BY LUIS GRONDA
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that it is time to quicken the pace to renovate the City’s two major airports.
As part of his State of the State address last week, Cuomo has pledged to take over control of rebuilding John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports from the Port Authority to speed up the process.
During his speech, he said LaGuardia is ranked as the worst airport in America and many other airports throughout the country have upgraded in recent years.
“We need to modernize JFK and LaGuardia; we have talked about it for too long. We will assume management responsibility from the Port Authority for construction at JFK and LaGuardia airports,” he said. “We will do what we did with the Tappan Zee Bridge; we are going to step in and stop talking about it. Get the government to work and we are going to redevelop those airports the way they should have been redeveloped many, many years ago and make us proud of that gateway once again.”
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had been in charge of several renovation projects at both Queens airports, including building the new central terminal at LaGuardia, but the pace of the projects have not been fast enough for the Governor.
Vipul Bansal, Chair of the Economics and Finance Department at St. John’s University, said it is a positive that the Governor is taking control of the projects because the two airports need to be renovated.
“This project, I think is feasible, it’s critical and it’s important,” he said. “This will give the economy a shot in the arm.”
Bansal said it will have both short-and long-term benefits to Queens and the City as a whole.
For the short term, it will bring more construction jobs to the State. In the long term, more people will begin to use the two airports in the future once the projects are done.
Bansal said many people are using other airports, like Newark, when coming to New York because it is more convenient for commuters who do not have a car.
Federal funding and raising airport fees are two ways the rebuilding projects at the airports could be funded, according to Bansal.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.