Appearing with Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to dramatically reshape the city’s two aging airports and turn two other little-known airports in major economic hubs.
The vice president and governor touted the value of infrastructure investment, with Mr. Biden providing the sweeping rhetoric and Mr. Cuomo the nuts-and-bolts of what could come to the airports: a Long Island Rail Road and ferry link to LaGuardia Airport, tax free zones at small airports in the city’s suburbs and a speedier transit option for John F. Kennedy Airport on the southern tip of Queens.
Mr. Cuomo was vague on details. Tax free zones, a favorite tool of Mr. Cuomo’s, would be established at Stewart and Republic Airports to encourage business investment and take on some of the traffic that LaGuardia and JFK now absorb. He touted the idea of a rail link, with no apparent means of funding it, to LaGuardia, along with a ferry. He would also increase the speed and efficiency of transportation to JFK, now served by a rail link from an LIRR hub in Jamaica, Queens, and add food and retail options to the airport.
He did not tell reporters how the cash-strapped state, Port Authority or Metropolitan Transportation Authority would pay for these upgrades, but told reporters all options “were on the table,” including new tolls on bridges.