“We are in a competition and the airports are the new front door,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo at the unveiling of the first concourse to be opened as a part of LaGuardia’s new Delta terminal.
“We are better than what LaGuardia is, and denial is not a life option,” continued Cuomo, “If you deny a problem, you will never solve it.”
Delta CEO Ed Bastian was joined by Cuomo and other officials - and even Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard - for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 29 . Seven gates are now operating flights to Boston, Chicago and Washington from the new concourse.
Upon completion, the $3.9 billion terminal will feature 37 gates across four concourses, all converging at a centralized hall where passengers can check-in and go through a security checkpoint.
Renovations also cover dual taxiways to reduce gate congestion that often causes delays on the tarmac.
In addition to installing a larger Delta Sky Club that includes a Sky Deck, the airline did not skimp on amenities. Travelers on Delta’s 275-plus departures from its LaGuardia hub will dine at an enlarged concession area featuring local favorites like H&H bagels and Birch Coffee, while taking in sweeping views of Flushing Bay and Citi Field.
The modernized gate areas are equipped with electrical outlets between seats, so passengers can charge their devices while waiting to takeoff.
Construction to replace Terminals C and D began in August 2017, and is part of a planned $8 billion wall-to-wall overhaul of the entire airport.
The project involves taking down and rebuilding each terminal, except the landmark Marine Air Terminal, making LaGuardia the nation’s first totally new airport in 25 years.
“At a time in this nation that we are in many ways adrift and have lost our sense of confidence,” said Cuomo, “if you doubt our ability, if you think we’ve lost our mojo, just look to New York and we will light the way.”
Once finished, LaGuardia Airport will be a single, integrated airport from end to end. The first new concourse opened in Terminal B last December, and featured 18 gates and 55-foot floor-to-ceiling windows.
The next component will be an expansive arrival and departure hall for Terminal B scheduled to open in mid-2020, shortly followed by the terminal’s second concourse and additional gates.
On October 25, the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners formally authorized the funding needed for a LaGuardia AirTrain.
The project will provide two stations, one at the center of LaGuardia and one serving Terminal C, directly connecting the airport to Penn Station and Grand Central in Manhattan via the LIRR and subway stops at Willets Point.