PROJECT WATCH – LAGUARDIA AIRPORT

Project watch - LaGuardia Airport

New Terminal B, funded, built and operated under the public-private partnership (PPP) model to spearhead the transformation of LaGuardia Airport.

Project details

Location: New York City, USA

Important developments: New Terminal B

Scheduled opening date: 2019

Principal companies involved: LaGuardia Gateway Partners (Vantage Group, Skanska USA, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Meridiam Infrastructure, HOK and Walsh Construction)

Total investment: €3.6 billion

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has approved the first phase of a new vision for LaGuardia Airport by selecting LaGuardia Gateway Partners to develop a new $3.6 billion world-class facility.

It will demolish LaGuardia’s existing Central Terminal Building and replace it with a new 1.3 million square foot, 35-gate terminal that PANYNJ says will create a more passenger friendly gateway with “better connected” terminals.

It is quite simply one of the most ambitious Public-Private Partnership (PPP) or (P3) projects ever undertaken in the New York/New Jersey region.

The new Terminal B is expected to serve around half of LaGuardia’s passengers consistent with the recommendations of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Airport Advisory Panel.

According to PANYNJ, the decision to modernise the gateway is the culmination of its multi-year procurement process to select a team of leading private-sector construction, engineering, planning, airport management and finance firms to work with it in an innovative public-private partnership to construct the first phase of redevelopment of LaGuardia.

It follows preliminary recommendations from Governor Cuomo’s Airport Advisory Panel and represents the first phase of a comprehensive master plan for a 21st century LaGuardia Airport.

The Panel’s recommendations call for the creation of a state-of-the-art airport that will for the first time seek to unite the airport’s current four disconnected terminals.

And it wants the new terminal designed to seamlessly integrate with future amenities recommended by the Governor’s Panel such as premier retail and dining space; a hotel; a conference and business centre and other modern features that will generate revenue for PANYNJ.

The amenities will also include transportation features such as an AirTrain, ferry service and a people mover to help passengers traverse the entire airport.

Construction of the Terminal B project will be funded by a public-private partnership, with the private sector contributing more than $2 billion and PANYNJ contributing more than $1 billion to construct the airport and supporting infrastructure.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the private development team, will be responsible for designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the new terminal.

Its members comprise Canada’s Vantage Airport Group, Skanska USA, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Meridiam Infrastructure, HOK and Walsh Construction.

PANYNJ chairman, John Degnan, says: “By utilising an innovative public-private partnership in this endeavour, the agency is also taking another important step in bringing state-of-the-art financing techniques to the task of updating our region’s airports and other critical infrastructure.”

While PANYNJ’s vice chairman, Scott Rechler, believes the long waited decision to revamp LaGuardia will mean that its days as the “stepchild” of New York’s JFK and Newark international airports will soon be coming to an end.

“We have taken the first step in moving forward with a comprehensive master plan to redevelop LaGuardia into a 21st century, world-class airport that the State of New York deserves,” he enthuses.

President and CEO of LaGuardia Gateway Partners, Stewart Steeves, says: “We look forward to partnering with the Port Authority on this significant project for the city and state of New York.

“The team is ready to deliver an exceptional experience for the airport community and the travellers who will pass through the new terminal.

“We will develop a world-class facility and bring the level of operational expertise needed to deliver the airport New Yorkers deserve, both during construction and throughout long-term operations.”

Skanska USA describes the LaGuardia PPP and its involvement in it as its “biggest ever project”. It has a 40% equity share in LaGuardia Partners and is expected to be responsible for 70% of the construction work on the terminal project.

In terms of developing the rest of the LaGuardia site, Governor Cuomo’s Airport Advisory Panel has also presented a number of recommendations to PANYNJ. They include:

  • Unifying world-class architectural appearance across all new elements of the New LaGuardia;
  • Creating a central arrival and departures portal with first-class shopping, dining, and business amenities linking previously disconnected terminals;
  • Building a future hotel on the airport ground;
  • Expanding LaGuardia’s rail connections, including plans for an AirTrain connecting the airport to the subway for the first time;
  • Installing a new people-mover that enables passengers to traverse easily from one end of the airport to the other;
  • Introducing a cell-phone lot waiting area and improved road configuration
  • Ensuring adequate level of parking to accommodate travelers arriving by car at the airport.

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