New Delta terminal at La Guadia; New Delta terminal at La Guadia;

Delta’s new Terminal C at LGA, New York, NY

Delta’s new Terminal C at LGA sets a new standard for the passenger experience

Get ready for a transformed experience at Delta’s brand-new Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in New York. The new terminal will be a key part of the transformation of LaGuardia Airport into a safer, more sustainable future for travel. For Delta, Arup is leading the creation of an integrated technology infrastructure that provides a customer-friendly journey, as well as establishes a new benchmark for efficiency, usability, data access, sustainability to terminal operations.

New York’s LaGuardia Airport has long been known for its outdated infrastructure, never-ending construction, unfriendly passenger experience and constant delays. Even the roadways leading to the airport are notorious for their gridlock, presaging the inefficient airport experience ahead. 

In 2017, Arup began working with Delta, the largest carrier at LGA, on a complete redesign of a new $4 billion terminal at LGA. The project will consolidate Delta’s Terminals C and D into a single state-of-the-art facility featuring 37 gates across four concourses. A centralized departures and arrivals hall will simplify the check-in, security check and baggage claim touchpoints. 

The seminal shift will be digital. In order to create a world-class airport terminal today—one that delivers a superior customer experience, improves operations, cuts energy costs and reduces carbon emissions—terminal technology must be fully integrated. Arup’s comprehensive centralization of technology at the terminal will deliver a pioneering level of information access and smart operations for Delta. 
The new headhouse will be the first customer-facing expression of Arup’s comprehensive technological integration across every function of the terminal. As such, it is a new benchmark for airport terminals, where better customer experiences, operational efficiencies, and reduced climate impacts are possible.

Project Summary

37 gates across four concourses, an increase from 29

80 dashboardsfor various user-groups

4 apron allies controlled from one unified virtual ramp control center

Technology enhances the customer journey

The integrated technology at Delta new LGA terminal will provide an information-rich yet touchless journey for a more intuitive, bespoke and convenient experience. Digital wayfinding signage from the roadway to the gates will guide Delta flyers, as it anticipates their journeys with updated and customizable information, including from the building’s smart monitoring of conditions in terminal relative to their travel. QR code-accessible interactive screens throughout the terminal will support passengers on their journeys, displaying information such as maps, directions, travel time to terminal locations, wait times for lines, the nearest concessions and even updates on which bathrooms are clean and ready to use. For pandemic-era safety, the entire voyage through the terminal can be touchless, with a hands-free check-in and baggage drop. During the intense phased construction period, the dynamic signage has been providing critical updates and insights on real-time conditions, already drastically improving the customer journey and operations management.

Integrated digital infrastructure

Arup implemented an overarching technology platform, which functions as an information broker to integrate the entirety of terminal technology the new terminal. The system gathers all data sets across the terminal’s subsystems, and displays information through dashboards that Arup customized with relevant sets of information and interfaces for different user groups. Dashboards for facilities operators, for example, will feature information about the buildings’ systems such as interior lighting and heating, while the ramp operators’ monitors will provide information related to ramp activity. Various functions, such as fault-diagnostic emails that signal potential problems, are included for groups where relevant. 

To make this rich font of data as accessible and actionable as possible, Arup designed the interfaces using graphics and information design to provide context to the end-user group’s specific needs and tasks. A key part of Arup’s work for the three new control rooms was to understand the end-user’s current technology and operations along with their aspirations and vision for an ideal control room set-up. Delta’s and Arup’s focus was not only on providing the most powerful technology to Delta users, but also to be cognizant of how technology should work with people. To this end, Arup conducted workshops with users and created mocked-up test stations for user feedback to guide the design, and engaged vendors to provide training on new equipment and systems.

Accelerating operational efficiencies

Providing data across every aspect of operations through the dashboards gives Delta teams unprecedented access to data sets, which reveals new kinds of information, helping them better understand and improve their operations over time. 

Since the dashboard can visualize operations in terms of energy consumption, Delta can see where reducing runtime can increase equipment efficiencies. For example, Delta teams can observe the terminal’s entire ramp operations, such when boarding bridges, preconditioned air conditioning units, or fixed ground power units are in operation relative to when they are actually being used. In this case, Delta might see a meaningful reduction in energy consumption by knowing, via virtual ramp input, precisely when boarding bridges are not in use. Since the two largest power consumers in any airport terminal are baggage and airplane ramp services, knowing exactly when to turn on and off equipment can have a sizable impact. Being able to control HVAC on and off times alone can decrease ramp service usages up to 87% for significant energy savings.

The dashboard’s consistent format for data makes side-by-side associations and comparisons between different data sets easily possible, eliminating the conventional manual process of piecing together different information formats for analysis. This can accelerate analytics and enable powerful insights, such as providing a view into periods of peak energy consumption and reveal what systems running during that period are potentially driving up that usage in Watts. 

The dashboard can also be applied for oversight controls to monitor and improve conditions, such as air quality. As the Delta teams use the dashboard to better understand operations and improve performance over time, they can automate systems to respond to occupancy and usage. Currently, the technology is set up to sense safe distances between passengers, such as when waiting in lines, such as in ticketing, TSA and taxi cues. 

Inherently flexible, the information system will evolve as it is rolled out and input from Delta regarding their findings and needs is received. Further, it allows for future add-ons such as machine learning capabilities to continue to refine performance improvements.

Delta’s clear vision of how technology can impact their operations enabled us to design a comprehensively-integrated technology system and control rooms that are at the vanguard of delivering smart, actionable information for airport terminals. With the industry’s ever-increasing expectations for customer service and operational efficiencies, Airport terminals of the future will need to follow Delta’s lead of creating a fully integrated technology infrastructure. ” Jenny Buckley Jenny Buckley Global Aviation Leader and Americas Transport Leader

From IT master plan to implementation

From the outset, Arup envisioned an agile, integrated technological platform for Delta’s terminal, beginning with our assignment to develop an IT master plan. Given the complexities of executing technology integration for the large-scale conversion of its terminal during its continued operation, Delta subsequently asked Arup to lead implementation of the platform. Arup’s team has been providing research, procurement services, vendor selection, and project management along with operational readiness, activation and transition (ORAT) services for implementation. To effectively do this, Arup has been embedded with Delta’s management team, helping them with key decisions about the technologies that will best add value to the overall platform.

With its state-of-the-art integrated technology, and Arup’s deeply integrated role with Delta, the new Terminal C will bring the airport experience, operations and climate impact mitigation into the highest of 21st century standards, helping to define the future of air travel.