August 16, 2022
Today in Aviation: New York’s LaGuardia Airport Begins Operations
Today in Aviation

Today in Aviation: New York’s LaGuardia Airport Begins Operations

MIAMI – Today in Aviation, New York City’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) airport opened for business in East Elmhurst, Queens, in 1939.

Aviation on the site in the Borough of Queens can be traced back to June 1929, when New York Air Terminal Inc opened a seaplane base.

Further developments led to the facility being renamed Glenn H. Curtiss Airport in September 1930, in honor of the New York aviation pioneer who had recently died. In 1935 It was renamed North Beach Airport.

However, it was Fiorello LaGuardia who really put the facility on the map. The newly elected mayor had been a passenger on a TWA flight to New York. When the plane arrived at Newark Airport (EWR), La Guardia was outraged and demanded to be taken to “New York.”

LaGuardia then set about turning North Beach into a commercial airport. Over US$20m was invested in a complete redesign and upgrade and another renaming to New York Municipal Airport. Its current name was given in June 1947 after the death of the man who had spearheaded its transformation. 

A busy apron at LGA in 1973, highlighting even then AA’s dominance at the airport. (Photo: Richard Vandervort, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Airport Today

Today, LGA is a hub for both American Airlines (AA) and Delta Air Lines (DL). It serves many domestic and some limited international flights. The latter is limited by the perimeter rule, which prohibits all flights of more than 1,500 miles. In 2019, the airport handled 31,084,894 passengers. 

The airport has been criticized over the years for its out-of-date facilities and often ranks as one of the worse airports in the United States. In spring 2016, work began on a full airport reconstruction that will see all four terminals all brought under one roof.

Featured image: Photo: LaGuardia Airport

Writer, aviation fanatic, plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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