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NEWS Last modified on June 1, 2015

New terminal to transform LaGuardia into 'world class facility' – PANYNJ

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Board of Commissioners has approved the first phase of a new vision for LaGuardia Airport by selecting LaGuardia Gateway Partners to develop a new $3.6 billion world-class facility.

The LaGuardia Gateway Partners consortium is led by Canada's Vantage Airport Group and includes Skanska USA, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Meridiam Infrastructure, HOK and Walsh Construction.

The new facility, which will replace the existing Central Terminal Buidling, will serve approximately 50% of the passengers handled at LaGuardia, consistent with the recommendations of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Airport Advisory Panel.

According to PANYNJ, the decision to modernise the gateway is the culmination of its multi-year procurement process to select a team of leading private-sector construction, engineering, planning, airport management and finance firms to work with it in an innovative public-private partnership to construct the first phase of redevelopment of LaGuardia.

The project includes demolishing the Central Terminal Building and creating a modern, new passenger friendly gateway with better connected terminals.

It follows preliminary recommendations from Governor Cuomo's Advisory Panel and represents the first phase of a comprehensive master plan for a 21st century LaGuardia Airport that will be unveiled in the coming weeks. 

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The Panel's recommendations also call for the creation of a state-of-the-art airport that will for the first time seek to unite the airport's current four disconnected terminals.

According to PANYNJ, the new LaGuardia will be a "world-class facility", and will be designed to seamlessly integrate with future amenities recommended by the Governor's Panel such as premier retail and dining space; a hotel; a conference and business centre and other modern features that will generate revenue for the Port Authority. 

The amenities also will include transportation features such as an AirTrain, ferry service and a people mover to help passengers traverse the entire airport. 

Construction of the project will be funded by a public-private partnership, with the private sector contributing more than $2 billion and the Port Authority contributing more than $1 billion to construct the airport and supporting infrastructure.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the private development team, will be responsible for designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the new terminal. 

The agreements for the new world-class terminal facility and the new central entry portal to the airport will be subject to multiple future Board approvals consistent with the Port Authority's capital plan.

"With the Board action, the Port Authority continues to follow through on its commitment to modernise LaGuardia Airport, with the strong support of Governor Cuomo and his Advisory Panel," enthuses PANYNJ chairman, John Degnan.

"By utilising an innovative public-private partnership in this endeavour, the agency is also taking another important step in bringing state-of-the-art financing techniques to the task of updating our region's airports and other critical infrastructure."

PANYNJ's vice chairman, Scott Rechler, believes the long waited decision to revamp LaGuardia will mean that its days as the   "stepchild" of New York's JFK and Newark international airports will soon be coming to an end.

"We have taken the first step in moving forward with a comprehensive master plan to redevelop LaGuardia into a 21st century, world-class airport that the State of New York deserves," he states.

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While PANYNJ's executive director, Pat Foye, notes: "The Board's decision is a major step in the modernisation of LaGuardia and a huge step toward Governor Cuomo's goal of 21st Century airports in New York."

President and CEO of LaGuardia Gateway Partners, Stewart Steeves, says: "We look forward to partnering with the Port Authority on this significant project for the city and state of New York.

"The team is ready to deliver an exceptional experience for the airport community and the travellers who will pass through the new terminal.

"We will develop a world-class facility and bring the level of operational expertise needed to deliver the airport New Yorkers deserve, both during construction and throughout long-term operations."

The new terminal design is not expected to cost significantly more than previously anticipated for the old replacement concept.

The board's action also limits the cost of the new entry portal to no more than $400 million, with construction based on future Board authorisations consistent with PANYNJ's Capital Plan process.

In January, Governor Cuomo created a seven-member Airport Advisory Panel with expertise in business, planning and the local community to advise him and the Port Authority on the best ways to reimagine New York's two major airports.

Last month, the Panel submitted preliminary recommendations to the Board in order to allow work to replace the Central Terminal to move forward in concert with a holistic master plan for the airport.

Those recommendations included:

  • Unifying world-class architectural appearance across all new elements of the New LaGuardia;
  • A central arrival and departures portal with first-class shopping, dining, and business amenities linking previously disconnected terminals;
  • Capacity for a future hotel on the airport grounds;
  • Future rail connection, including plans for an AirTrain connecting the airport to the subway for the first time;
  • A people-mover that enables passengers to traverse easily from one end of the airport to the other;
  • A cell-phone lot waiting area and improved road configuration;
  • An adequate level of parking to accommodate travelers arriving by car at the airport.

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