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LaGuardia Airport

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FAA diagram of LaGuardia Airport

This is the most common use of LGA. For other uses, see LGA (disambiguation).

Fiorello LaGuardia Airport is located in Flushing, a neighborhood within the New York City borough of Queens, New York near the Flushing Bay. Named after a former Mayor of New York, Fiorello LaGuardia, it serves the greater New York area.

LaGuardia is New York's main domestic airport, due to its central location and proximity to Manhattan. However, the airport does not have customs and immigration services, and a perimeter rule prohibits incoming and outgoing flights that exceed 1,500 miles (2,400 km) -- except on Saturdays, when the ban is lifted -- so most transcontinental and international flights use JFK Airport in Jamaica, Queens, New York or Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey. Exceptions are international flights from airports with U.S. customs and immigration pre-clearance, such as Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto in Canada; Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas; Aruba; and Bermuda.

In spite of the airport's small size, wide-body aircraft regularly visit the airport. In fact, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011 were specifically designed to use LaGuardia.

Most flights from LaGuardia go to destinations within the United States and to Canada, with seasonal flight service to the Bahamas and Bermuda.

For more information about transportation to LGA, see transportation to New York City area airports.

Contents

History

Construction

The initiative to develop the airport began with a verbal outburst by New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia upon the arrival of his TWA flight at Newark. He demanded to be taken to New York, and ordered the plane to be flown to Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field, giving an impromptu press conference to reporters along the way. At that time, he urged New Yorkers to support a new airport within their city.

American Airlines accepted LaGuardia's offer to start a pilot program of scheduled flights to Floyd Bennett, although the program failed after several months because of Newark's relative proximity to Manhattan (LaGuardia went as far as to offer police escorts to airport limousines, in an attempt to get American to stay).

During the Floyd Bennett experiment, LaGuardia and American executives began an alternative plan to build a new airport in Queens, where it could take advantage of the new Queens-Midtown Tunnel to Manhattan. This was the site eventually chosen for the new airport. Building on the site required moving landfill from Rikers Island, then a garbage dump, onto a metal reinforcing framework. The framework below the airport still causes magnetic interference on the compasses of outgoing aircraft: signs on the airfield warn pilots about the problem.

The airport was dedicated on October 15, 1939 as the New York Municipal Airport, and opened for business on that December 2nd. During the dedication ceremony, a banner plane flew overhead, with the words "NAME IT LAGUARDIA" fluttering along behind it. (The modern name was officially applied when the airport moved to Port Authority control in 1947.)

Because of American's pivotal role in the development of the airport, LaGuardia gave the airline extra real estate during the airport's first year of operation, including four hangars (an unprecedented amount of space at the time) and a large office space that would be turned into the world's first airline lounge, the LaGuardia Admirals Club.

Later development

Although LaGuardia was a very large airport for the era in which it was built, it soon became too small for the amount of air traffic it had to handle. Starting in 1968, general aviation aircraft were charged heavy fees to operate from LaGuardia during peak hours, driving many GA operators to airports such as Teterboro, New Jersey. In 1984, to further combat overcrowding at LGA, the Port Authority instituted a "perimeter rule" banning flights from LaGuardia to cities more than 1,500 miles away (Western Airlines unsuccessfully challenged the rule in federal court). Later, the Port Authority also moved to connect JFK and Newark Airport to regional rail networks with the AirTrain, in an attempt to make the more distant airports competitive with LaGuardia. [1] (http://www.house.gov/transportation/aviation/07-16-01/decota.html) In addition to these local regulations, the FAA also limited the number of flights and types of aircraft that could operate at LaGuardia (see 14 CFR § 193).

However, LaGuardia's traffic continued to grow. By 2000, the airport routinely experienced overcrowding-related delays, many of which were more than an hour long. That year, Congress passed legislation to revoke the federal traffic limits on LaGuardia by 2007. The reduced demand for air travel following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks quickly slowed LaGuardia's traffic growth, helping to mitigate the airport's delays: ongoing Port Authority investments to renovate the Central Terminal Building and improve the airfield layout have also made the airport's operations more efficient in recent years.

Disasters

On December 29, 1975, a bomb exploded at LaGuardia, killing 11 people and injuring 74. The exact perpetrators behind this attack are not known.

Terminals

LaGuardia has four terminals connected by buses and walkways.

Central Terminal Building (CTB)

Concourse A

Concourse B

Concourse C

  • United Airlines (Chicago/O'Hare, Denver, and Washington/Dulles)
  • American Eagle (Bangor, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Fayetteville/Northwest Arkansas, Grand Rapids, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, Toronto, and Washington/Reagan)

Concourse D

  • American Airlines (Atlanta, Chicago/O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Houston/Hobby, Kansas City, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto, and West Palm Beach)

Delta Terminal

  • Comair dba Delta Connection (Birmingham, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (Covington, KY), Charleston, Charlotte, Columbia, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Lexington, Montreal, and Savannah)
  • Delta Air Lines (Atlanta, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (Covington, KY), Orlando, and Nassau)
  • Pinnacle Airlines dba Northwest Airlink (Indianapolis and Milwaukee)
  • Northwest Airlines (Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, and Minneapolis/St. Paul)
  • Song (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach)
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Marine Air Terminal in 1940

Marine Air Terminal

The MAT was the airport's original terminal. It is so named because it once served the flying boats of Pan American Airways, the mainstay of international travel during the 1930s and 1940s. Pan Am later used the terminal for its shuttle service.

US Airways Terminal

  • Colgan Air dba US Airways Express (Albany, Charlottesville, Ithaca, Lebanon, Manchester, Nantucket, Norfolk/Southern Virginia, Portland (ME), Providence, Rochester, and Syracuse)
  • US Airways (Aruba, Bermuda (seasonal), Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Nassau, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington/Reagan)
  • Chautauqua Airlines dba US Airways Express (Baltimore/Washington, Buffalo, Charleston, Columbus, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanberg, Indianapolis, Louisville, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Savannah, Syracuse, and Wilmington)
  • Piedmont Airlines dba US Airways Express (Buffalo, Burlington, Manchester, Norfolk/Southern Virginia, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Rochester, and Syracuse)
  • PSA Airlines dba US Airways Express (Charlotte, Dayton, Louisville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, and Richmond)
  • Trans States Airlines dba US Airways Express (Pittsburgh and Richmond)
  • US Airways Shuttle (Boston and Washington/Reagan)

External Links

sv:LaGuardia Airport

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