Following the first phase of slot swaps a couple weeks ago, Delta launched a $160MM investment in the renovation of their facilities at LaGuardia airport today. The main focus of the work is an air-side connection between terminals C and D, allowing all Delta flights (other than the Shuttle) to operate from a single secure area. In addition the security areas will be upgraded and expanded and terminal C will see the conversion of the US Airways Club to a SkyClub.
The event was attended by a number of elected officials and there were the usual laudatory remarks made, focusing on the investment value and the new jobs it is expected to bring into the area. There was also mention of the impact to the aviation industry in general, noting that the move further cements New York City‘s position as the "aviation capitol of the nation," as Mayor Bloomberg noted. They only took a couple questions and nothing particularly pointed was asked. Little things, like how the 10,000+ additional daily passengers will find transportation in to the city, for example, were not addressed.
After the Q&A the whole crew headed out to a section of the tarmac that had been set aside for the actual ground breaking part of the event. Everyone – from the CEO and Mayor to ground and in-flight crew – grabbed a shovel and chipped in on the effort.
They even let me have some fun.
And then some folks collected souvenirs to take home. Seriously, when was the last time you saw someone walking through an airport terminal with a shovel in hand?
Overall it was a nice event, though nothing particularly surprising or "ground breaking" about it. Then again, I suppose that was the whole idea, so it makes sense.
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