La Guardia Airport, that was recently rated the worst in the country, will be completely rebuilt by 2021, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced on Monday.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey estimates the overhaul will cost about $4 billion. Most of that will go toward tearing down the Central Terminal Building and rebuilding it in place and adding a grand entry way.
The airport has a not so great set up and is so run down that apparently there is no way to fix it. Biden himself said in 2014 that this is the kind of airport you would find “in a third world country.” It might might have been great in 1939 when it was first built, but now it has to be torn down and rebuilt. The project will “replace the airport in its entirety,” Mr. Cuomo said at a Midtown Manhattan luncheon. With no place to create a substitute anywhere near Manhattan, they decided it had to remain crammed between Flushing Bay and the Grand Central Parkway in Queens.
“The big thought was to create an aesthetically pleasing, unified airport in place of the collection of disconnected terminals, decades old, that form the airport”, said Daniel R. Tishman, a developer appointed by Mr. Cuomo to lead a committee to create a master plan for La Guardia.
The plan is not just about looks. The airport buildings would be moved south, closer to the parkway. The move would create about two miles of new taxiways that officials said would help alleviate the airport’s chronic delays.
Traveling to and from the airport will also get much easier. There will be a new rail connection between the airport and a subway station in the Willets Point section of Queens, as well as re-establishing ferry service to the airport.
La Guardia was last among the 29 largest American airports in on-time departures, with slightly more than 70 percent of its flights counted as on time, based on the Federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. It gets worse if you ask the travelers. In a survey in 2012, they ranked it worst for the check-in and security process, the worst for baggage handling, the worst when it comes to providing Wi-Fi, the worst at staff communication, and the worst design and cleanliness. So pretty much try to avoid it until 2021.