Construction crews broke ground this week on the new $4 billion Delta terminal at New York City's LaGuardia Airport, according to Curbed New York. The terminal is part of a broader airport overhaul that is expected to be complete by 2021, NBC reported.
The airport is also gaining a celebrity investor with NBA star Earvin "Magic" Johnson's announcement that his enterprise team would be an equity investor with Loop Capital Markets in the consortium leading an overhaul of the airport's Terminal B, LaGuardia Gateway Partners, CNN Money reported.
The consortium will design, build and maintain Terminal B as part of its 35-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The overall $8 billion overhaul, which includes the Delta portion, will be the largest airport project since the Denver International Airport opened in 1995.
The Delta groundbreaking marks the beginning of the end for this round of LaGuardia's massive revamp. Before the overhaul could reach that point, though, the Port Authority and Delta Air Lines had to agree on the details of the 37-gate terminal redevelopment. Delta has said it will contribute $3.4 billion toward the project — plus any cost overruns — and the Port Authority will pay $600 million.
The project comes at an opportune time for LaGuardia, as city officials look to modernize the region's major airports. According to the Port Authority, New York City–area airports saw revenue-passenger traffic of more than 131 million for the 12-month period ending in January 2017. Delta Air Lines, second only to United Airlines, accounted for more than 29 million of that total.
Some officials are looking to build on the current airport redevelopment momentum by offering somewhat unconventional expansion proposals. In April, the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform suggested the soon-to-be-shuttered Rikers Island jail grounds as a third runway for LaGuardia.
While that plan is not likely to pass muster with those living along the proposed flight path, the city's neighboring John F. Kennedy International Airport and New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport are both gearing up for their own renovation projects.
In July, officials took their first steps toward making the $10 billion JFK revamp a reality by soliciting master-plan proposals. The winning bidder will come up with a plan to connect existing terminals, redesign airport roads with an eye toward reducing congestion, expand the AirTrain rail system and centralize airport parking. A public-private partnership delivery method has been suggested for the project.
Construction crews broke ground in June on a $2.4 billion terminal renovation at Liberty to accommodate more passengers. The project includes three new bridges, a new parking garage and a complete overhaul of the terminal's interior. Officials have indicated that the renovation will create more than 10,000 jobs and provide a roughly $4 billion economic boost for the area.