LaGuardia Airport unveils new skybridge as part of redevelopment project

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A major New York City airport unveiled an exciting addition to one of its terminals.

LaGuardia Airport's new skybridge opened Thursday morning at Terminal B.

Not only is the skybridge practical, but it also offers a thrill for travelers.

The addition allows planes to taxi underneath it, resulting in an improvement to traffic flow and a chance for travelers to see planes up close.

"The innovative design of the airport provides a 50% increase in aircraft taxiways that will dramatically decrease gate congestion and gate delays, greatly reducing a major source of frustration for passengers," said Rick Cotton the Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

RELATED | LaGuardia no longer like '3rd world country' years after Biden comment
EMBED More News Videos

Josh Einiger has more on a long-overdue makeover of LaGuardia Airport.

Southwest Flight 617 was the first plane to taxi under the new bridge.

Passengers were treated to a full water salute to celebrate the milestone while travelers waiting inside the terminal were able to watch the first aircraft taxi right underneath them as they stood inside the pedestrian skybridge.

The skybridge is 430 feet long and the highest part of the bridge is 97 feet above the taxiway.

The new 1.3 million-square-foot Terminal B is part of the comprehensive redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport.

With a construction value of $4 billion, the Terminal B project is one of the largest public-private partnerships in American history and the largest in U.S. aviation.

When the redevelopment is fully complete, LaGuardia will be the only airport in the world with dual skybridges.

TOP NEWS | Exclusive video: Man intervenes as woman slashed on subway platform in heart of NYC
EMBED More News Videos

Video first seen on channel 7 shows the attack and the good Samaritan who risked his own safety to help save the woman's life.

The design of the dual skybridges will bring a much needed extra two miles of taxiway space to the busy airport.

The second skybridge, scheduled to be complete by the end of 2021 with the taxiway underneath opening in 2022, will connect the western concourse to the Arrivals & Departures Hall.

This western skybridge will also offer beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline.

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New York City news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.