Delta Chief Executive, Ed Bastian, said at a business conference that his company could not be held responsible for the deteriorating condition of LaGuardia Airport. Delta accounts for 50% of the flights at LaGuardia, which has been referred to as a Third World airport by Vice President Joe Biden. Delta contends that they keep their terminals C and D up-to-date. “I think most of the references to LaGuardia have been to the Central Terminal Building as compared to our terminals,” Mr. Bastian said. “We’re not in there, we’re not a part of that.” Regardless, Delta Airlines has conceded to build a new terminal replacing terminals C & D. According to Crain’s, the company authorized $600 million toward the construction at LaGuardia, where it has negotiated to keep it’s lease agreement through the year 2050. Delta agreed to perform construction on its new terminal and finance the project. “We’re looking at a $3 billion investment by Delta alone,” said Bastian. The new Delta Terminals are expected to be completed by 2024.
This comes after New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo’s $4 billion initiative made on July 27, 2015 to completely replace LaGuardia airport’s Central Terminal. In June, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns and operates the region’s major airports, entered an agreement with LaGuardia Gateway Partners to completely rebuild the Central Terminal. LaGuardia Gateway Partners will completely demolish the large parking garage in front of the main terminal to make way for the new 1.3 million-square-foot building. According to the Post, the new Central terminal will be more than 33% larger and feature dual pedestrian bridges over aircraft taxi lanes, connecting the terminal to two island concourses. This is the first time the islands-and-bridges design will be built at a major airport. Aside for replacing the crumpling 1930 structure, the new design aims to improve airline congestion and ease of navigation, and hopefully can help reduce airport delays. “This comprehensive vision integrates a modern, efficient and innovative design, including the striking all-glass facade, into La Guardia’s main terminal,” said Joseph Sitt, the Chairman of the Global Gateway Alliance.
LaGuardia Airport served more than 27 million passengers last year. That is well over double what it was built to handle. The principally domestic airport is the 20th busiest in the United States.
“I think we’re doing everything we possibly can,” said Mr. Bastian. “If you ask the governor he’d say Delta has been a great corporate citizen to lead the way.”
By Hadassa Kalatizadeh
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