Delta Air Lines broke ground Tuesday on a $160 million renovation and expansion of its facilities at New York LaGuardia Airport.
The project, which includes a 630-foot connector bridge linking Terminals C and D, a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal C and expanded security lanes in both terminals, comes as Delta creates a new domestic hub at LaGuardia by July 11. It represents the largest expansion project at LaGuardia in more than 40 years.
A concurrent $1.2 billion expansion at Kennedy Airport is aimed at creating the airline’s international hub.
“All together, with our expansion projects at JFK and LaGuardia, Delta is investing nearly $1.4 billion in our New York airport facilities,” said Delta Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson in a statement issued by the airline Wednesday morning. “No other airline is approaching that level of commitment to New York in the next 12 months.”
The new bridge will allow Delta customers to walk between terminals behind security, providing easy access to departure and arrival gates and facilitating convenient connecting flights. Delta has operated out of both terminals since March 25, when it began expanded service at LaGuardia.
Delta’s renovations at LaGuardia will support 700 new jobs along with additional jobs for construction.
Numerous city, state and federal officials were present.
New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy called the project “a great partnership” between city and state officials and Delta.
“Today’s groundbreaking demonstrates how by partnering with businesses we can create hundreds of good jobs for New Yorkers,” Duffy said. “This announcement gives travelers more options for flying across our state and provides a significant boost to our local economy. “
Mayor Bloomberg said he was pleased with what the project means for the city in terms of economic growth.
“When our administration joined with Delta to support its application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for permission to expand service here at LaGuardia Airport, we were excited at the prospect of better air service and 700 new permanent jobs for New Yorkers, as well as more than 100 new construction jobs,” Bloomberg said. “Working with the governor’s team and with the leadership of Queens’ own Congressman Joe Crowley, today we see the fruits of our labor.
Bloomberg said Delta already is hiring to fill out its growing LaGuardia operations. He said that, coupled with the airline’s Terminal 4 expansion project at JFK, is a great sign of confidence in New York City’s future.
Crowley (D-Queens and the Bronx) called the project a significant milestone that will have a positive impact far beyond the airport.
“[It] will bring many benefits to Queens and New York, including the creation of thousands of new jobs, increased economic activity in and around LaGuardia, improved air service and reduced noise pollution,” Crowley said.
Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said Delta is helping the region by laying the groundwork for future economic growth.
Last month the airline added service from LaGuardia to new business markets, including Dallas/Ft. Worth; Miami; Washington-Dulles; Syracuse; Buffalo; Rochester, NY; Richmond, Va.; Norfolk, Va.; Manchester, NH; Burlington, Vt.; Greensboro, NC, and Louisville, Ky.
The second phase of the expansion starts July 11, with service to Denver; Houston; Cleveland; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Milwaukee, Charlotte, NC; Wilmington, NC; Roanoke, Va.; Charlottesville, Va.; and Myrtle Beach, SC.