QUEENS — The aging LaGuardia Airport will soon undergo a major overhaul.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey voted Thursday to move ahead with the first phase of a $3.6 billion project to replace the crumbling Central Terminal Building, known as Terminal B, with a new facility which will serve approximately 50 percent of all the passengers at the airport, officials announced.
The agency also selected the LaGuardia Gateway Partners to build the new terminal.
“For too long, LaGuardia has been the stepchild of our region’s airports compared to JFK and Newark International," said Port Authority vice chairman Scott Rechler.
“Today we took the first step in moving forward with a comprehensive master plan to redevelop LaGuardia into a 21st-century, world-class airport that the state of New York deserves."
Vice President Joe Biden once compared the airport to a facility in a third world country.
The Central Terminal Building, which first opened in 1964, will be demolished. The replacement will serve as LaGuardia's main entry.
The project also calls for linking the airport’s four terminals, which are currently disconnected, and a number of amenities such as a hotel and business center and a connection to the proposed AirTrain.
A master plan for the redevelopment will be unveiled in the coming weeks, officials said.
According to the Port Authority, construction will be funded by a public-private partnership.
The LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a consortium consisting of several groups including Swedish company Skanska, Vantage Airport Group and Meridiam, will be responsible for designing, constructing and operating the new terminal, officials said.
Governor Cuomo applauded the upcoming redesign, which is consistent with the recommendations issued by his advisory panel.
"This airport is the welcoming point to the greatest state in the country and New York deserves the best," Cuomo said in a statement.