Using Rikers Island for LGA
Study of Arrival & Departure Patterns Needed Before Investing
One creative option considered in the report is the conversion of 400 acres into a new runway and terminal for its next door neighbor, LaGuardia Airport.
The Commission in its report rightly pointed out that, while it would be great to alleviate the runway delays at LGA, before concluding that this will benefit NYC’s in town airport, there are substantial airside and environmental issues which must be analyzed before this proposal is acclaimed as THE solution.
The locations of LGA and its sister facilities (Liberty Newark and JFK International) were defined years before jets and their flight paths. As shown by the below diagram, those patterns are intricately designed to keep the traffic separated and safe. How these lines are drawn have significant impact on the efficiency of these operations. One of the considerations of this architecture is the noise effects on the ground.
The answer to whether Rikers Island becoming an added LGA runway is a viable option is not intuitive. It requires an intense study of the arrival and departure patterns of these three airports.