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14 June 2016

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden Announce Groundbreaking on New LaGuardia Airport

The LaGuardia Central Terminal B project is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification for sustainable design. The terminal will be flooded with natural light at all levels, have short curb-to-gate walking distances, include capacity for retail, food, and beverage concessions, and feature spacious comfortable waiting areas with more seating capacity.West aerial view of LaGuardia Airport, with Central Terminal B in the foreground

In addition to designing the new 1.3-million-sq.-ft. passenger terminal as part of the LaGuardia Gateway Partners team, HOK is providing professional advisory services to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in planning the entire airport.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction on the new LaGuardia Airport has begun, marking the first complete rebuild of an airport in the United States in more than 20 years. The Governor, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, made the announcement as construction began on a new 1.3-million-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art, 35-gate terminal, along with a new west parking garage and other supporting facilities.

The groundbreaking follows the recently executed lease agreement and financial close reached by LaGuardia Gateway Partners and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on June 1. The new airport will begin to open to the public in 2018, with all portions of the redesigned Terminal B slated to open by the end of 2021. New renderings of the new LaGuardia Airport are available here.

“LaGuardia is a key driver of New York’s economy and transportation network, but for far too long it has been outdated, overcrowded and unworthy of the Empire State,” Governor Cuomo said. “Today, we are not just breaking ground—we are building an entirely new LaGuardia and transforming it into a world-class transportation gateway for the 21st century. This state has always been built to lead and now that legacy continues with this unprecedented project that will drive growth and generate continued prosperity for generations to come.”

21st-Century LaGuardia Airport

The $4 billion redevelopment project, which will completely reconstruct Terminal B and create a central entry hall, together with Delta’s planned rebuild of its terminals, will transform LaGuardia Airport into a single, unified main terminal with expanded transportation access, significantly increased taxiway space and best-in-class passenger amenities.

Construction begins with a roadway network and a new 3,000-space parking garage that will significantly reduce congestion at the airport. The design reflects the recommendations from the Governor’s Airport Advisory Panel, including the new light-filled central hall where passengers arrive, and which connects Terminals B and C for the first time.

The project is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification for sustainable design. The terminal will be flooded with natural light at all levels, have short curb-to-gate walking distances, include capacity for retail, food, and beverage concessions, and feature spacious comfortable waiting areas with more seating capacity.

The airport’s interior will be intuitive for passengers to navigate, and will facilitate efficient movement throughout the terminal. The design will take into account the realities of post-9/11 air travel, with additional space for security check-in to help diminish wait times for passengers as they pass through mandatory TSA screening.

Construction will be on an expedited basis, with operations at the airport continuing uninterrupted over the course of the project. Half of the new gates in the new Terminal B will open to the public in 2018. The main terminal area will open in early 2020, and a second set of gates will open in two phases—one later in 2020 and the last phase in 2021.

By moving the terminal closer to Grand Central Parkway, the project will increase airport taxiways by more than two miles and reduce airport ground delays. In addition to the new terminal and central hall, LaGuardia Gateway Partners will construct new utilities, runway improvements and other supporting infrastructure.

Nation’s Largest Public-Private Partnership 

LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B is the largest public private partnership in the US.Central hall view of new LaGuardia Airport

The groundbreaking follows the financial close of $2.4 billion in bonds for the complete redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport on June 1. LaGuardia Gateway Partners’ tax exempt and taxable bonds were issued by the New York Transportation Development Corporation, an affiliate of Empire State Development.

Under the design-build contract, LGP—the nation’s largest public-private partnership—will design, build, operate and maintain the facility. More than two-thirds of the project will be paid for by private financing and existing passenger fees. Overall, the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport is expected to create 8,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs, generating $1.3 billion in wages and stimulating $5.2 billion in direct economic activity.

LGP, a consortium of firms with extensive experience in terminal operations, construction, design and finances, was selected by the Port Authority in May 2015 following a competitive RFP. The consortium includes:

  • Vantage Airport Group: Currently manages nine airports across three continents, and has transitioned 19 airports from public to private management.
  • Meridiam: Leading global investor and asset manager.
  • Skanska and Walsh Construction: Construction joint venture.
  • HOK and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff: Design joint venture.

The risk of cost overruns and schedule delays will be born solely by LGP under the design-build contract.

Consistent with Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading goal of 30 percent participation of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE), construction of the new Terminal B project will provide extensive economic opportunities for MWBE contractors in the Borough of Queens and throughout the New York metropolitan region.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a huge step forward in Governor Cuomo’s vision to modernize LaGuardia Airport,” said Pat Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “The new Terminal B and Central Hall will be a 21st-century facility offering a high level of customer service and amenities.”

“The LaGuardia Central Terminal B Redevelopment Project is groundbreaking in many regards,” added Jane Garvey, chairman of Meridiam North America and LaGuardia Gateway Partners board director. “It is the first greenfield airport P3 in the US, one of the largest, most successful bond issuances for a P3 project and its transformation will take place while the airport remains fully open to the more than 14.3 million passengers who travel through LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building annually and the airlines who serve them. We understand the vital role that LaGuardia plays as a transportation hub, a regional economic engine and a critical link in the nation’s aviation network.”

“HOK is thrilled to be part of this defining moment for LaGuardia Airport and New York,” added Robert Chicas, AIA, terminal design manager and director of HOK’s Aviation + Transportation practice. “The development of this state-of-the-art, 21st-century terminal complex will completely redefine the passenger travel experience at LaGuardia, giving it world-class amenities. Indeed, it will be going from ‘worst to first.’ As a lifelong New Yorker, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this incredibly important project.”


Associated Press

Crain’s New York Business

Curbed NY

DNA Info

New York Business Journal

Passenger Terminal Today