Originally published on Travel Market Report.
Two years after he called New York’s LaGuardia Airport a “third world facility,” Vice President Joe Biden was at the airport on Tuesday to break ground on a $4 billion renovation designed to finally bring LaGuardia into the 21st century.
“The greatest city in the world—and New York is—needs and deserves the greatest infrastructure in the world,” he said.
Biden joined N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo, Port Authority executive director Pat Foye, and representatives from American Airlines, JetBlue, United, Southwest, Air Canada, and Delta.
“This is not just going to be rebuilding of what was; it’s going to be a whole new airport—one unified, contiguous state-of-the-art airport,” Cuomo said.
Terminals A and B will be completely demolished and rebuilt as “state of the art” facilities, Cuomo said. The airport will be moved closer to the Grand Central Parkway, which will increase flight operations by 240%, and a new roadway network, a 3,000-space parking garage, AirTran and ferry service, and a central terminal building will be added.
Delta, which owns and operates terminals B and C, said it also is in advance discussions with the Port Authority to redevelop its terminals.
The project will also increase the passenger capacity of Terminal B from 14 million to 17.5 million.
Biden acknowledged his negative comments back in January 2014 were “not very popular with anyone,” and lauded Cuomo and the Port Authority for working to make things right.
The project, which will provide 18,000 direct and indirect jobs to New York, is the largest public-private partnership in the history of the United States. Two-thirds of the work will be financed by the private sector—lead by the LaGuardia Gateway Partners group.