LaGuardia Unveils New Terminal B

NEW YORK LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), the private entity operating and redeveloping LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B, has opened a new state of the art Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall over the weekend, marking the largest milestone in the redevelopment project and signifying that the Terminal B project is approximately 80 percent complete. The terminal is part of an $8 billion project to overhaul LaGuardia Airport — $4 billion for Terminal B — and will serve American, Southwest, United and Air Canada Airlines.

[Photo Above: Governor Andrew Cuomo cuts the ribbon at LaGuardia’s new Terminal B.]

The Arrivals and Departures Hall for the new Terminal B is where passengers will check-in, pass through security, enjoy shops, restaurants and services, and pick up their checked baggage. Air Canada, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines will operate all their ticket counters and bag claims from the new hall. The building connects directly to the new eastern concourse gates via a pedestrian bridge built over top of the original terminal – an innovative design incorporated in the new terminal to ensure that the original facility remained operational throughout construction.

Work is continuing on the final piece of the new Terminal B – the western concourse – which will open its first seven (of 17) gates later in 2020. The new Terminal B signals the start of a modern era in New York City infrastructure and aviation and is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s vision for a state of the art unified airport. Once the overall LaGuardia redevelopment is complete, the United States will have its first new airport in more than two decades.

The opening comes at an uncertain time for airlines and the travel industry with demand plunging over the past several months due to coronavirus.

The Arrivals and Departures Hall is an immense 850,000 square feet and includes four levels for passengers. The design incorporates soaring ceilings and an abundance of natural light, creating a comfortable and welcoming ambience for passengers. The top level features the main commercial district, including 17 of the hall’s 21 modern shops and restaurants (due to COVID-19, not all shops and restaurants will open initially).

Local favorites like Eli’s Essentials by New York food legend Eli Zabar, Chef Marc Forgione’s new Mulberry Street restaurant, Junior’s Cheesecake, Brooklyn Diner, Think Coffee, Tony + Benny’s Authentic Brooklyn Pizza, Hill Country, Texas-themed BBQ founded in NYC, NYC Aglow and Bowery Bay Shops offer locals and tourists a taste of New York.

“The opening of the new Arrivals and Departures Hall at Terminal B is the biggest milestone to date in the transformation of LaGuardia Airport into a world-class transportation hub that is worthy of New York State,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we continue to upgrade and modernize this airport for the 21st century, this new state-of-the-art hall will offer passengers a unique travel experience with new concessions, traveler amenities and art installations by four of the world’s leading artists, while increasing space for passengers to move more safely and efficiently during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Rick Cotton, Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director said, “The opening of the first new Arrivals and Departure Hall is a major milestone in delivering on Governor Cuomo’s vision for a brand new, world-class, 21st century LaGuardia Airport that the region deserves. We thank the contractors, subcontractors, and union construction workers who worked through the pandemic to deliver this extraordinary building on time and on budget. Today’s opening should be a shining symbol of the region’s potential for a strong economic recovery with the vitality of New York before COVID-19.”

In July 2015, Governor Cuomo unveiled the vision for a comprehensive redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport, which included the new 1.3 million square foot Terminal B. With a construction value of $4 billion, the Terminal B project is one of the largest public-private partnerships in American history and the largest in US aviation. The Terminal B redevelopment includes a new 35-gate terminal, a parking garage, and a Central Hall, which will unify the airport by connecting to Terminal C, which is also being redeveloped.

Arriving at and departing from LaGuardia’s Terminal B will be an entirely transformed experience. The new Terminal B departures level is dramatically larger and offers four check-in islands with 75 individual check-in kiosks and a central oversize bag check-in station. There are 16 designated security lanes — three times the space for security checks. Dynamic signage in the TSA queue displays passenger wait times and allows queue zones to be adjusted based on passenger demand.

At the arrivals level, nine new large baggage carrousels offer additional space for distancing at baggage pick up.

There are 17 new large bathrooms across the new Arrivals and Departures Hall, featuring touch-free entry, sinks and hand dryers, to create greater opportunities for distancing when compared to the old Central Terminal Building.