Delta’s new La Guardia concourse opens Autumn 2019
With summer well underway, Delta is already looking ahead to autumn and to celebrating the next major milestone in the airline's history of investment in New York and at LaGuardia Airport (LGA).
The first of four concourses that will comprise Delta's new state-of-the-art terminal at LGA is scheduled to open this year as the latest part of LGA’s redevelopment. The 105,000-square-foot concourse will feature floor-to-ceiling views of Citi Field and Flushing Bay, gates that can accommodate a range of aircraft types, and dining options from favourite New York chefs and eateries.
"The historic infrastructure project underway at LaGuardia is a significant component of the more than $12 billion Delta is currently investing in airport redevelopment efforts around the country," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. "Our customers and employees are excited to see the LaGuardia of the future more fully come into view. Many thanks to everyone who has been working hard to launch an exciting new era for Delta in New York.”
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo added: “This new milestone in LaGuardia's transformation brings us another step closer in converting the airport into a superb flight hub in line with New York standards." Governor Cuomo has been at the forefront of bringing New York’s airport, including both John F. Kennedy and LGA, up to twenty-first century standards. "Our collaboration with Delta in the development of this concourse and their new LaGuardia terminal is another demonstration of the effectiveness of public-private partnerships at work to modernise our state's infrastructure," he continued.
Delta operates more than 275 peak-day departures from its LGA hub and began construction of a $3.9 billion replacement of Terminals C and D in 2017, building on the airline's extensive investment in New York airports over the past decade. When complete, the new terminal will feature 37 gates across four concourses connected by a centralised check-in lobby, security checkpoint, and baggage claim; dual taxiways that will help reduce hold outs and taxi times; a new, larger Delta Sky Club with a Sky Deck; larger gate areas and more concessions space; and more efficient airport roadways.
The large airport infrastructure project supports the significant investments Delta has also made to in-flight service to provide more consistency, comfort and convenience on flights to and from New York. The airline has added thousands more flights on new aircraft in the market and offers more seatback entertainment and more first class seats than any other airline out of New York City.
Delta has partnered with airport hospitality group OTG to bring chef-driven dining options and authentic local flavours to the new concourse. Chef Mark Iacono of Brooklyn's Lucali consulted on Rossi Pizzeria, a Neapolitan-style pizza and calzone concept, and chefs Jess Shadbolt and Clare de Boer of King Restaurant in Soho consulted on Flatiron Tavern & Provisions, a contemporary tavern that will feature chops, burgers and fresh fish. OTG will also be introducing New York favourites Birch Coffee, H&H Bagels and Juice Press. To ensure dining offerings are relevant throughout the day, the H&H Bagels outpost – available in the morning – will transition to Rossi Pizzeria in the afternoon and evening. Each of the full-service concepts will place power outlets and USB ports at every seat, along with tablets allowing customers to track their flight, browse the web, play games, and order food, drinks and amenities.
"OTG is thrilled to have partnered on such an important project for Delta, its customers and employees, and really the city of New York," said Rick Blatstein, OTG CEO. "The dining options we're introducing at these dynamic concepts reflect the best of what's available in our city, offering Delta's LaGuardia customers the flavours we love and appreciate as New Yorkers."
Meanwhile, Stellar Partners, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of HMS Host, will design retail options for the new facility that provide a wide selection of travel essentials.
"We are very pleased to be part of Delta's elevated and differentiated concessions program at LaGuardia Airport," said Padraig Drennan, Stellar President & CEO. "This is truly a visionary program that will change the airport experience for New Yorkers and visitors to the city, and we could not be more excited to partner with Delta in making this vision a reality."
Unlike airports elsewhere, many US airports lease terminal and gate space to the airlines, making the carriers responsible for the buildings, their maintenance and development. As final preparations continue for the opening of the new concourse, Delta teams recently installed passenger boarding bridges at the gates and energised the facility with permanent power. The airline has also been paving the aircraft ramp areas, testing building systems, and constructing the temporary pedestrian walkway that will connect the new concourse to Delta's existing Terminal D. The security checkpoint in Terminal D will expand to support both concourses until the centralised check-in lobby opens in late 2021.
The new facility features a 12-megawatt Con Edison substation, which is integrated into the upper level of the concourse, providing power for the new terminal. Additionally, all major electrical and mechanical equipment is housed on the upper level to protect such systems from water damage in the event of a major storm. The concourse also features an ice-generation system that reduces electrical consumption at times of peak demand by creating ice at night, when energy demand is lower, and using it to cool the building during the day.
The opening of Delta's first new gates represents another step forward in the comprehensive $8 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport announced by Governor Cuomo in 2015. Under the governor's plan, old facilities are being demolished only as new facilities are completed, enabling the airport – which services 30 million passengers each year – to remain fully operational as the multi-phased construction project continues. To date, Delta's construction features 2,000 tons of steel, more than 50,000 cubic yards of concrete, and more than 40 miles of piping, cabling and other infrastructure.
Delta has invested more than $7 billion in airport projects since 2006, and along with its airport partners, will be involved in an additional $12 billion worth of facilities infrastructure projects in coming years, including improvements in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City and Seattle.
Images courtesy of Delta Air Lines.