June 10, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Governor Andrew Cuomo hosted his daily coronavirus briefing in Queens today to celebrate the opening of LaGuardia Airport’s new arrivals and departures hall.
The state-of-the-art 840,000-square-foot facility in Terminal B opens Saturday and is just one part of the airport’s $8 billion revamp Cuomo announced in 2015.
Cuomo said major infrastructure projects, like the new LaGuardia Airport, will “energize” the state’s reopening from the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
“Our goal is not to just reopen, our goal is to stimulate this economy, to take this moment of pause as a moment to pivot and stimulate and regrow better than before,” he said.
“LaGuardia Airport — now is the time to actually double down on our commitment and on our effort.”
The governor said the state will capitalize the moment of reduced activity as less people are traveling and commuting and less people will be affected by service reductions due to construction.
“Now is the time to do large scale development projects,” Cuomo said. “Now is the time you want to see government investing, the private sector investing in building large scale developments that you know can help drive economic growth.”
Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority, said the new hall is the biggest milestone of the new airport construction since workers broke ground four years ago.
“Today we celebrate the opening of this new arrivals and departures hall, the most significant milestone to date towards the realization toward Governor Cuomo’s vision,” he said.
The four-story facility is 50 percent larger than the old one it replaces. It features gift shops and concession stands from iconic New York brands like F.A.O. Schwarz, Junior’s and Eli Zabar.
Once completed, LaGuardia Airport will be the first new airport in the U.S. in more than 25 years, Cotton said.