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LaGuardia terminal redevelopment could face delays: Moody's

Initial delays to the $4 billion redevelopment of the central terminal at New York LaGuardia airport could have ramifications for the timeline of the entire project, finds Moody's Investors Service.

Construction of the new concourse B has been delayed by "access issues on the airfield" and prefabrication issues have slowed work on the new west car park, the rating agency said in a 30 June report. Quality control issues were behind both delays, it added.

While neither issue alone appears to impact the overall timeline of the terminal redevelopment project, they do raise concerns about the timing of the entire project that aims to replace the central terminal building, or terminal B, at LaGuardia with a new 35-gate facility by 2022, says Moody's.

"The requirement to build around the existing facility while maintaining operations introduces the potential for schedule delays," says the rating agency. "Delays would echo through the whole project given the highly sequential nature of construction."

Concourse B and the west car park are part of the first phase of the project that is scheduled to open in 2018. The concourse B section of the new terminal building is on track for a 2020 opening and the entire facility, including concourse A and the remaining sections of the terminal, two years later.

Work by Delta Air Lines on the separate $4.5 billion redevelopment of terminals C and D at LaGuardia airport could impact work on the central terminal, says Moody's, citing the limited space for construction staging and equipment access to the airport.

The timeline for work on terminals C and D, which is due to be complete by 2026, has yet to be finalised, adds the rating agency.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners is responsible for construction of the new central terminal building, or terminal B, at LaGuardia under a 34-year design, build, finance, operate and maintain concession it signed with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) in 2016.

Vantage Airport Group, Skanska and Meridiam own LaGuardia Gateway Partners.

The PANYNJ operates LaGuardia airport.

Terminal B handled just over half of LaGuardia's 29.8 million passengers in 2016, PANYNJ data shows. Carriers include the majority of American Airlines operations at the airport, as well as those of Air Canada, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners was not immediately available for comment.

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