to begin shortly, with a large portion opening in 39 months after the start of construction.
Cuomo’s redesign plan will rebuild Terminal B, which will link with Terminal C and connect the airport for the first time, giving travelers more access to transportation, increased taxiway space and passenger amenities.
LaGuardia Gateway Partners will also build roads, utilities, runway improvements, a new West Parking Garage and other infrastructure.
“The transaction brings private capital and expertise to an airport in desperate need of investment, and shifts the risks of complex construction in an operating airport environment from the Port Authority to well-capitalized private parties,” said Pat Foyre, executive director of the Port Authority.