As part of New York City’s vision to transform LaGuardia International Airport into a world-class transportation hub, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) in the US, together with LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) launched the Terminal B redevelopment project at the airport in June 2016.

The $4bn redevelopment project, which involved complete reconstruction of Terminal B, also known as central terminal building (CTB), is said to be the first-of-its-kind complete redevelopment of a US airport in more than two decades. The new terminal will commence operations in early 2020.

LaGuardia Airport is a key point of entry to the greater New York area, and the long-needed modernisation will restore and strengthen the airport’s position as an important national transportation hub in the metropolitan region.

“The long-needed modernisation will restore and strengthen the airport’s position as an important national transportation hub in the metropolitan region.”

The $8bn complete airport redevelopment project, including the current Terminal B renovations, is expected to create 8,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs, as well as generate $1.3bn in wages and $5.2bn in direct economic activity.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners has also been simultaneously upgrading the existing Central Terminal B as part of a $5m investment to improve passenger experience.

Need for new terminal development at LaGuardia Airport

The existing facilities at LaGuardia Airport have become outdated and are not capable of handling the increasing passenger traffic. Terminal B was opened in 1964 with a design capacity of eight million passengers a year, and currently handles approximately 14 million passengers.

Multiple areas within the terminal, including the ticketing area, hold rooms and passenger screening, have space constraints, which cause delays for passenger processing.

The landside area of the terminal also faces congestion at both arrival and departure levels due to fewer traffic lanes and shorter frontage lengths. On the airside, the existing gates, which were designed for shorter and narrow-bodied aircraft, are not able to accommodate the future fleet, resulting in inefficient parking positions and numerous tow-in positions.

Since these shortcomings couldn’t be fixed by just renovating the existing building, a total redevelopment of the terminal was proposed that would transform the airport into a single, unified main terminal with expanded transportation access, increased aircraft parking space and best-in-class passenger facilities.

Details of the new terminal at LaGuardia International Airport

The new terminal is a 1.3 million square foot state-of-the-art facility that will replace the existing Terminal B. It will feature 35 gates, dual pedestrian bridges that connect the terminal to two island concourses, and the new light-filled Grand Central Parkway that connects it with Terminal C.

The Eastern Concourse features floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light. It boasts an airport-themed children’s play area, as well as a private nursing room.

The design enables improved airline circulation and gate flexibility leading to reduced delays. The terminal interiors will facilitate easy navigation and efficient movement of passengers. Additional space will be provided for security check-in to reduce waiting times as the passengers pass through mandatory security screening.

The terminal will also house a variety of food, retail and beverage concessions that reflect regional and national offerings and spacious waiting areas with enhanced seating capacity.

The project aims for LEED v4 certification for sustainable design, as well as the Envision Rating System. It will be designed to meet all governmental or industry guidelines for environmentally friendly and sustainable buildings and in accordance with the Port Authority’s sustainability guidelines.

Construction of the new terminal

Construction of the new terminal took place while the airport continued its operations. Of the total 35 gates at the new terminal, 11 were opened in 2018, while the remaining seven will open in early 2019.

The P2 garage demolition was completed by January 2017, clearing the site for the future LaGuardia Central Terminal B headhouse. Initial operations at the new Terminal B Eastern concourse commenced in December 2018, while the main departures and arrivals hall is scheduled to open in 2020.

The project also involved construction of a new seven-storey, 1.14 million square foot parking garage. Opened in February 2018, the garage provides parking spaces for 3,100 vehicles, of which 2,400 are for personal vehicles. It is equipped with an intelligent parking guidance system that offers a real-time view of available space.

A dedicated pick-up and drop-off level has also been constructed with 50 indoor loading areas for car service providers such as Uber and Lyft.

Additionally, the project covers construction of approximately 13km of new roadways, including 18 new bridges spanning across 4km of the roadway. A new fly-over exit, connecting LaGuardia with the Grand Central Parkway, was opened in July 2018.

Contractors involved

The contract to design, build, operate and maintain the new terminal was awarded to LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), which is a consortium of firms, including Vantage Airport Group, Skanska and Walsh Construction construction joint venture Meridiam, and a design joint venture of HOK and Parsons Brinckerhoff. The contract represents the biggest public-private partnership (PPP) deal in the state.

The project will also provide opportunities for contractors in the borough of Queens and throughout the New York Metropolitan Region.