New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday a plan to completely overhaul LaGuardia Airport that comes with a $4 billion price tag. He made the announcement at a luncheon detailing new infrastructure plans for his state. Vice President Joe Biden was present at the meeting.
Biden, who last year dubbed one of New York's airports "a Third World country," fully supports the plan which will break ground next year. Total construction will take about 18 months, Cuomo said.
"It is actually happening. LaGuardia Airport is un-New York."'
"It is actually happening," said Cuomo. "LaGuardia Airport is un-New York."
The construction will create 8,000 jobs, Cuomo said. The new airport will completely change LaGuardia's current design. Instead of a series of ad hoc terminals, the new airport will consist of one unified terminal that will have connection to mass transportation, including to rail and ferry.
The new airport will be moved about 600 feet closer to the Grand central Parkway to create more space for flight operation, the governor said.
The plan to build a new airport could not be done without the full cooperation of Delta Air Lines since the airline privately leases its own disparate terminals on the site. The governor called the company "a great corporate citizen."
John F. Kennedy Airport will also receive improvements as part of the wider infrastructure overhaul. The airport will get its own new hotel, set to create about 3,700 jobs, Gov. Cuomo said.
The event is the vice president's second in New York state on Monday. Earlier in the day, the pair revealed the details about the siting of a photonics hub in Rochester at a news conference in Western New York.
In October, the two talked about plans to improve the region's airports and announce a design competition. In February 2014, Biden said if he blindfolded someone and took him to LaGuardia, he'd think he was in "some Third World country."
The Associated Press Contributed to the report.