To support a three-part television series broadcast and accompanying outreach on the engineering and technology of LaGuardia Airport, with a focus on the current new terminal project

  • Amount $750,000
  • City New York, NY
  • Investigator Stephen Segaller
  • Year 2018
  • Program Public Understanding
  • Sub-program Television

This grant to WNET, New York’s PBS station, in partnership with Windfall Films, supports the production and broadcast of a three-hour series about one of America’s biggest infrastructure projects: the rebuilding of LaGuardia airport, which is currently underway and slated for completion in 2021. Episode One: A Grand Terminal will focus on the state-of-the-art, 1.3-million-square-foot terminal itself, including its history and an overview of terminal design. Episode Two: Runways and Highways will cover building the runway space that surrounds the terminal, including flood-proofing the new taxiways—LaGuardia is surrounded on three sides by water—and preparing for environmental threats such as climate change and hurricanes. Episode Three: Bridges, Belts, and Baggage will explore the construction of two skybridges to get passengers from the new terminal to the 35 boarding gates as well as upgraded systems for moving baggage and passengers. The series will discuss a host of topics in science and engineering, including new construction techniques and machinery, the logistics of urban planning, impacts on local communities and the environment, tailoring runways to limit noise pollution, advanced radar technology to detect runway debris, and the use of swarm modeling mathematics to efficiently guide passengers and avoid congestion. In addition to primetime broadcast, grant funds support the production and dissemination of complementary educational resources through PBS Learning Media, and outreach through social and other media. 

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