Improved rail access to JFK and Newark and the increased use and investment in secondary airports like ISP and SWF make more sense than improving LaGuardia…in fact LGA should be completely demolished. That’s the opinion of George Haikalis in a New York Times published in an op-ed piece this morning. It’s definitely an interesting read! He notes that there are precedents for replacing airports close to major cities with modern airports further away.
The money budgeted for the LaGuardia upgrades would be better used to create a long-proposed one-ride express-rail link between Manhattan and JFK, by reviving a long-disused, 3.5-mile stretch of track in central Queens and completing the modernization of the terminals at Kennedy. Currently, passengers who use the AirTrain to reach Kennedy must transfer from subways or the Long Island Rail Road. A world-class, direct rail trip to Kennedy could match the current travel time of even a fast, off-peak car trip to LaGuardia.
With the consolidation of the major United States airlines and the sluggishness in the global economy, the much larger Kennedy and Newark airports could accommodate La Guardia’s passenger load, by adding more frequent service and using larger aircraft, if the F.A.A. were to lift the caps on the number of flights allowed there. Kennedy, with its two sets of parallel runways, could handle many more flights, particularly as new air-traffic control technology is introduced in the next few years.
Most flights serving La Guardia already duplicate flights that serve Kennedy and Newark. Many of these flights are to a relatively small number of regional hubs. Average loads per flight at La Guardia are only two-thirds those at Kennedy. Small regional jets, with fewer than 100 seats per plane, make up a little more than half of La Guardia’s peak-period flights. Airline efficiency would be improved by concentrating traffic on fewer, larger aircraft, while still maintaining service to major hubs.
Living in midtown, I always choose LGA when traveling domestically and I’d certainly miss it. Though, if I could be guaranteed a short 15 minute non-stop train ride from midtown to JFK or EWR, I’d deal with it. What do you think? Check out the full piece here.
LGA Related –
- Long-Haul Flights Coming to LaGuardia? LAX, SFO, SEA, LAS, LHR, CDG, & DUB??
- LGA Update Begins – United & DL Hangars Torn Down for New Central Terminal Building
- Finally! AirTrain coming to LaGuardia (LGA) & Possible Terminal Redesign
- AA History at LaGuardia – First Admirals Club, Original Logos & Skywalk