Crowley Stresses Community’s Need for Delta’s $117 Million Investment in LaGuardia Airport

Aug 8, 2011 Issues:

(Queens, N.Y.) – In a phone call on Friday with U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) urged the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to quickly approve the slot exchange agreement between Delta Airlines and US Airways. The agreement paves the way for Delta to move forward with its $117 million planned investment to build a new terminal at LaGuardia Airport. In his conversation with the Attorney General, Crowley stressed the significance of the deal to Queens, including the creation of thousands of new jobs and increased economic activity in and around the airport.

“We must do everything we can to create jobs and put New Yorkers back to work. Delta’s plan to invest in Queens is exactly the kind of private sector initiative we need to keep our area economy moving forward,” said Rep. Crowley. “I relayed to the Attorney General my strong support for this deal and the benefits it would have to both Queens and New York and I urged him to ensure the Department of Justice approve it as soon as possible.”

In May, Delta Airlines and US Airways reached an agreement to transfer takeoff and landing slots between LaGuardia and Washington Reagan National Airports. Under the agreement, Delta would operate an additional 116-132 slots at LaGuardia Airport, and would give up some of its slots at Washington Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, Delta would begin a multimillion dollar construction program at LaGuardia to connect the existing Delta and US Airways terminals. An estimated 6,000 new jobs would be created as a result of this agreement, including construction, airport operational and tourism-related jobs. Additionally, Delta would phase out use of older, loud turbo-prop planes for quieter jets – resulting in less air noise polluting the communities around the airport.

Since 2009, Crowley has led efforts in support of a deal, working with both DOJ and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). In July, DOT granted tentative approval of the slot exchange agreement between Delta Airlines and US Airways. Once both agencies provide final approval, Delta and US Airways can begin work on implementing the terms of the slot exchange.

Congressman Crowley is the seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as a Chief Deputy Whip in the House of Representatives.