Two years after he said that the conditions at LaGuardia Airport reminded him of a third-world country, Vice President Joe Biden appeared with Governor Andrew Cuomo at a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of a new airport. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
A new and improved LaGuardia Airport was the reason Vice President Joe Biden swooped into New York on Tuesday afternoon. But with the country reeling from the deadliest mass shooting in American history, he spoke also about security and had kind words for Police Commissioner William Bratton.
"I listened today to New York city's commissioner of police, who I think is one of the best in the nation, one of the best in the world," Biden said.
The vice president's support comes as Donald Trump is criticizing the city's police department for doing away with a Muslim surveillance program that had been in place under Mayor Bloomberg and his police commissioner, Ray Kelly. Biden argued the police work being done in New York is the best in the country.
"What you are doing in the state, the vigilance of the New York City police department, the way they coordinate and work with the FBI, it surpasses every other city in the country in terms of the cooperation and the intelligence sharing," Biden said.
The vice president did not stick around to actually break ground on the project, but his criticism of the airport two years ago appears to have played a critical role in bringing the state here. He famously said it was reminiscent of a third world country.
"He really did put his finger on it," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The airport will remain open throughout the construction. When complete, officials say there will be an AirTrain moving passengers throughout the airport and transporting them to Manhattan.
"And this is not just going to be a rebuilding of what was. It's not going to be a rebuilding of LaGuardia. It's going to be a whole new airport," Cuomo said.
The $4 billion project is expected to finish in 2021.