Delta’s Airy, LED-Filled New Terminal C At NYC’s LaGuardia Finally Opens Saturday
June 2, 2022 by Dave Haynes
The big investment in money and years to make New York’s LaGuardia Airport into a facility appropriate for one of the world’s great cities is reaching a conclusion after six years of construction, with word this week that the $4 billion Terminal C will open for travellers on Saturday.
The new consolidated Delta terminal – at 1.3 million sq. ft. – is 85 percent larger than the two terminals it is replacing – providing access to 37 gates through a single arrivals and departures hall.
The New York governor’s office, announcing the terminal, says:
Throughout the terminal, soaring floor-to-ceiling windows ensure it is filled with natural light by day. Terminal C has been designed for optimal efficiency and speed, allowing travelers to navigate to and from their gates quickly and intuitively, utilizing the latest technologies such as hands-free bag drop and Digital ID screening capabilities. A curbside check-in building will allow passengers who are already checked-in to get to the security screening area more quickly. The departures hall features 36 full-service check-in counters, 49 self-service kiosks and 16 bag-drop counters. A larger and consolidated security area will feature 11 screening lanes with room for five additional lanes in the future, featuring state-of-the art technology to expedite screening while prioritizing the safety of passengers.
Dynamic signage in the TSA queue will display passenger wait times and will allow queuing zones to be adjusted based on passenger demand. On the arrivals level, passengers will be able to retrieve their luggage from one of five baggage carousels. There are 13 restrooms within the new terminal, all featuring touch-free entry, sinks and hand dryers.
Most of that has to do with the processes of getting people through airport checkpoints and to departure gates, but what’s interesting in the context of digital signage are:
- A pair of big 90-degree LED displays flanking escalators to and from a main concourse;
- A 238-foot wide LED ribbon wall in the check-in/bag drop area, very reminiscent of what was done by Delta at LAX recently;
- And the most intriguing thing – a set of 34 triangular vertical LED columns along a wall, above the entry to the main screening area. The LED columns are set up like old-school lenticular lenses, and when people are approaching from side angles the columns visually group as one. The scenes are keyed to destinations, so when many of the passengers going through screening are headed to Salt Lake City, they might see a visual of the Wasatch mountain range.
There are also digital totems at Delta screening that identify things like priority lines, and provide real-time estimates on the time it will take to get through the screening process.
It looks great. Well done to Delta, which is really thinking through how digital can boost both the travel process but also experience. LaGuardia had the shabby, cramped look and feel of a third-world experience for a bunch of years, and the total revamp is something to celebrate. I might not even dread flying in and out of LGA now!
I did a podcast recently with Ryan Taylor, who runs and guides digital signage for the Atlanta-based air carrier: