Last year, Vice President Biden famously quipped the words so many New Yorkers knew to be true, “"If I took you and blindfolded you and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you'd think, ‘I must be in some third-world country.’" This afternoon, in a joint press conference with the vice president, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans for a $4 billion construction project to completely change all that.
Cuomo, who referred to the Queens airport, as “slow,” “dated” and a “un-New York” (way to kick the poor hub when it’s down, governor), explained that the Port Authority has created a master plan that will not just repair or update the facility, which originally opened in 1939, but to completely replace it. The overhaul will include an attractive and efficient grand entrance, updated security measures, connectivity between the four terminals (no more crossing dangerous roads if you got off at the wrong spot), new shops and public transportation access. Just think, with the proposed Airtrain from the Willets-Point subway and LIRR stop not only will you not have to worry about getting stuck in bus traffic or paying astronomical Uber prices home, but you can also go straight from vacay to a Mets game! In addition to the Airtrain, there will be an on-site tram system between the terminals and, if all goes accordingly, a high speed ferry system from Marine Air Terminal to Manhattan.
The current estimations predict the new airport to be completed in about four years, bring 8,000 construction jobs to the area, and to be at least half funded through private businesses, including Delta Airlines which controls terminal C and D of Laguardia. The Governor also mentioned efforts to increase business at Stewart Airport and Republic Airport with a 10-year tax exemptions for new businesses and a new hotel for JFK.
The Port Authority mapped out this ambitious project within just a few months, and the vice president’s office expedited the necessary permits and plans. Recently, Biden has made new infrastructure an important rallying call for his agenda. Today, the Vice President said, “New York is the greatest city in the world and deserves a 21st century airport.” Here, here!