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Thursday, 09 January 2014 13:18cat

La Guardia Replacement Contract to be Awarded this Spring

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La Guardia airport is ranked the worst airport in the United States La Guardia airport is ranked the worst airport in the United States Bloomberg News

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are hoping to pick a group of winning bidders for the La Guardia airport replacement this spring.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the outdated, undersized airport in his State of the State address on Wednesday.  He cited the fact that La Guardia is currently ranked the worst airport in America as the main reason the Port Authority needs to finally award a contract to redesign the existing terminal.  He even mentioned that he would like to take political ownership of the project to ensure it gets completed. 

La Guardia is one of the two airports located in New York City, and one of the three airports that serve the city if one includes Newark Liberty International airport located in New Jersey.  In 2012, La Guardia airport handled 25.7 million travelers, an increase of over six percent from the previous year.  In total, the three airports handle over 105 million passengers each year making it the second largest airport system in the world behind London’s six airports.  The original La Guardia terminal was built in 1939, and the runways were expanded in the 1960s to accommodate larger jets.  The airport currently has 4 terminals.  As delays at La Guardia have increased in both frequency and time, many travelers have demanded a new airport be built.

The Port Authority estimates the project will cost $3.6 billion, but many people in the airline industry believe the final price will be much higher than that figure.  According to one person familiar with the project, it will be “the most complicated construction project in the country” when the work begins.  The construction will have to be completed in a way that allows the airport to remain operational during the length of the project.  This will prove to be difficult, as the project is believed to have an end date of at least 2020.  Disruptions to parking and public transit at the airport will likely lead to even more flight delays.  The Port Authority has already started work on the project by committing $600 million to build a new power substation.  The four bidders competing for the contract are believed to be designing a 35-gate terminal that will serve 17.5 million passengers a year by 2030.

Sources: WSJSkiftPanynj

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