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Thread: Modernizing at LaGuardia: $1 billion makeover

  1. #1
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Default Modernizing at LaGuardia: $1 billion makeover

    Modernizing at LaGuardia
    PA plots 'vital' airport's remake






    By WARREN WOODBERRY JR.
    November 2, 2006

    Ask people who use LaGuardia Airport's Central Terminal complex to describe it, and you may hear words like "hot," "crowded" and "dull."

    "It's like a Greyhound bus station," said Rob List, 37, a Sacramento businessman waiting for a flight to Las Vegas, as he sat elbow-to-elbow in Concourse B with other travelers. "I should have worn shorts."

    Stepping off a Midway Express Airlines flight, 42-year-old Detroiter Brent Lane whined: "I would have expected something nicer for New York."

    Poor ventilation, dim lighting, low ceilings and dull marble floors that have been in place since 1964 make for a bleak travel experience.

    If this all seems to add up to "ripe for a $1 billion makeover," then you'll have an idea of what officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs LaGuardia, are thinking.

    Brighter, more comfortable surroundings may be in the terminal's future now that a Port Authority study has concluded the facility could use a major overhaul.

    Early last year, the Port Authority hired an aviation consultant to study and plan the modernization of the terminal building. The $15 million study is expected to be completed in early 2007. Construction for the new concourses could begin by 2010 and be done by 2017.

    "For more than 65 years, LaGuardia Airport has been a vital link in New York City's transportation network and a major driver of the region's economy," said Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles Gargano. "Today, the airport supports nearly 100,000 jobs and more than $10.8 billion in annual economic activity, so it's clear why we need to continue to invest in its future.

    "That's why our board in 2004 authorized the ongoing modernization study of the Central Terminal Building, which we expect ultimately will result in a state-of-the-art facility that meets and exceeds the needs of the traveling public for decades to come," he added.

    But LaGuardia is already notorious for flight delays, officials concede, so any major-scale construction would have to occur without causing further disruption to travelers.

    "Whenever you do major work in an airport, it's like doing open heart surgery on a jogger," said Warren Kroeppel, the airport's general manager. "You have to do the work while the guy is still running."

    The study considers knocking down the old Delta and TWA aircraft hangars (east of the Central Terminal Building) to build four modern concourses with increased seating, rest rooms and concessions and better traffic flow.

    The vision starts with the construction of a new Concourse A. Airlines would be allowed to move to the new concourse before the original Concourse A is torn down to make way for a new Concourse B.

    The pattern would follow for Concourses C and D, slightly shifting the concourses east.

    During construction, the airport can never have fewer than four concourses, but will briefly have five, Kroeppel said. Support service equipment housed at the hangars would be moved elsewhere on airport property.

    The new concourse construction would be one of the most complicated and most expensive in airline history.

    "We anticipate working closely with the Port Authority to create the right project for the right time," JetBlue spokesman Bryan Baldwin said.

    The PA study also is considering whether to build one large central screening area for the concourses, construct a total of five concourses or to see if the Central Terminal Building should be linked with the nearby, more modern U.S. Airways terminal.

    Construction also would lessen burdens on check-in areas. Explosive-detecting machines would be relocated to the baggage department for improved traffic flow.

    Where to turn for funding also is being considered. Facility charges added to the airline tickets of departing passengers is one idea.

    The capital improvement project must meet Port Authority board approval before being initiated.

    Meanwhile, there are those travelers who will try to avoid LaGuardia.

    Frequent flier Kevin O'Brien, 31, of Massapequa, L.I., is among them.

    "Compared to all the other airports I've been to in the country, it [LaGuardia] has nothing," said O'Brien, a stagehand headed to Las Vegas. "I know what to expect when I come here."


    All contents © 2006 Daily News, L.P.

  2. #2

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    While they're at it, they should extend the subway to LGA.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    While they're at it, they should extend the subway to LGA.
    My theory is that there is no interest in the project because it would only cost hundreds of millions of dollars, rather than tens of billions. Why waste the effort on a project that will have so little pork barrel to spread around?

  4. #4

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    ^ Interesting theory.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC View Post
    My theory is that there is no interest in the project because it would only cost hundreds of millions of dollars, rather than tens of billions. Why waste the effort on a project that will have so little pork barrel to spread around?
    Well, money is money. Especially in a town that would do just about anything to make a buck. Actually, the excuse I read was that community opposition derailed that project. You can do with that information however you want.

    Why not hire illegals, then? You know, they supposedly "do the work Americans won't do."

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    Senior Member Dynamicdezzy's Avatar
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    I always believed Laguardia's rise would come with an "airtrain" link to a grand intermodal station/terminal at sunnyside yards. With train connections to jamaica station for a connecting JFK flight. NJTransit connection towards NJ for connecting flight at newark. Train connections to penn station, Grand central terminal and subway. If they route metro north through sunnyside yards as they plan to, it would be convenient to get to the airport from LI, NJ and Westchester.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Transic View Post
    Well, money is money. Especially in a town that would do just about anything to make a buck. Actually, the excuse I read was that community opposition derailed that project. You can do with that information however you want.

    Why not hire illegals, then? You know, they supposedly "do the work Americans won't do."

    Just FYI

    The Panama Canal cost Americans around $375,000,000, including the $10,000,000 paid to Panama and the $40,000,000 paid to the French company. It was the single most expensive construction project in United States history to that time. Fortifications cost extra, about $12,000,000.


    - They built the Panama canal in less time and with less money than it takes now...

  8. #8

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    Well, they didn't have to worry about much regulation in those days.

    Actually, I think the reason was that back then the area was all jungle and the country had a low population, which meant not that many people to displace. I know that many died building that canal but labor was also much cheaper and more replaceable.

  9. #9

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    Crain's New York

    November 20, 2008 4:43 pm

    Port Authority moves to replace LGA terminal

    The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey authorized a $40 million study to create a new design for the central terminal at LaGuardia Airport.



    (AP) - Even as many government agencies cut back, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is pressing ahead with plans to replace the central terminal at LaGuardia Airport.

    The authority on Thursday authorized a $40 million study that should result in a new design for the 45-year-old terminal, which handles about 12 million passengers a year.

    The study is scheduled to be completed in 2010.

    Construction would begin in 2011 or later. It could take as long as eight years, due in part to the difficulty of building a replacement in the ultra-cramped airport while the old building is still functioning.



    ©Copyright 2008 Associated Press.

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    IMO, La guardia should be replaced or closed --> what is the point of expanding an airport that is hemmed in and results in major noise issues for surrounding areas and has zero expansion possibilities. I would propose new runways at kennedy..and yes, there are areas that you could fit a runway there without causing too much disruption to the bay ecosystem... A one seat ride from JFK would eliminate any locational advantage La Guardia has now... Why put lipstick on a pig? Heck, even Newark could expand with a new runway over a relocated port or a tunnelled HWY.... the money would be better spent on that then beautifying this poorly located airport... Flushing would be happy.

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    What airports don't have noise complaints from their neighbors? If expansion was so easy over at JFK and EWR, why do you think the PA have been looking at alternate airports like Stewart?

    Until someone has a little bit more of a clue about the local airports, I don't think they should be making statements such as this:

    La guardia should be replaced or closed

  12. #12

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    Em, I can have my opinion, and yes, I believe La Guardia should be replaced or closed--- i think I can make this statement and I do know quite a bit about the airports around the area, especially since I've talked to and discussed the issue with aviation insiders.

    La Guardia blights a large swath of land with noise and other effects -- valuable land that could be used for development purposes, homes, etc... its a valuable site. The airport is a niche player and people only like it due to its location, which a great rail link at an expanded JFK/EWR to manhattan would destroy.

    The reason the PA doesn't propose any runways at JFK is due to environmental concerns... However, they haven't proposed anything, they haven't tested the waters, they do not wish to devote funds to such a complicated project. Several areas are available for new runways at JFK and EWR, it just takes political will and gusto for this to happen.

    The Port could have a new runway and a linkage over the HWY at EWR, and I'm sure port facilities could be relocated elswhere -- a runway is more important especially when an industrial area is ideal for a runway - far far from residents, etc.. JFK could easily have another in the bay if a detailed review was conducted to proove that the bay would not be harmed. NY will soon realize that when the economy comes back and JFK/EWR/LGA are maxed, Stewart won't be good enough and another solution will be proposed, i'm quite certain. Othwerwise, NYC will be closed to new entrants and Delta/Cont. expansion - hence hindering the economic growth of the area.



    La Guardia requires overfly of most of Brooklyn/Queens, JFK would be the better option - water approaches.

    Stewart is not for NYC. Check out the LHR Stansted debate -- airlines won't leave the primary airports for stewart even if there was a rail link. It may serve as a discount/freight base, that is all. Unless they forced either JFK or EWR to close, airlines arn't going to base anything up there.

    LHR will have their third runway even though it is an immense project and residents hate it -- but eventually if the political will is there to keep the London economy growing, it will get done -- however, I disagree with LHR expansion b/c a more sensible solution would have been to just shift the runway expansion into stansted and creating a rail linkage between the two -- stansted is a rural site and could accomidate 4 runways if needed...

    It is amazing how closed the PA is to proposing ideas, how tight lipped they are about talking, also the press really doesn't report much on the issue. If this were London, their would be countless editorials about different ideas and proposals, etc...

    Anyway, NYC be keeping its airports in their current configuration will neve gain the true benefits of a global hub airport, i.e, ORD/ATL in terms of economic impact.
    Last edited by futurecity; November 23rd, 2008 at 01:47 PM.

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    You say get rid of LGA because expansion is difficult but an expansion at JFK would be just as complicated, if not more so, than at LGA. Simply put, there just isn't any space to expand over at either JFK or EWR, without running into problems, offering no advantages.

    All three airports are already filled beyond capacity and as insane as it sounds, you are now proposing to shut one down and move its operations over to the other two that's already having capacity and air traffic space problems of their own.

    Yeah, that's a really bright idea.

    You need to do more talking with your so-called "aviation insiders."

  14. #14

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    If the new runways were put in place, LGA would be irrelevant...it is only a 1 runway airport anyway most of the time. It has a ineffcient approach pattern which slows operations in certain weather.

    If LGA is removed, airspace is free for JFK operations without conflict.

    BTW, you are rude with your insulting tone-- you are not an aviation expert and you do not know what is possible. I think you need to get the clue buddy.

    As a matter of fact, I think your idea of keeping LGA is backwards and conservative shortsighted thinking.

    Do you really want NYC relying on cramped JFK/EWR in 20 years? I hope you don't think Newburgh is going to help...

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    Here's a powerpoint presentation from the Port Authority detailing several aviation projects, some of them underway (EWR Terminal B) or recently completed (T-5 JFK).

    Highlights:

    Newark Liberty Airport:

    $1.2 Billion redevelopment of Terminal A, it will incorporate many features added to Terminal C during it's redevelopment. A new 20 gate concourse, new parking garage, airside corridor etc..

    Laguardia:

    New $1.1 Billion Central Terminal Building and central parking garage.

    JFK:

    Redevelopment of DL's T-2 and T-3, tearing down T-2 and replacing it with a new concourse off of T-2.

    http://www.asicma.com/visor.aspx?Id=1963&ed=11

    I love the LGA rendering, huge improvement. Reminds me of how DCA was redeveloped.

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