Yesterday saw the opening of the brand-new Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall at LaGuardia Airport, the biggest milestone to date in the airport’s ongoing $8 billion transformation into a 21st century airport. The project – one of the largest public private partnerships in aviation history – includes the demolition and replacement of every terminal and concourse except for the historically landmarked Marine Air Terminal.
LaGuardia was certainly never the favourite option for passenger experience for New York, however the cavernous, 850,000-square-foot, four-story Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall should now provide New York’s travellers with a decent passenger experience including local concessions, large, modern restrooms and a New York-inspired shopping district.
The new Arrivals and Departures Hall also showcases permanent public art installations curated by the Public Art Fund, enhancing the passenger experience and underscoring New York’s global position as a beacon for arts and culture.
The new Terminal B departures level is dramatically larger and offers four check-in islands with 75 individual check-in kiosks and a central oversize bag check-in station. Post check-in, there are 16 designated security lanes – three times the space for security checks hopefully dramatically reducing dwell times. The airport now features dynamic signage for TSA queue information which should allows queue zones to be adjusted based on passenger demand.
Understanding the pain points of the passengers using the airport, security screening at LaGuardia’s new Terminal B now includes three state-of-the-art technology systems to expedite screening while prioritising the safety of passengers.
It’s seemingly all about creating a sense of personal space, something that has never been more relevant. Even at the arrivals level, nine new large baggage carrousels offer additional space for distancing at baggage pick up.
In the departures hall, it’s all about food and art, including many familiar businesses that are located in New York. To enable customers to shop and dine while waiting for their flights, concessions are centralized post-security in a main commercial district of the new Arrivals and Departures Hall with 17 best-in-class retail, food and beverage amenities.
The new Arrivals and Departures Hall also come to life through four permanent public art installations commissioned by Public Art Fund in partnership with LaGuardia Gateway Partners. Artists Jeppe Hein, Sabine Hornig, Laura Owens, and Sarah Sze have created four pieces designed specifically for the new facility which speak to the enduring spirit, sense of wonder and vitality that New York embodies.
The overall difference to the passenger experience is certainly noticeable and this clean, slick approach to terminal design will once again reposition LaGuardia as a valid entry and departure point for New York. The clever use of light, space and colours help create a consistent, clean and modern airport terminal design – albeit very North American in approach – that will do it justice for many years to come.