FAA Approves LaGuardia's Airtrain, Construction to Start This Summer

The LaGuardia AirTrain will provide a connection from the New York City subway system as well as the Long Island railroad.

LaGuardia Airport
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

An AirTrain linking New York's LaGuardia Airport with the city's subway system is one step closer to reality after the Federal Aviation Administration approved the plan.

On Tuesday, the FAA approved an environmental review, the last step in the process to get the project off the ground. Now, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will be able to proceed with its proposal to construct the rail system and will be able to apply for funding under the Passenger Facility Charge program.

Construction on the supporting infrastructure for the proposed AirTrain, which will eventually link the airport with both the 7 Line and the Long Island Rail Road at the Mets-Willets Point station near Citi Field, is expected to begin this summer, Rick Cotton, the Port Authority's executive director, said in a statement.

"The LaGuardia AirTrain will provide a sustainable and reliable travel option to LaGuardia Airport. It will remove millions of vehicles from congested highways and local roads each year," Cotton said. "Once complete, the LaGuardia AirTrain will fulfill Governor [Andrew] Cuomo's vision for a new, 21st century LaGuardia Airport, which will at long last have the modern and efficient rail access that is essential to meeting the global standards of today's travelers."

An AirTrain will be a vast transportation improvement for LaGuardia — long the subject of ire and jokes — as the only current options to get to the airport are by car or bus. The AirTrain will also mark the latest in a series of improvements at the airport, which has undergone a multi-billion dollar renovation.

"The new LaGuardia Airport… deserves a reliable, efficient, and affordable transit connector worthy of its destination," Cuomo said in a statement. "With the Federal Aviation Administration's approval today of the LaGuardia AirTrain, that's exactly what New Yorkers will get."

Once completed, the LaGuardia AirTrain will become the second in the city. Travelers heading to John F. Kennedy International Airport can also take an AirTrain, which connects to both the subway and LIRR train.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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