FAA publishes FEIS for LaGuardia AirTrain

March 16, 2021
If the project is approved by FAA, construction on the LaGuardia AirTrain is expected to begin in June 2021 with anticipated completion by December 2025.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the LaGuardia Airport Access Improvement Project (AirTrain) on March 15. A Record of Decision is expected to be issued after 30 days.

Project stakeholders note New York LaGuardia (LGA) is the only major East Coast airport lacking a direct rail link and the proposed $2-billion project promises a 30-minutes ride from Midtown Manhattan. Providing a more reliable transit link to LGA through various plans has been explored for 30 years, which the FEIS notes in its Executive Summary "demonstrates a continued regional interest in improved access to LGA." 

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey preferred alternative calls for the construction of two-mile elevated rail system, which would include three stations (two on airport, one off) that would connect to New York City Transit’s 7 Line and the Long Island Rail Road Port Washington Branch. The project also includes passenger walkways connecting to the LGA Central Hall, which provides access to Terminal B and C, parking garages, public transportation and ground transportation facilities.

FAA prepared the FEIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and examined 47 alternatives, more than half of which were identified by the public during scoping for the EIS. FAA explains the alternatives were evaluated to see if they met the purpose and need of the proposed action and if they would be reasonable to construct and operate. The FEIS contains responses to comments received during public review of the Draft EIS, which was released in August 2020.

Should FAA approve the project, construction of the LGA AirTrain is expected to begin in June 2021 and be completed in December 2025.

The FEIS can be viewed here. 

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.