Traveling to or from New York City in the next decade? You might run into a bit of construction.
As of late Monday, state and federal government approved a plan to undergo maintenance at two of New York City’s travel focal points: LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports.
Announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden, the measure outlines the following multibillion dollar upgrades for the two aging airports: state-of-the-art facility enhancements, improved transportation methods, coastal protection, emergency management, energy supply, and up-to-date air-traffic control technology.
“The front doors for business and tourism are the airports,” the Democratic governor said at an aeronautics school in the borough of Queens, where both travel hubs are situated. “Airports themselves, let alone the front door, are a very big business.”
The layout designs of the repairs will be picked from a $500,000 competition beginning next month. As a result, neither cost nor completion dates have been released for the project, Cuomo explained.
Operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, both airports served 77 million passengers and generated $53 billion last year, according to the state.
Advocated within the initiative is the creation of a regional cargo distribution center 67 miles north of midtown Manhattan, at Stewart International Airport. The new hub would serve as a means to allow cargo to be diverted from JFK, thereby freeing up space at JFK in order to expand other services and amenities.
In Republic, a suburban airport in East Farmingdale on Long Island, the initiative will look to find a new operator. Altogether, setting up tax-free zones at both Republic and Stewart airports.
Described as fit for a “third world country” by Biden, LaGuardia is set to get treated to a fresh redesign, including a completely new airport blueprint, and a high-speed ferry and rail transport.
“From LaGuardia to Manhattan by water can only be a couple of miles,” Cuomo said. “How can you not use that access route better and faster?”
LaGuardia and JFK house employment to 50,000 people, making the initiative a vital action to follow through with for the state.
“Investing in infrastructure is all about jobs,” Biden said.
Together, the duo carry over 140 years in the industry, with LaGuardia’s inception in the late-30s and JFK’s in the mid-40s.