Mimi Cleary, Vice President of Supplier Relations & Strategic Sourcing, provides insight into current and ongoing improvements at New York’s LaGuardia Airport:
For the past year, LaGuardia Airport has been experiencing a massive and much-anticipated renovation. While the long-term benefits are significant, the ongoing construction and the resulting traffic has been an obstacle for travelers. Although the project will not be completed in full until 2025, travelers can expect relief soon.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a meeting with Delta Airlines and several strategic corporate travel managers in Boston. There, Pete Ross, General Manager for Delta at LaGuardia, gave us insight on the reconstruction’s projected timeline.
Delta’s goal at LaGuardia is to unify the Delta and Central Terminals. The airline is investing $4 billion in the new terminal, which will house thirty-seven gates located in four unified concourses. While the entire LaGuardia Airport renovation will not be completed until 2025, Delta’s terminal reconstruction is slated for completion in 2021. In addition, the first phase – roadways and a new parking garage – will be complete in February 2018.
Delta at LaGuardia Improvements
The roadways will alleviate the current traffic, reducing travelers’ stress over getting to flights on time and meeting their car services or cabs upon arrival. In addition, the parking garage will have a 2,000 car capacity and a dedicated Delta entrance/exit. The garage will also be where hired cars wait for travelers; as an added value, travelers will receive a notification of the specific parking space their car is waiting in.
Traffic to Terminal C has also experienced immediate relief following the terminal shifts on December 8 – 9th. Prior to this, shuttles for both American and Delta – two of the most highly trafficked flights – were departing from Terminal C. This caused even more congestion at Terminal C and on the roadways. By moving American to a separate terminal, traffic has improved slightly during peak times.
As the project continues, Delta plans to add three Sky Clubs at LaGuardia: two in Terminal C and one in Terminal D. In addition, the Airtrain being built will depart from the Delta parking lot, providing greater ease of transport for travelers. The Airtrain is anticipated to be completed within the next four years.
Future LaGuardia Airport Renovations
Beyond these initial improvements, LaGuardia Airport will be building dual runways for each terminal. Airlines and flights will no longer need to share gates, as each terminal and plane will have a gate. The combination will greatly alleviate gate and runway delays. In addition, the finished project will boast a centralized check-in lobby, security checkpoint and baggage claim.
Beyond updates to the airport itself, a new airport hotel and conference center are in the works. Travelers who take advantage of these amenities will have access to a dedicated 4,000 car capacity parking garage.
What won’t change for the foreseeable future is LaGuardia’s status as a domestic airport. LaGuardia’s perimeter rule places restrictions on flight distances to and from the airport. However, there is hope that this restriction will be lifted to allow transcontinental flights in the near future.
I personally have traveled in and out of LaGuardia several times over the past several months and experienced the congestion and delays. I am looking forward to February and beyond. LaGuardia is one of the top markets for our travelers, and I know they’ll rejoice when phase one is complete in Quarter 1 of 2018.
I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. Cheers to 2018 and all good things to come!