Inside LaGuardia Airport’s Posh New Central Terminal Concourse, Now Open to Passengers

By Jonathan Spira on 1 December 2018
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Attention New Yorkers and visitors: The city that never sleeps now has a brand new airport – or at least part of one.

The first concourse in the newly built replacement Central Terminal building at LaGuardia Airport opened on Saturday. I visited the new structure, also known as Terminal B, for the better part of the day, spoke with passengers, and met with airport officials who were on the ground spearheading the reinvention of LaGuardia.

But first some background.

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LaGuardia Airport in New York City, named after the feisty mayor who demanded an airplane bound for New York actually land within the city’s borders (it first stopped in Newark, New Jersey, prompting the mayor’s outcry), is one of the 20 busiest airports in the United States.

Pan Am’s inaugural flight out of LaGuardia, with a destination of Lisbon, Portugal, took place on March 31, 1940 and it was the airport’s first transatlantic flight. The airport had opened to short-haul flights the previous year as New York Municipal Airport-LaGuardia Field. It received the name LaGuardia Airport in 1953 in honor of Mayor LaGuardia.

The current Central Terminal Building, which opened in 1964, is home to ten airlines including Air Canada, American, Southwest, and United. It’s that cramped, out-of-date structure that Vice President Joe Biden likened to a “third world country” during a 2014 visit.

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