Rebuilding LaGuardia Airport: A progress report

"Let's hang out at LaGuardia Airport," said no one ever. Until now, maybe. We're at the midway point of LaGuardia's massive $8 billion redevelopment project.

Phil Cohen, a longtime pilot, told Fox 5 that he remembers when the ceiling in the old terminal leaked and people would have to walk around buckets on the floor.

That's about as polar opposite an image as you can get from today's LaGuardia Airport, which is becoming a modernized gateway with a choice of retail and traveler-friendly amenities like free Wi-Fi, workstations, plugs for both USB and AC adapters between all the seats, bathrooms that literally sparkle, and a variety of food options.

Saeed Blacknall, a wide receiver for the Raiders, came from New Jersey to fly out. He said you can get comfortable, have a meal, and get some coffee before a long flight.

Traveling with kids is made more tolerable with the playground complete with squishy construction. You can even design your own aircraft and send it off on the big screen.

When the overhaul was announced in 2016, some said the projected finish date of 2022 was way too ambitious and not realistic. But in early 2019 the project is on time and on budget.

The most impressive part is that none of the work affected airport operations so the millions who come through each year have been able to continue doing that.

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton discussed the progress with Fox 5's Ernie Anastos.