6. LaGuardia Airport Housed the First Helicopter Airline
Originally founded in 1949 as a mail and cargo carrier at LaGuardia Airport, New York Airways later converted to carrying passengers around New York City, making it the very first helicopter airline in the United States. It was initially well-received by the public because it allowed passengers to bypass New York’s notoriously congested streets without having to take the equally-frustrating subway, and allowed quick transfers between airports. A trip from LaGuardia to JFK Airport (known then as Idlewild Airport), took 10 minutes and cost $4.50. Imagine being able to skip the Belt Parkway so quickly today?
It also provided a cheaper alternative to riding taxis, making it a popular way to travel in and around the city. At its peak, it provided services in twenty-four airports, including JFK Airport (whose famous Worldport Terminal has recently been demolished). New York Airways was also involved in the fatal crash on the helipad atop the Pan Am Building in 1977. This combined with the cost of operation led to the closing of the company.