Officials talk to residents about LaGuardia Airport AirTrain plan

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey wants you to imagine getting off the No. 7 train or the Long Island Rail Road at the Mets-Willets Point station and transferring to an AirTrain that would get you to LaGuardia Airport in six minutes.

"This rail access has been looked at since the 1940s and no one's been able to get it done," the Port Authority's Matt Discenna said. "We believe that our proposal is the best way to get it done and now is the right time."

Under the plan, the AirTrain to LaGuardia would go from Willets Point, along Roosevelt Avenue, over the Grand Central Parkway, and above the Flushing Bay Promenade.

The proposed route has some residents who live close to it upset.

"The AirTrain actually comes closer to our homes, where the drilling is going to be," Frank Taylor of the Ditmars Boulevard Block Association said. He lives near the airport and opposes the AirTrain.

"They are going to depend on the 7 line when you can't even get on the train but you are going to put more people on the train and then take a route past the airport to go up steps or an elevator to go back to the airport?" Taylor said. "No one's going to use it—it's just like the JFK."

He and others in the community came to a meeting to hear from the Port Authority, the FAA, and other officials who will be deciding where the AirTrain would go. Many more meetings are scheduled to get feedback from the community before a final proposal is approved.

An AirTrain to LaGuardia is at least five years away from happening. A final proposal won't happen until 2021 and construction won't be complete until 2014.