New York City is home to a lot of amazing things, but a great airport is not one of them. The brand new LaGuardia Airport is poised to change that, and on Tuesday New Yorkers got a clearer picture of what the revamped travel hub will look like.
At a press conference, Governor Andrew Cuomo broke ground on a $4 billion renovation of the eastern half of the airport. The new buildings will replace terminals C and D at the airport and is largely being paid for by a partnership between Delta Airlines and the Port Authority (Delta is footing $3.4 billion of that bill).
Tuesday's announcement comes a little more than a year after Cuomo and former Vice President Joe Biden broke ground on another $4 billion makeover of the western half of the airport, which includes a new central terminal and hall. In 2014, Biden famously compared LaGuardia to a third-world country. That assessment might have been a bit brash, but for many New Yorkers, it doesn't feel far off. Soon enough, they'll find sweet sweet relief—the first new gates at the airport are scheduled to open next year, with the entire reconstruction project promised to be finished by 2021.
LaGuardia is also getting its own AirTrain, something that New Yorkers have long begged for but quickly changed their tune when they found out that they'd have to connect to it via the 7 train or Long Island Rail Road at a new station at Willets Point. That project is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
Cuomo and company are branding the renovations at LaGuardia as the country's first new airport since Denver International Airport opened 20 years ago. That claim seems like a bit of a stretch, but if you couldn't bring yourself to consider LaGuardia an airport in the first place, it's right on.
The new plan comes with a fresh batch of sweet, sweet renderings that look like pure heaven when compared to the current state of the airport. Take them in. Look at that clean, well-lit place. Imagine walking off of a plane, past security and into the arms of your sweetheart in a baggage claim area that doesn't smell and look like an oily foot.
It sounds glorious, doesn't it?
Photographs: Courtesy Governor Cuomo's office