New York City's much-maligned LaGuardia Airport is to receive a significant redesign, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has revealed. The redesign will totally change the airport's existing layout in favor of a new unified terminal, at an estimated total cost of US$4 billion.

Originally constructed back in 1939, LaGuardia has been widely criticized in recent years as outdated and over-capacity. The new plans call for the airport to be moved closer to the Grand Central Parkway and for Terminal B to be completely demolished in favor of a larger terminal building. This terminal will be physically linked to existing Delta Air Lines Terminals C and D (each of which are also due for renovation), creating one unified space. Terminal A, the Marine Air Terminal, will also be better integrated.

The redesigned airport will boast a larger taxiway and improved transportation links, including a direct link to the NYC subway system. The interior layout will be designed to hasten check-ins in a post-9/11 security-conscious world. Increased storm resiliency and better road access to take the pressure off local communities are also slated for the project.

The redesign will be handled by HOK and Parsons Brinckerhoff, and is based on a melding of designs submitted by architecture firms Dattner Architects, PRESENT Architecture and SHoP Architects.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2016, and the airport is expected to open to passengers in 2019. Full completion of the airport should take around another 18 months, but it's not yet clear how the construction will impact the airport's usual flight schedule.

"LaGuardia is slow. It's dated. It is a terrible front door entranceway," says Cuomo. "We are transforming LaGuardia into a globally-renowned, 21st century airport that is worthy of the city and state of New York."

The Governor's office further added that the rebuild is expected to create 8,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs.

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