Express Connections to the Region's Airports

Grimshaw Architects: Andrew Whalley + Gregory Haley

All three airports serving New York—John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty—are in need of retrofits and greater accessibility. Why not tie the redevelopment of our airports to the development of the greater city? 

We need to rethink access to our region’s airports within a broader vision for the city’s development. The goal of ‘Hub City’ is to create express connections between the airports and the city’s major transportation hubs—Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. If we leverage existing infrastructure to create high-speed connections of 30 minutes or less, we can link all three airports and entice travelers to spend some time in Manhattan. 

Also, in lieu of an airline ticket, we propose a smart card that operates seamlessly as a ticket to your flight and as a public transportation pass. This would allow travelers a couple of hours in the city to shop, eat and sightsee before jumping back on their flights.

In London, the city utilized existing infrastructure to create the Heathrow Express, which connects you from the airport to the city core in fifteen minutes. Funding was tied to the development of the fifth terminal at Heathrow, lightening the burden on the London Underground and taxpayers. 

Andrew Whalley is the Deputy Chairman of Grimshaw Architects and represents the Chairman’s Office for all international projects. Gregory Haley is a Senior Architect at Grimshaw Architects’ New York City office.

Images: Grimshaw Architects.