NEW YORK — From restaurants to art, the long-awaited new terminal opening at LaGuardia Airport features a full New York experience.
CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis got a look inside ahead of its opening.
LaGuardia Airport is ready for takeoff of the new Terminal C.
A ribbon-cutting Wednesday marked the substantial completion of the $8 billion airport, six years after construction began.
“It’s a symbol of our resiliency. This, in its final years, occurred during global pandemic,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
Hochul says the project is two years early, marking a major milestone not just for New York, but the country.
“The construction of the United States’ first new airport in 25 years is essentially complete,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said.
Turning around the reputation of the so-called “worst” airport to what officials here now call the “best.”
“When people come to this terminal, to this airport, they will know they’re in New York,” said Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
It features local businesses, restaurants and artists. The artwork was curated by the Queens Museum to reflect the city’s diversity.
You’ll also see a larger security area with special technology to help expedite screening. There’s even a sensory room for children with autism.
The terminal is home to Delta Air Lines.
“We had six gates at LaGuardia. Six, that’s all. With this facility, we now have 37,” Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastain said.
“It’s the first impression people get when they arrive,” said Chris Heywood, with NYC & Company, the city’s tourism agency.
He says this comes as tourism picks back up from the pandemic.
“Every week, hotel occupancy is ticking up. Last week alone, we had 89 percent occupancy. In the middle of the week, it was 92 percent,” Heywood said.
“All our transportation centers should have this same experience. Penn Station, I’m coming after you next,” Hochul said.
The new terminal officially opens to the public on Saturday.
In her speech, the governor gave “recognition where its due” to her predecessor, former governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo released the following statement:
“The new LaGuardia Airport: They said it couldn’t be done. The airport went from the worst to the first. It’s a testament to government competence and its capacity to actually make change.
“Congratulations to Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton and the former members of my administration who worked night and day on this project, particularly Kelly Cummings, Beth Garvey, Pat Foye and Robert Mujica.
“New York leads the way again. Excelsior!”