LaGuardia Airport has been getting quite the makeover (don’t forget its stunning new Terminal B), and next on the list is a direct AirTrain from Manhattan.
Though the project has been in the works for a few years, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) just officially approved construction last week. It came after a two-year-long environmental review process.
The proposed AirTrain would allow New Yorkers and travelers to get from Midtown Manhattan to the airport in 30 minutes, a much faster and more reliable journey via public transportation than what’s currently available. The AirTrain would have one station connecting to the NYC Subway via the 7 line, and another to the Long Island Railroad via the Port Washington Branch at Mets-Willets Point in Queens.
Currently, LaGuardia is the only major East Coast airport with no direct rail link.
“The new LaGuardia Airport—the first new airport in the United States in over 25 years and the front door to New York—deserves a reliable, efficient, and affordable transit connector worthy of its destination,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “With the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval today of the LaGuardia AirTrain, that’s exactly what New Yorkers will get. This is the culmination of years of advocacy by this administration and a key moment in our efforts to rebuild New York’s infrastructure for the future.”
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is approved to begin construction this summer and the train could be running as soon as 2025, according to the New York Times.
The news doesn’t come without controversy, however. The plan has be criticized by local officials like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and State Senator Jessica Ramos due to its massive cost and potential negative effects on the local Queens community, and also concerns over environmental issues. You can read a more in-depth critique of the project on VICE here.