LaGuardia Airport (LGA) ) is an airport in the northern part of the New York City borough of Queens in the United States. It is on the waterfront of Flushing and Bowery Bays in East Elmhurst and borders the neighborhoods of Astoria and Jackson Heights. The airport is the third busiest airport serving New York City, and the twentieth busiest in the United States. LaGuardia Airport covers 680 acres (280 ha).
The New York City metropolitan area's JFK International, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International Airports combine to create the largest airport system in the United States, second in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and first in the world in terms of total flight operations. In 2011, the airport handled 24.1 million passengers; In 2016, LaGuardia Airport had a strong growth in passenger traffic; about 29.8 million passengers used the airport, a 14.2 percent increase from the previous year. JFK handled 59.0 million and Newark handled 40.4 million, a total of about 129.7 million travelers using New York airports. In addition, LaGuardia is the busiest airport in the United States without any non-stop service to Europe. A perimeter rule prohibits nonstop flights to or from points beyond 1,500 miles (2,400 km), but exceptions to the perimeter rule are flights on Saturdays and flights to Denver. Most transcontinental flights use JFK or Newark, as do all international flights except those from airports (within the perimeter) that also have United States border preclearance, since there is no border control facility at the airport.
LaGuardia has been criticized for some of its outdated facilities. Former Vice President Joe Biden compared LaGuardia to a "third world country" and the airport has been ranked in numerous customer surveys as the worst in the United States. Among pilots, it is referred to as "USS LaGuardia", because the runways are short and surrounded by water, thus giving the feel of landing on an aircraft carrier. On July 27, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a reconstruction plan that would completely replace the existing airport.