Rebuilding LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building

LaGuardia Central Terminal Building - Outdated | Air Travel News

Port Authority Receives Private Sector Interest

If you’ve been through New York LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building lately, you know it’s not pretty and there’s not a lot of space in the gate concourses.  The Central Terminal Building is nearly half a decade old.  Over half the 72 gates at LaGuardia Airport makeup the Central Terminal Building.

In 1964, when the terminal was opened, the design capacity was for 8 million passengers annually; in 2006, it was used by nearly 13 million passengers.  The current facility’s gate layout was designed for an earlier generation of smaller airplanes, making it difficult to achieve efficient utilization of not only the gate spaces, but the alleyways.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), which owns the airport, put out a call for re-building concepts last December.  The response was overwhelming with 15 firms submitting responses.

The firms outlined their proposal concepts along with plans to design, construct, operate, maintain, and finance a new $3.6 billion terminal building; a 1.3 million-square-foot Central Terminal Building to replace the obsolete structure.

The Port Authority will now review the submissions and study alternate plans — which might also lead to the release of a formal request for proposal.

LaGuardia's Long and Narrow Concourse B | Air Travel News

When it comes to aviation facilities, the Port Authority has had a great record of partnering with the private sector, using the same approach for other significant terminal modernization projects.

Pat Foye, the agency’s executive director, said, “Fliers arriving and departing the New York metropolitan area deserve efficient, modern aviation facilities, not the crowded gate-areas designed for DC-9s at the current Central Terminal Building.”  Foye continues, “We are working diligently in these times of economic hardship to make short-term and long-term progress towards improving our facilities.”

Susan M. Baer, the Port Authority’s aviation director, said, “The Port Authority pioneered public-private partnerships at its airports, and this proven concept has worked well for the region, creating thousands of jobs while delivering 21st-century airport facilities for our customers.” Baer continues, “We’re excited to modernize LaGuardia Airport’s main passenger terminal, and it’s great to see our enthusiasm shared by so many others.”

The $3.6 billion redevelopment program consists of a new $2.4 billion terminal and $1.2 billion in associated infrastructure.

PANYNJ officials expect the number of travelers to rise over the next two decades, with predictions for 34 million passengers by 2030, more than half are expected to use the new Central Terminal Building.

As a result of federal regulations combined with limited runway capacity, there are limits on the number of flights that can use LaGuardia each hour.  The anticipated increase in passengers can only be accommodated by use of larger aircraft.  The new Central Terminal Building will be built to accommodate these larger aircraft.

LaGuardia Airport accommodated 24.1 million passengers in 2011 and the number will continue to climb.

Terminal 4 at New York JFK Airport

JFK Terminal 4 Extenstion for Delta Air Lines Intl Flights | Air Travel News

JFK’s terminal 4, one of the cornerstones in JFK’s Central Terminal Area, was built through a public-private partnership between the Port Authority and the JFK International Air Terminal consortium.  The terminal opened in 2001 and represented the largest public-private partnership of its kind at a North American airport.

More recently, the bi-state agency partnered with Delta Air Lines in 2010 on a $1.2 billion expansion of terminal 4 at JFK airport, which will replace Terminal 3.  While Terminal 3 is rich in history dating back to the origins of the jet age and Pan Am, the terminal has seen better days and is scheduled to be demolished in 2013.

“Just as the Port Authority led the world in the development of aviation facilities, we will again lead the world in new ways to modernize our facilities using new financial models,” said Bill Baroni, the Port Authority’s deputy executive director.

For more about the JFK Terminal 4 project, please see Delta’s JFK Improvements – once the Terminal 4 expansion is completed, Delta Air Lines will move all JFK international operations into the new T4.

Terminal A at Newark International Airport

If you’ve set foot here lately – or anytime over the past 10 years – it’s safe to say this isn’t exactly the most modern or functional of terminals.  The Port Authority is preparing a similar public-private partnership project to replace the outdated facility; it’s likely the PANYNJ will seek to issue a similar request for information from potential partners near the years end.

Port Authority Chairman, David Samson said, “Our agency is facing challenging economic times which demand innovative solutions, and private-public partnerships are possible arrangements the Port Authority must seriously explore as we move forward with the capital planning process.”

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