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New York LaGuardia Airport Opens New Terminal B Hall

LGA’s new Terminal B hall (Photo: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the grand opening of LaGuardia Airport’s (LGA) new Terminal B hallway yesterday, the largest milestone in the airport’s ongoing $8 billion dollar transformation.

The 850,000 square-foot Terminal B facility will host American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Air Canada operations and will be open to the general public beginning June 13.

“As we continue to upgrade and modernize this airport for the 21st century, this new state-of-the-art hall will offer passengers a unique travel experience with new concessions, traveler amenities and art installations by four of the world’s leading artists, while increasing space for passengers to move more safely and efficiently during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Cuomo said.

With passenger movement, comfort and efficiency in mind, the new terminal was designed to offer improved passenger safety screenings utilizing state of the art technology including artificial intelligence and robotic-assisted convenience systems to identify baggage requiring deeper investigations.

New body screening and metal detection systems will utilize improved imaging technology that will no longer require passengers to raise their arms overhead when being screened.

The terminal offers nine new baggage carousels and additional spacing for baggage pickup as well as 17 additional restroom facilities with COVID-19 complaint touch-free entry, sinks and hand dryers.

The spacious terminal is also adorned with four permanent art installations designed specifically for the new facility.

17 new post-security checkpoint concessionaires are now available in the Arrivals and Departure Hall for passenger and employee use.

The airport terminal also employs the latest technology in cleaning. The Port Authority tested the latest methods for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including utilizing touch-less technology at Check-in Counters and ultraviolet cleaning technology on escalator handrails.

In 2015, Governor Cuomo unveiled a comprehensive redevelopment plan for Laguardia Airport. The project, two-thirds of which is funded through private financing and existing passenger fees, broke ground four years ago in 2016.

The LGA redevelopment project will eventually comprise 2.7 million square feet of new space, 72 new gates across six concourses and two new terminal arrival and departure halls.

Redevelopment construction work is ongoing and will take several more years to complete. In February 2018, a new Terminal B parking garage opened with 3,000 parking spaces and dedicated curbs for ride-sharing services. Delta Air Lines began the use of its new gates in Terminal C in October 2019 with final Terminal C Hall redevelopment targeted for completion in 2022.

In October of last year, Port Authority Commissioners approved funding for the development of AirTrain LGA. The project will connect LGA to the New York rail system, the only major airport on the U.S. east coast without such a convenience.

The redevelopment work is occurring while maintaining airport operations at their highest levels. As new facilities are completed, old facilities are demolished, ensuring the airport never loses capacity. Eight of the airport’s 12 busiest days on record occurred last summer when terminal and roadway work was at its apex. In 2019, LaGuardia served over 31 million passengers, a 3.1 percent increase over the previous record passenger volume handled in 2018.

Rick Shideler

Author

  • Rick Shideler

    Rick is a retired airline maintenance professional with over 40 years experience in commercial, corporate and military aviation sectors. Rick holds an FAA Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) and a FCC General RadioTelephone Licenses. Rick is a veteran of the United States Air Force and has served in multiple leadership positions including Director of Maintenance for a large corporate aviation firm, airline Director of Engineering and has chaired multiple aviation maintenance safety and reliability industry committees. Rick took his first airplane ride at six months old and became an airline geek shortly thereafter.

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