An International Airport
LaGuardia Airport (IATA: LGA, ICAO: KLGA, FAA LID: LGA) (pronounced /ləˈɡwɑrdiə/) is an airport located in Queens County on Long Island in the City of New York. The airport is located on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay, and borders the neighborhoods of Astoria,Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst. The airport was originally named Glenn H. Curtiss Airport after aviation pioneer Glenn Hammond Curtiss then renamed North Beach Airport, then later named for Fiorello H. La Guardia, a former mayor of New York who built the airport. In 1960, it was voted the "greatest airport in the world" by the worldwide aviation community. "LaGuardia Airport" is the official name of the airport according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the facility.
LaGuardia is the smallest of the New York metropolitan area's three primary commercial airports, the other two of which are John F. Kennedy International Airport in southern Queens and Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, and the closest of the three toManhattan. It is larger, however, than nearby alternative airports Long Island MacArthur Airport in Suffolk County, Westchester County Airport inWestchester County, and to a lesser extent, Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York. LaGuardia is popular due to its central location and proximity to Manhattan. In spite of the airport's small size, wide-body aircraft once visited regularly; the McDonnell Douglas DC-10and Lockheed L-1011 were even specifically designed for use at LaGuardia. From 2000–2005 Delta operated the 767-400ER with 285 seats. Today, there are no scheduled widebody flights, though occasionally Delta Air Lines rotates a Boeing 767-300 in for one of its many Atlantaflights. The airport serves as a focus city for American Airlines and their regional affiliate, American Eagle. It will become a domestic hub ofDelta Air Lines.
Most flights from LaGuardia go to destinations within the US and Canada, as well as service to Aruba, the Bahamas and Bermuda due to the fact that those destinations are staffed with United States border preclearance facilities. The airport has INS/FIS facilities capable of processing customs and immigration on arriving international flights; the facilities are insufficient to handle efficiently the number of passengers that a non-precleared scheduled airline service would require. LaGuardia is the busiest airport in the US without any non-stop service to and fromEurope. A perimeter rule prohibits incoming and outgoing flights that exceed 1,500 miles (2,400 km)—except on Saturdays, when the ban is lifted, and to Denver, which was grandfathered in — so most transcontinental and international flights use the area's other two major airports, JFK and Newark.
In 2008, the airport handled 23.1 million passengers; JFK handled 47.8 million and Newark handled slightly more than 35.4 million, making for a total of approximately 106 million travelers using New York airports, which is the largest airport system in the United States, largest in the world in terms of flight operations, and second in the world (after London) in terms of passenger traffic.