Learn more about LaGuardia Airport
- LGA redirects here. For other uses, see LGA (disambiguation).
|IATA: LGA - ICAO: KLGA|
<tr><th colspan="2" align="left" valign="top">Airport type</th><td colspan="2" valign="top">Public</td></tr><tr><th colspan="2" align="left" valign="top">Operator</th><td colspan="2" valign="top">Port Authority of New York and New Jersey</td></tr><tr><th colspan="2" align="left" valign="top">Serves</th><td colspan="2" valign="top">New York City</td></tr>
|Elevation AMSL||22 ft (6.7 m)|
LaGuardia Airport (IATA: LGA, ICAO: KLGA) is an airport serving New York City, United States, located on the waterfront of Flushing in the borough of Queens. It is named after a former Mayor of New York, Fiorello LaGuardia. In 1960, it was voted the "greatest airport in the world" by the worldwide aviation community. "LaGuardia Airport" is the official name of the airport according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the facility.
LaGuardia is the smallest of the New York area's three primary commercial airports, the other two of which are John F. Kennedy International Airport in southern Queens and Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey. LaGuardia is popular due to its central location and proximity to Manhattan. In spite of the airport's small size, wide-body aircraft once visited regularly; the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011 were even specifically designed for use at LaGuardia. Today, the only scheduled widebody service is one of Delta's many Atlanta flights aboard a Boeing 767-300 although the larger Boeing 767-400, which was designed with LaGuardia's size limitations in mind , is occasionally rotated in Delta's schedule. The airport serves as a focus city for Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and US Airways.
Most flights from LaGuardia go to destinations within the US and Canada, with seasonal flight service to Aruba, the Bahamas and Bermuda. Contrary to popular belief, the airport does indeed have INS/FIS facilities capable of processing customs and immigration on arriving international flights, however the facilities are insufficient to efficiently handle the number of passengers that a non-precleared scheduled airline service would require.
A perimeter rule prohibits incoming and outgoing flights that exceed 1,500 miles (2,400 km)—except on Saturdays, when the ban is lifted, and to Denver, which was grandfathered in — so most transcontinental and international flights use the area's other two major airports, JFK and Newark.<ref>Long Distance at La Guardia New York Sun editorial, August 4 2005</ref>
In 2005 the airport handled 26 million passengers; JFK handled about 41 million and Newark handled about 33 million, making for a total of approximately 100 million travelers using New York's airports as the city's airspace surpassed Chicago's to become the busiest in the United States.
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.
It cost New York City $23 million to turn the tiny North Beach Airport into a 550-acre modern facility. Newark Airport began renovations, but could not keep up with the new Queens airport, which Time called, "the most pretentious land and seaplane base in the world." Even before the project was completed, LaGuardia had won commitments from the 5 largest airlines (Pan American Airways, American. United, Eastern Air Lines and Transcontinental & Western Air) that they would begin using the new field as soon as it opened.<ref>"LaGuardia's Coup", Time, Sep. 12, 1938.</ref>
The airport was dedicated on October 15, 1939 as the New York Municipal Airport, and opened for business on that December 2. 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 Airport in 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 Newark and AirTrain JFK, in an attempt to make these more distant airports competitive with LaGuardia.  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 on New York City 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.
Planes taking off from LaGuardia often fly directly over nearby Shea Stadium, causing disruptions at New York Mets games. As a counterpoint to the "Great City Subway Race" shown on the Yankee Stadium scoreboard, in which trains representing the three different subway lines that go to that stadium, the Shea scoreboard showed an animated airplane race, consisting of four planes, each a color of one of the seating levels at Shea: Red for the upper level, Green for the mezzannine, Blue for the loge and Orange for the field level; and fans in each level often rooted for that color plane. The "race" was discontinued following the September 11th terrorist attacks, with its newly disturbing images of airplanes buzzing New York City.
 Accidents and incidents
- On February 1, 1957, Northeast Airlines Flight 823 crashed on takeoff into Rikers Island. Of 101 people aboard, 21 were killed.
- On February 3, 1959, American Airlines Flight 320 crashed on approach into the East River. Of 72 (73?) people aboard, 65 were killed.
- On December 29, 1975, a bomb exploded at LaGuardia, killing 11 people and injuring 74. The exact perpetrators behind this attack are not known.
- On September 29, 1989, USAir Flight 5050 bound for Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina crashed after aborting takeoff and rolling off the end of the runway into the East River. The plane broke into three pieces, and two people were killed.
- On March 22, 1992, USAir Flight 405 bound for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio crashed on takeoff at LaGuardia due to icing on its wings. Of 51 people aboard, 27 were killed.
- On March 2, 1994, Continental Airlines Flight 705 to Stapleton International Airport in Denver, Colorado aborted takeoff in a snowstorm and skidded down the runway into a ditch.
Over the years, these incidents have led to discussions on whether or not LaGuardia's 7,000-foot runways are adequate to handle large passenger aircraft. However, there are several commercial airports in the U.S. with even shorter runways (Chicago Midway and Bob Hope Airport, for example).
 Airlines and Terminals
LaGuardia has four terminals connected by buses and walkways.
 Central Terminal Building (CTB)
The Central Terminal Building (CTB) serves most of LaGuardia's domestic airlines. It is six blocks long, consisting of a four-story central section, two three-story wings and four concourses (A, B, C, and D) with 38 aircraft gates.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
 Concourse A
- Air Canada (Montréal, Toronto-Pearson)
- Air Canada Jazz (Ottawa)
- Continental Airlines (Aruba, Cleveland, Houston-Intercontinental)
- JetBlue Airways (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, West Palm Beach)
 Concourse B
- AirTran Airways (Akron/Canton, Atlanta, Newport News)
- ATA Airlines (Chicago-Midway, Houston-Hobby)
- Frontier Airlines (Denver)
- JetBlue Airways (see above)
- Midwest Airlines (Kansas City, Milwaukee)
- Spirit Airlines (Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach, Nassau [seasonal], Orlando)
 Concourse C
- United Airlines (Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Washington-Dulles)
- American Airlines Gates C3, C5 (See Below)
- American Eagle Gates C1 - C6, C8 (Atlanta, Bangor, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, Des Moines, Detroit, Fayetteville (AR), Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, Madison, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Toronto-Pearson, Washington-Reagan)
 Concourse D
- American Airlines Gates D2 - D8, D10 (Atlanta, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Eagle/Vail[seasonal], Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto-Pearson, West Palm Beach)
- American Eagle Gate D1 (See Above)
 Delta Terminal
- Delta Air Lines Gates 1-6 (Atlanta, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers [begins December 15, 2006], Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami [begins December 15, 2006], Nassau, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Steamboat Springs (Hayden) [begins February 17, 2007] Tampa, West Palm Beach)
- Delta Connection operated by Comair Gate 5A (Birmingham (AL), Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Charleston (SC), Charlotte, Columbia, Columbus, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg (SC), Jacksonville, Knoxville, Lexington, Montréal, New Orleans, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Savannah)
- Delta Connection operated by Shuttle America (Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami [ends December 14, 2006])
- Northwest Airlines Gates 7-10 (Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul)
 Marine Air Terminal
The Marine Air Terminal (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.
- Delta Air Lines
 US Airways Terminal
- US Airways (Aruba [seasonal], Charlotte, Freeport [seasonal], Nassau [seasonal], Pittsburgh, San Juan)
- US Airways Shuttle operated by US Airways (Boston, Washington-Reagan)
- US Airways Express operated by Air Wisconsin (Baltimore/Washington, Columbus, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Rochester (NY))
- US Airways Express operated by Chautauqua Airlines (Baltimore/Washington, Buffalo, Charleston (SC), Columbus, Dayton, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Indianapolis, Lewisburg, Louisville, Myrtle Beach, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Rochester (NY), Savannah, Syracuse, Wilmington(NC))
- US Airways Express operated by Colgan Air (Albany, Charlottesville, Hyannis, Ithaca, Lebanon, Manchester (NH), Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Norfolk, Portland (ME), Providence, Rochester (NY), Syracuse)
- US Airways Express operated by Piedmont Airlines (Baltimore/Washington, Buffalo, Burlington, Manchester (NH), Norfolk, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Roanoke, Rochester (NY), Syracuse)
- US Airways Express operated by PSA Airlines (Charlotte, Dayton, Philadelphia)
 In popular culture
- LaGuardia Airport appears as a level in the computer game Deus Ex. The level itself takes place in a private section of LaGuardia that is owned by Juan Lebedev, a prominent member of the NSF.
 See also
- John F. Kennedy International Airport
- Newark Liberty International Airport
- Teterboro Airport
- Transportation to New York City area airports
 External links
- LaGuardia Airport (official site)
- LGA Airport Monitor (from Passur.com)
- FAA Airport Diagram (PDF)
- New York State DOT Airport Diagram (PDF)
- Airport Parking Facilites Near LaGuardia Airport
- Resources for this airport: