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New York LaGuardia’s winning formula


LaGuardia Terminal B gives the airport and New York a world class facility that it deserves, writes Vantage Airport Group’s chair and CEO, George Casey.

One of the few industry highlights of 2020 has to be the completion of the spectacular new Arrivals & Departures Hall at LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B, a key moment in the $5.1 billion transformation of the terminal into a world class facility.

Representing the largest public-private partnership in US aviation history, this monumental project follows the vision outlined by New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in creating a unified, 21st century terminal system, and is now 80% complete.

As LaGuardia Gateway Partners’ (LGP) lead developer, equity investor and terminal manager with oversight of the construction programme, Vantage Airport Group has been proud to lead the project alongside the Port Authority since it first initiated its plans to redevelop Terminal B in 2011.

To meet and exceed the Port Authority’s objectives for a new Terminal B, Vantage assembled a winning team, which took a holistic approach to planning, design, management and operations, airline engagement and financing.

We proposed an alternative design concept that accelerated construction, lowered capital and operating costs and enhanced operational efficiency, led transparent negotiations with the airlines to get project buy-in, and created a strong financing solution that generated significant market interest.

We also leveraged our expertise to ensure an exceptional passenger experience, rooted in safety and security.

The opening of the Arrivals & Departures Hall is an important step forward in our collective efforts to revolutionise one of New York’s most important gateways and a critical piece of US aviation infrastructure.

Together with the Port Authority, airlines, the TSA, concessionaires and other key stakeholders, we have created a world-class terminal that entirely transforms the passenger experience and helps deliver on Governor Cuomo’s vision for a unified LaGuardia.

With the completion of the Arrivals & Departures Hall, I believe that we have set a world class airport experience standard not just at LaGuardia, but for the entire US airport system.

Delivered on time, within budget and without impacting airport operations, the 850,000 square foot, four-level Arrivals & Departures Hall now welcomes all Terminal B passengers to check-in, pass through centralised, state-of-the-art security screening, experience new shops, restaurants and amenities, and pick up their checked baggage.

The new facility brings the vibrant New York spirit to the overall airport experience through architectural and design finishes inspired by New York’s iconic neighbourhoods, and the incredible collection of public art installations commissioned for the terminal through a partnership with the Public Art Fund.

Following the August 5 opening of the first seven gates of the western concourse, the team will now focus its efforts on completing the final components of Terminal B, which includes demolition of the original terminal.

Once finished, the new Terminal B will include 1.3 million square feet of new space, as well as elevated dual pedestrian bridges spanning active taxi-lanes, a first-in-the-world concept envisioned by Vantage and brought to life by design and architecture partner HOK.

With 25 years of experience managing and operating more than 30 airports around the world, Vantage is managing Terminal B through 2050.

We see the successful delivery of LaGuardia Terminal B as an example of how airports and private partners can work together to manage complexities, risks and opportunities for the benefit of key stakeholders.

Wholly-owned by a perpetual fund of Corsair Infrastructure Partners (CIP), Vantage is actively pursuing opportunities in the US airport sector that play to our strengths: partnering to invest in, plan, develop and manage complex airport management and infrastructure projects, like LaGuardia’s Terminal B.

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