First Gates Open at Delta’s Terminal C at LGA

The modern passenger is more discerning than ever—lifestyle shifts outside the airport and emerging technologies have markedly changed consumer expectations—creating a demand for a more human and comfortable travel experience. Delta’s new terminal C at LaGuardia brings together the science of a better passenger experience and enhanced operations to reimagine a more intuitive, innovative, and welcoming 21st century travel destination.

The planning and design of the new terminal respected both the demands and volume of Delta’s hub in the New York market and the limitations of the water-locked site—phasing construction to mitigate interruptions to operations while maximizing vertical opportunities and layering efficiencies to provide programming for 37 gates, four concourses, and 1.2 million square feet that capture the premium Delta experience.

Celebrating the opening of the first concourse, Corgan joined Delta Air Lines, Governor Cuomo, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey this week to welcome an exciting new future for the airline in New York.


The Evolution of the Passenger Experience

Between our app culture and the wellness of everything, new technologies and lifestyle shifts continue to shape consumer demands—pushing for more on-demand convenience, curated hospitality and amenities, and intuitive design that provides a more human and more empathetic experience. Delta’s Terminal anticipates and responds to the pressure on air travel to meet customers where they are. A larger Delta Sky Club with an Outdoor Sky Deck offers commanding views of the airfield with residentially inspired finishes, wellness/mindfulness benefits, and the comforts of an elevated hospitality experience. Wider concourses allow for more circulation, seating, amenities, restrooms, and concessions for a higher level of customer service while premium hold rooms with 100% charging seats are sized to accommodate passenger loads. Leveraging research on the physical and mental impact of the built environment on passengers, the terminal is punctuated with respite spaces inviting passengers with long distances to their gate, especially aging travelers, to rest or regroup and regain confidence in knowing their surroundings.

The expanded Concessions Atrium offers curated local retail and restaurant favorites creating a memorable destination within the airport. As a key touchpoint in the passenger flow, it offers passengers predictable, pronounced, and convenient amenities and restrooms while maintaining a visual connection to their aircraft—especially important for “gate huggers” and those that are often hesitant to leave the proximity of their gate.

Experiential lighting defines key spaces throughout the terminal to provide zoning and visual benchmarks helping travelers identify decision points, avoid missing cues, and quickly orient themselves within the space. The zoned spaces coupled with the architectural design of the terminal encourage natural flow and reinforce travel paths.


Streamlined Throughout

Multiple baggage check locations decentralize the check-in process and reduce bottlenecks while providing flexibility for current and future passenger needs. Curbside check-in bypass leads passengers directly to security—responding to a more current understanding of passenger preferences for on-demand, seamless experiences and new technologies that allow for a more modern configuration and flow.

The public transit node hosts a check-in with direct access to the third-floor security checkpoint and helps equalize access and convenience across transit modalities. Dedicated passenger flows provide direct access to the parking garage and future AirTrain. Improved roadways and drop-off/pick-up areas extend the seamless experience from end-to-end while anticipating emerging trends in ride sharing and transit modalities.

The science of intuitive wayfinding seeks to understand how humans perceive and understand their surroundings and, when combined with an understanding of mental mapping, can shape how people move within a space. At Terminal C, new signage prioritized glare reduction, a common pain point—implementing dynamic LED sign faces to regulate appropriate light levels. Reduced eye clutter and strategically positioned signage in combination with digital art installations and dynamic roadway signage adds confidence and efficiencies from the curbside to take off while reducing stress and confusion.


Enhanced Operations

An expanded airfield and dual taxi lanes alleviate airside congestion and reduce taxi time. Moving the headhouse closer to the Grand Central Parkway and enlarging airfield south, allows larger aircrafts to easily navigate and operate through the airport. Pursuing LEED Silver Certification, the design also integrates sustainable technologies and maximizes energy efficiency with ice storage tanks to offset the need for cooling, electrochromic glass, and 100% LED lighting to minimize heat gain while optimizing daylight harvesting.

For Delta, which operates more than 275 peak-day departures from its LGA hub, the opening of the new concourse represents a major milestone in the transformation of the terminal as the airline revolutionizes the future of air travel for its employees and customers in New York. To learn more about millions of passengers can expect from the state-of-the art concourse including hospitality features, local offerings, and improved end-to-end efficiencies here.

Photo credit: Delta/Chris Rank

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