FAA Considers Pausing LaGuardia’s AirTrain Project
Back in July, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued its final approval for a monorail connecting trains from Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport. The plan which was first revealed back in 2015, and construction was first expected to start in 2020. But the AirTrain project has seen pushback from surrounding communities and environmental advocates, and now they could have the final word.
The FAA is weighing whether to pause LaGuardia’s AirTrain project, according to a letter obtained by Newsday that the FAA sent to the Port Authority.
Riverkeeper, Guardians of Flushing Bay and Ditmars Boulevard Block Association filed a lawsuit against the FAA on Sept. 20, requesting that the agency stop the $2 billion people mover at LaGuardia Airport. The groups say the FAA failed to consider alternative projects. They also state that the AirTrain will take waterfront parkland along a 2,100-foot stretch of Malcolm X Promenade at Flushing Bay.
Newsday reports that the FAA is considering the possibility of suspending the project, but first needs the Port Authority to explain whether there would be any fallout from a delay.
The AirTrain, when and if it is ever built, will connect LaGuardia to the No. 7 train and the Long Island Rail Road at Mets-Willets Point. Besides environmental issues, there’s also criticism about the route that travelers will have to take to reach LGA from Manhattan. Most New York City residents will have to travel east to get to Mets-Willets Point. They will then backtrack northwest to arrive at LaGuardia.
The project was pushed by former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Now that he’s gone, two state senators are demanding new Gov. Kathy Hochul to halt the project.