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Cuomo, Biden Unveil Big Plans for New York's LaGuardia Airport

PHOTO: The planned revitalization of New York City's LaGuardia Airport is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to the region. Photo courtesy Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
PHOTO: The planned revitalization of New York City's LaGuardia Airport is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to the region. Photo courtesy Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
July 28, 2015

NEW YORK – Promising vastly improved infrastructure and thousands of new jobs, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden announced an ambitious plan on Monday which they say will revitalize New York City's LaGuardia Airport.

Since LaGuardia was built in 1939, it has become somewhat legendary for its outdated facilities, delays and overcrowding. An advisory panel appointed by Cuomo came up with a plan that the governor says doesn't just rehabilitate it, but replaces the airport entirely.

"Welcome to New York's new LaGuardia Airport," he said. "This is what New York deserves, and it has deserved, and now we're going to get it."

The plan calls for consolidation of terminals, a new hotel, expansion of taxiing space for aircraft and improved access to public transportation. It will break ground next year, with the first half of the project expected to open to passengers in 2019.

The project will cost some $4 billion, with half of that amount coming from the private sector.

Vice President Biden, who once compared LaGuardia to being in "a third world country," predicts the new facility will be an economic boon to New York and a model for the rest of the country.

"This new investment is expected to generate an additional 8,000 direct jobs, and 18,000 total jobs in the region," he said. "Middle class jobs, jobs you can raise a family on."

Governor Cuomo also announced he has given the advisory board 12 months to compile recommendations for future developments at JFK International Airport.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY