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. 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. International flights without border preclearance must use the nearby JFK or Newark airports, as there is no border control facility at the airport.
Glenn H. Curtiss Airport (named after aviation pioneer Glenn Hammond Curtiss[), later renamed North Beach Airport, was the earlier airport at this location. The name was changed after New York City's takeover and reconstruction to New York Municipal Airport–LaGuardia Field, and in 1953 became "LaGuardia Airport", named for Fiorello La Guardia, the mayor of New York when the airport was built.
LaGuardia has been frequently criticized for some of its outdated facilities.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 GovernorAndrew Cuomo announced a reconstruction plan that would completely replace the existing airport. The reconstruction project broke ground in 2016 and is set to be complete by 2021.