LaGuardia airport has unveiled the next stage of its $8 billion transformation project, with the opening of a new Arrivals and Departures Hall at Terminal B.
The four-storey building officially opened to the public this weekend, serving flights from American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Air Canada.
Facilities include four check-in islands with 75 individual check-in kiosks, and 16 security lanes with “dynamic signage” displaying wait times and allowing queue zones to be adjusted based on passenger demand.
New security screening technology includes “an Artificial Intelligence-based, robotic assisted convenience system” for checked luggage, which “quickly troubleshoots and diverts high-risk baggage for deeper inspection”, and new body screening and metal detecting equipment with larges screening areas eliminating the need for travellers to raise arms overhead.
In arrivals there are nine new baggage carousels, and across the hall there are 17 bathrooms featuring touch-free entry, sinks and hand dryers.
Four public art installations have been commissioned by the Public Art Fund in partnership with LaGuardia Gateway Partners, with works by artists Jeppe Hein, Sabine Hornig, Laura Owens and Sarah Sze.
There are a total of 17 retail, food and beverage concessions, including Eli’s Essentials by New York’s Eli Zabar, Chef Marc Forgione’s new Mulberry Street restaurant, Junior’s Cheesecake, Brooklyn Diner, Think Coffee, Tony and Benny’s Authentic Brooklyn Pizza, Hill Country, NYC Aglow and Bowery Bay Shops.
The airport has highlighted the enhanced cleaning procedures in place in the light of Covid-19, including “high touch surface cleaning teams on-site and visible by the branded vests they wear”.
Passengers, staff and TSA officials are required to wear face masks, and digital signage displays Covid-19 related safety measures including guidance on social distancing. There is also ongoing testing of touchless technology at SITA check-in counters, and UV cleaning technology on escalator handrails.
LaGuardia’s transformation project has already seen the opening of a new Delta concourse last year, and will eventually see the demolition and replacement of every terminal and concourse at the airport, except for the historically landmarked Marine Air Terminal.
Commenting on the unveiling New York’s Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said:
“The opening of the new Arrivals and Departures Hall at Terminal B is the biggest milestone to date in the transformation of LaGuardia Airport into a world-class transportation hub that is worthy of New York State.
“As we continue to upgrade and modernize this airport for the 21st century, this new state-of-the-art hall will offer passengers a unique travel experience with new concessions, traveller amenities and art installations by four of the world’s leading artists, while increasing space for passengers to move more safely and efficiently during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.”