NYC's Laguardia gets builder for new terminal

New York's Laguardia Airport, my favorite (but it don't get no respect) has taken a big step toward its major upgrade with the selection of a developer consortium that will design, build and operate a new terminal to handle double the passengers with double the shops and restaurants as well.


The consortium, which includes a major builder and two big banks, will work with the Port Authority of NY and NJ, the airport operator, to design and build the new terminal. In return for putting up 2/3 of the $3.6 billion cost, the partners will be given a 35-year lease to operate and profit from the new terminal. Completion is set for 2021, but experts are already saying "don't hold your breath for that date."


Laguardia is the smallest and closest in of New York's three airports, with its runways extending out into Long Island Sound. In the past year, the Port Authority has discussed removing some of its flight limitations to allow better connections to international flights.



Terminal B, known as the Central Terminal, is just over 50 years old; it opened in time for the New York World's Fair, and was designed to eventually handle 8 million passengers a year; recently it has been handling 13 million, with the added burden of post 9/11 security screening as well. Another issue, not addressed in the new contract but being worked on as well, is the airport's need for a connection to the city's rail and subway systems.


In addition to Terminal B, which will be replaced as construction takes place, the airport has three other terminals. The historic Terminal A, known as the Marine Air Terminal, serves Delta's shuttle and some regional flights; it was originally the base for PanAm's Clippers, flying boats that opened early overwater routes. Terminal C was built for Eastern and Terminal D for Delta. C, which was used for a number of years by USAir, is now Delta's also.


MORE details on the new contract. 

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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Estimated construction costs of $3.6 billion....


Shall we start a pool on what the real costs will end up being?  I'd guess double that.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

So you're taking the low end of the pool? LOL!


Actually, there is a smallish incentive to keep the cost low as possible, because the consortium's $2.5 billion share is meant to be made back out of operating profits once the terminal is open. So, if they run the cost up, it will take them longer to get their money back.


On the other hand, my guess at the scenario is that they'll have arranged for most of any overrun to come from PA or state funds...

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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