Credit: Bill Moore photo

Amsterdam News Staff

In a letter to the New York Congressional Delegation, Rep. Charles Rangel discussed why more minorities need to be included in the LaGuardia Central Terminal Project, which will renovate and expand LaGuardia Airport.

Rangel discussed the fact that the project will create close to 15,000 jobs and almost $4.5 billion in economic activity throughout the region. The makeover, which will cost approximately $3.6 billion, will include a three-level 1.3 million square-foot terminal that will be a third larger than the current existing facility.

“Again, the LaGuardia Central Terminal Project will translate into thousands of jobs and numerous contracting opportunities for our city residents, and therefore I am urging that the project contract not be awarded without minimally the inclusion of a 35 percent DBE/MBE participation,” wrote Rangel. “No winning bid should be issued a contract without showing that it has made more than a good faith effort to ask for 35 percent DBE/MBE partnership, not only for construction but for soft costs, such as operation, financing and design contracts.” DBE stands for “disadvantaged business enterprises” and MBE stands for “minority business enterprises.”

LaGuardia Airport’s terminal was built in 1964, and it was designed to accomodate approximately 8 million passengers annually. The renovation/expansion project is slated to take between six and 10 years to complete. According to LaGuardia Airport officials, an expected 17.5 million passengers will travel through the airport annually by the year 2030. As a result of this project, the terminal would be pushed closer to the Grand Central Parkway to accommodate larger aircraft.

Rangel’s letter was also sent to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“It is crucial that every facet of this project meet federal DBE and state MBE goals,” Rangel wrote. “Diversity must be emphasized on the team selected to build and design this project. Atlanta, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., have taken the lead to increase DBE/MBE goals. In a city as diverse as New York, working together, we can achieve unprecedented results.”