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FAA to Hold Two Public Scoping Meetings Next Week for Proposed LaGuardia AirTrain

Proposed AIrTrain route (

May 29, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

The Federal Aviation Administration will be holding two public scoping meetings in East Elmhurst next week to get public input on the proposed LaGuardia AirTrain project, which is now entering the environmental review process.

The meetings aim to get public comment on the project, which involves constructing a 1.5-mile elevated train line that would link LaGuardia Airport to Willets Point—near Citi Field. The Willets Point terminal would then connect to the Long Island Rail Road and the No. 7 train.

The proposed route would run along the Grand Central Parkway and across the edge of the Citi Field parking lot. The train would reduce the travel time from Manhattan to LaGuardia down to 30 minutes, officials say.

Comments collected at these hearings, which will be held June 5 and 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the LaGuardia Airport Marriott Hotel, will provide the FAA with feedback as to neighborhood concerns–and what the agency should study as part of the environmental review process.

Public feedback will typically involve issues pertaining to noise, air quality, light emissions and safety.

These meetings come after the FAA’s official notice of intent was issued on May 3 to announce the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), pushing the project into the required public comment period, which will end June 17.

The meetings, according to the FAA, will be held in an open house format where people can learn about the environmental aspects of the project, ask questions and ultimately comment. A public record will be kept of the meetings and the comments.

The project, estimated to cost $1.5 billion, aims to reduce traffic congestion and provide travelers with access via efficient public transportation. Currently, 90 percent of LaGuardia flyers travel by car to get to the airport, according to the Port Authority.

The project would not require the acquisition of private property.

After the public comment period is completed, the FAA will write up a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) with its findings on the project’s impact. The public will then have at least 45 days to provide additional commentary based on those findings.

The FAA will then produce a Final Environmental Impact Statement that must address the public’s concerns. The FAA will then render a final decision as to whether to proceed with the project.

The public is also able to send comments on the project to the following email address:

Proposed LaGuardia AirTrain Route

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New York’s planning is soooooooo backward! Why build a system that isn’t integrated into the pre-existing system when an N/W extension could be integrated. New York hasn’t improved its subway transit coverage in decades. There were more subway stations in the early 70s than there are now! This is a great opportunity to push for subway expansion and the construction costs of the tunnels and stations won’t cost the State, MTA, or City any money. The FAA can allow the Port Authority to fund all of the costs related to connecting the N/W line to the airport. Why isn’t the MTA pushing the Port Authority towards this option? Why isn’t our mayor pushing for this? The N/W extension is the best option, people don’t want to take an airtrain with their luggage and transfer to an overcrowded subway or LIRR train. The N/W line has more space for extra passengers than the 7 and the MTA can build a new train yard along the extension to increase capacity on the N/W line in Astoria and LIC. With all the luxury development and gentrification more trains per hour are going to be needed anyway.

Transit for the Future

I’m tired of these half baked plans. The past of least resistance isn’t the best plan to fight for. We’re need to prioritize smart transit and this isn’t it. The N/W lines have more capacity than the 7. An N/W extension will give riders a quicker route to Manhattan. It also gives riders a cheaper option. There’s no reason for our city to be without direct subway access to LaGuardia.


I hope a lot of people send their comments and concerns to the FAA at the This plan lacks vision. Extending the subway to LaGuardia is a much better option, building an airtrain in the direction of Manhattan is also a better plan. Either plan can be funded by the adding a $4.50 fee to every plane ticket in and out of LaGuardia. If the FAA approves a subway extension it will allow the Port Authority to collect the fee and fund the extension without needing to use state money. The extension can go underground on 19 avenue, an area with no residential houses or buildings. It’s a win-win scenario and it will create a one seat ride Times Square, Union Square, and Downtown Brooklyn. More Airline passengers would use a one a seat ride than the proposed 2-3 seat ride that incorporates the LIRR. Another superior plan would be build an airtrain to the N/W Ditmars station and to also build a Metro North station on the train tracks above it. This would give people in Westchester, the eastern half of lowrr Hudson valley, the Bronx, and southwestern Connecticut a reliable connection to the airport via Metro North. The tracks above the Ditmars station are already slated to be used by Metro North within the next few years.


This plan requires more foresight than the MTA and Port Authority possess. It’s exactly the kind of planning we need in this city. This airtrain plan is crap. The N/W extension to the airport would capture more new riders than the over budget 2nd avenue subway line’s 3 stations.


Terrible plan! Why would people want to take an airtrain to a station further east and then take the crowded 7 train to Manhattan? Taking the Q70 is a better option plus it gives you the option of getting the E, F,M, and R train in addition to the 7. People going to LI can get the LIRR at 61st street if they ride the q70 for an extra stop. Connecting at Willets Point is terrible. The 7 can’t handle more people during rush hour. I don’t want people carrying luggage to be introduced to my morning or evening commute. Even if people take the LIRR to Willets Point and take the airtrain it’s going to be really expensive. It costs about $9 or $10 just to take the LIRR to Willets Point from Penn Station, then people will need to pay for an airtrain. In all likelihood the passenger probably took a subway ride just to get to Penn station. The price point won’t be worth it. People are still gonna take cabs, ubers, and lyfts – especially if they’re travelling in groups. The N/W extension is the best way to get more people to use mass transit.


This is going to be a nightmare for NYers who have to take the 7 train during rush hour!!!!


I’m willing to bet that the LaGuardia Link Q70 bus has a shorter transit time for 90% of New Yorkers and Long Islanders.

Jackson Heights for Life

Getting buses to LGA is not an acceptable solution – that’s why most people go by car. So yes bring it on – let’s get a new rail link.


I too think a rail link is the best option but I don’t think the airtrain route proposed by the port authority is a good idea. Connecting the N/W to the airport would be the best option and it would encourage the most people to take mass transit. I think the buses are a decent option. The MTA has constantly been asking the Port Authority to have better signage at the airport that would encourage people to use the Q70. The q70 should also be free so that people aren’t fumbling for correct change and slowing down the bus. Most passengers are going to transfer to the subway or LIRR after getting off the bus, so the MTA should be ok with not collecting a fare on the bus itself.

Rolando Domingo

Fix and modernize the current and already gigantic system instead of continued expansion!!!


In many cases expansion would help to increase capacity. An extension of the elevated line on 31st street to LaGuardia Airport could coincide with a new yard for the trains that run on that line. This would alleviate bottlenecks on at points where train lines merge and it would allow more trains per hour to run on certain lines (like the Broadway line’s N,Q,R,and W). Extending the line to LaGuardia and adding the yard for storage and maintenance could potentially increase capacity to 48 trains per hour during rush hour from the 28 trains per hour that currently run on the central portions of the Broadway line in Manhattan.

Take a look at this plan for more details –


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