Governor Unveils Plan to Modernize New York Airports

Cuomo and Biden

Flying to, from, and through New York is about to become much more pleasant thanks to a new plan to revitalize and modernize four New York airports, including LaGuardia and JFK airports in New York City, Republic Airport on Long Island, and Stewart airport in the Hudson Valley.

Unveiled this week by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden, the plan promises "state-of-the-art" facility upgrades that will bring the airports up to "21st Century standards for service, access, and amenities."

As part of his plan, Cuomo has launched master plan design competitions for LaGuardia and JFK airports.

At LaGuardia, competition entrants will be asked to consider the following elements: improved transportation to the airport, including possible high-speed ferries and improved rail service; a redesigned airport layout to increase access, including a potential ferry terminal at the airport; state-of-the-art amenities to offer better customer service and a diverse food and retail experience; and more resilient infrastructure in order to prepare the airport's facilities to meet increasing and extreme weather threats.

At JFK, competition entrants will be asked to redesign the entire airport, with special focus on: enhancing the transportation network, including that of the existing AirTrain that currently shuttles passengers between terminals, parking areas, and the subway and Long Island Rail Road; exploring the need to increase hotel capacity in the immediate area surrounding the airport; implementing state-of-the-art amenities that are reflective of the New York region and also provide guests an array of dining and shopping options; and upgrading facilities across-the-board to modernize the airport.

At Stewart airport, efforts will be focused on establishing a regional cargo distribution hub for FedEx, UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Finally, at Republic airport, the state will seek a new airport operator and will attempt to attract new tenants to occupy vacant land, as well as vacant hangar, office, and restaurant space.

"The No. 1 job of government is to promote economic growth and prosperity, and one of the best ways to drive commerce is by investing in infrastructure that connects New York with local, national, and international markets," Cuomo said. "This is more important for New York than ever before, which is why the state is ambitiously investing in roads, bridges, and tunnels on a scale that we haven't seen in decades. Our airport modernization plan not only enhances how our individual airports look and act in the 21st Century -- but addresses how they must fundamentally work together to strategically grow New York's economy."

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