LaGuardia Airport, one of the nation’s busiest with 26 million passengers a year, is so outdated that it should be completely demolished and rebuilt, Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said yesterday.


“LaGuardia should not be the gateway for fliers into New York City; it should fundamentally be torn down and rebuilt again,” Ward said at breakfast hosted by Crain’s NY Business.


The Port Authority, which manages the airport, has only enough money for modest upgrades, falling short of the full modernization needed, Ward said.


The airport offers a “chaotic” experience, partly because of post-9/11 security having been added to buildings put up over several decades.


Asked if the agency would consider a privatization of the airport, Ward told reporters: “At this point, it would be foolish to rule out any funding option.”

The Port Authority already has turned to Delta Air Lines and US Airways to help build terminals at LaGuardia. Other airlines did the same at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark, N.J.’s Liberty International Airport.

The Port Authority is expected to release its two-year $40 million modernization study of the airport this year.