You might say that LaGuardia isn’t a shining advertisement for New York with its bare bones feel and seemingly permanent construction zone vibe. But some relief is in sight. Delta Air Lines’ first new concourse will be opening to the travelling public today, Monday, November 4, 2019. Possibly not a moment too soon for LaGuardia regulars.
Today’s opening is just one step in Delta’s USD$3.9 billion investment at LaGuardia. And that spend is merely half of the USD$8 billion being poured into upgrading the airport that will see substantial upgrades in passenger amenities, security, and technology. Work around the airport is expected to continue until 2026.
Delta has a big presence at LaGuardia
Delta Air Lines, which has up to 275 arrivals and departures a day at LaGuardia, is building four concourses all connected to a central terminal core where passengers will check in and pass through security. Delta’s remaining concourses are expected to be up and running by late 2021 or early 2022.
In the meantime, Delta’s LaGuardia passengers who get lucky and arrive or depart from one of the new concourse’s seven gates will get to use the 105,000 square foot space Delta Air Lines is describing as a “showpiece”.
In a statement provided to Simple Flying, Delta Airlines called the concourse “a milestone in the complete rebuild of LaGuardia. Ryan Marzullo, Delta’s Managing Director – New York Construction, said;
“The opening of this concourse at LaGuardia represents not only a major milestone for Delta’s new terminal but also our continued commitment to our employees, our customers and our facilities here in this great state.”
Natural light at LaGuardia
Besides the obvious advantages of a squeaky clean new concourse where everything works, passengers using the new concourse will enjoy a significant upgrade in the basics – more seating, outlets for charging devices, respite areas to rest, hearing loop technology, digital wayfaring signage, and more spacious gate areas. The new concourse also has a broad range of food and beverage options. And there’s natural light – it’s amazing the difference windows and light can make to a space.
It’s still a while until Delta’s work at LaGuardia finishes. But when it is complete, in the next few years, the terminal will have 37 gates over four concourses. The concourses will fan out from a central terminal that will house check in facilities, security, and baggage claim zones. Delta also is promising a new Sky Club with a Sky Deck.
Outside, taxi flows will be streamlined to help pick up the pace at the ranks and there will be significant work done on airport access and exit roads. New York’s Port Authority is building a rail connection to the airport, expected to be completed in 2024.
Today’s opening of the new concourse to travelers is a welcome step forward at the airport. With construction ongoing, LaGuardia is still going to be a miserable mess for a while, but when it is done and the last of the construction dust is washed away, the airport might be a worthy match for one of the great cities of the world.