La Guardia Airport (IATA: LGA, ICAO: KLGA, FAA LID: LGA) is an airport located in the northern part of Queens County on Long Island in the City of New York. The airport is located on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay, and borders the neighborhoods of Astoria, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst. The airport was originally named Glenn H. Curtiss Airport after aviation pioneer Glenn Hammond Curtiss then renamed North Beach Airport, then later named for Fiorello H. La Guardia, a former mayor of New York when the airport was built. In 1960, it was voted the "greatest airport in the world" by the worldwide aviation community. The airport is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
La Guardia is the smallest of the New York metropolitan area's three primary commercial airports, the other two of which are John F. Kennedy International Airport in southern Queens and Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, and the closest of the three to Manhattan. It is larger than nearby alternative airports Long Island MacArthur Airport in Suffolk County, Westchester County Airport in Westchester County, and Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York. La Guardia is popular because of its central location and proximity to Manhattan. In spite of the airport's small size, wide-body aircraft once visited regularly; the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011 were specifically designed for use at La Guardia. From 2000 to 2005, Delta operated the 767-400ER with 285 seats. Today, there are no scheduled widebody flights, though occasionally Delta Air Lines rotates a Boeing 767-300 in for one of its Atlanta flights. The airport serves as a focus city for American Airlines, American Eagle and US Airways Express
Most flights from La Guardia go to destinations within the United States and Canada, as well as service to Aruba, the Bahamas and Bermuda, because those destinations are staffed with United States border preclearance facilities. The airport has INS/FIS facilities capable of processing customs and immigration on arriving international flights; the facilities are insufficient to handle efficiently the number of passengers that a non-precleared scheduled airline service would require. La Guardia is the busiest airport in the US without any non-stop service to and from Europe. A perimeter rule prohibits nonstop flights to or from points beyond 1,500 statute miles (2,400 km) (except flights on Saturdays and flights to Denver), so most transcontinental and international flights use JFK or Newark.
In 2008, the airport handled 23.1 million passengers; JFK handled 47.8 million and Newark handled slightly more than 35.4 million, making for a total of approximately 106 million travelers using New York airports, which is the largest airport system in the United States, largest in the world in terms of flight operations, and second in the world (after London) in terms of passenger traffic.
La Guardia ranked last out of 66 airports in the United States in a passenger satisfaction survey compiled by J.D. Power and Associates. Out of 31 airports surveyed in 2009, La Guardia, together with Newark Liberty International Airport, ranked last for on-time arrivals.