Work starts on new $4 billion Delta Airways LaGuardia terminal

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Work has started on a $4 billion new terminal at LaGuardia Airport after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey signed a new, long-term lease with Delta Airlines.

The groundbreaking marks the beginning of construction on the final component of the entirely new, unified airport at LaGuardia, which will provide all LaGuardia travelers with state-of-the-art amenities and expanded public transportation, including the planned AirTrain, according to a press release from the office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo also announced a breakthrough with LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), the firm that is building the western half of the airport. JLC Infrastructure, a joint venture comprising Magic Johnson Enterprises and Loop Capital Markets LLC, will become an MWBE investor with LGP, marking the first time in the state’s history that there will be an MWBE firm investing equity in a public-private construction project.

“LaGuardia is a pillar of New York’s transportation network and a key driver of economic growth, but for too long the airport has been unworthy of New York State,” Cuomo said in the statement. “The groundbreaking at Delta’s facilities represents another step forward as we build an entirely new airport at LaGuardia. Together with our private sector partners, we are making rapid progress to create the world-class gateway to the Empire State that New Yorkers deserve.”

laguardia terminal delta
Rendering of the new $4 billion Delta LaGuardia terminal

Delta is investing $3.4 billion to construct the eastern half of the new LaGuardia-the first new airport in the United States in more than 20 years. The western half, as well as the roadways, are already under construction following a groundbreaking in June 2016. The first new gates are scheduled to open next year and the new airport is on track to be fully completed by 2021.

The Port Authority says it is committing $600 million to leverage Delta’s $3.4 billion investment to rebuild its terminal and gate facilities at LaGuardia Airport. The Port Authority’s commitment includes $200 million towards the new Delta facilities, including the construction of new concourses and ramps; $185 million for a new electrical substation to support the power requirements of the new building, plus an expansion of the East Garage and temporary parking during construction; and $215 million for new roadway and additional supporting infrastructure that is typically the responsibility of the Port Authority in new terminal developments.

Delta’s investment in the new facility is the airline’s largest investment in its history and is one of the largest private investments in a public asset in New York State. This project builds on Delta’s past investments in New York’s airports, including more than $2 billion at John F. Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia airport over the past decade.

In July 2015, Gov. Cuomo and then vice-president Joe Biden unveiled the master plan for the new airport at LaGuardia. The $8 billion project, nearly three-quarters of which represents private funding, will transform LaGuardia Airport into a single, unified facility with expanded transportation access, significantly increased taxiway space and best-in-class passenger amenities.