US Vice President Joe Biden famously described transiting through New York’s LaGuardia Airport as akin to travelling through a “third-world country”.
“It's embarrassing, and it's stupid. It's stupid,” he added, when talking about the hub in February 2014.
Finally, surely to the delight of millions of air travellers who utilise the airport, New York has revealed a $4 billion (AU$5.5 billion) plan for a new LaGuardia airport, to be completely rebuilt by 2021.
On hand at the announcement was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and ironically (or cleverly) Biden himself, who praised the massive project for boosting the economy, the New York Times reported.
“Best of all, it’s not a plan, it’s not a sketch, it’s not a dream, it’s not a vision,” Biden added. “It is actually happening.”
Speaking in Manhattan, Cuomo said the project “replaces the airport in its entirety” because planners had concluded there was no way to fix the aging hub, which over the years has been widely criticised for its check-in and security processes, baggage handling, wi-fi, design and even cleanliness. The airport has also experienced a rise in homeless people seeking shelter at the airport. Worst of all, LaGuardia is considered one of the most delay-plagued airports in the country, according to the NY Times.
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The man at the helm of the committee charged with developing the plan for the airport, Daniel R. Tishman said key to the new LaGuardia would be the creation of an aesthetically pleasing, unified airport to replace the current network of disconnected terminals.
By moving the airport slightly southwards, the new airport would also add over three kilometres of new taxiways, while transport to the Queens hub would be improved by a new rail link and ferry service, Governor Cuomo said.
One of the busiest airports in the world for its size, LaGuardia serves nearly 30 million passengers a year.
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