A third New York airport is now able to step forward in plans to drag the city's gateways out of the past and surge ahead with redevelopments following approval of almost $500 million in funding by the Port Authority.

Both JFK and LaGuardia airports are well underway with their own improvement programs that aim to impressively reorganize the way travelers arrive and depart the city. In LaGuardia's case, a $4 billion overhaul will completely change the face of its terminals. At JFK, $2 billion is being spent on improving the inadequate ground transportation network.

At the time, Mayor Cuomo said they were spending on JFK "because La Guardia isn't enough." Now, it seems, it's not enough to ignore Newark Liberty International Airport either.

Overall, a $2.3 billion plan has been dreamed up at Newark under the banner "Terminal A Redevelopment Program." The result will be an entirely new structure known as Terminal One to avoid confusion with the existing Terminal A, which will remain in use.

The new 33-gate, single-concourse structure will cover a million square feet and include three piers for aircraft to park at. These will be connected to a central building with arrivals and departures levels, a food court and a new roadside and parking area with space for 3,000 vehicles.

The Dec. 7 announcement approved $496 million of public funding to start the project and, it seems, could not come a minute sooner.

"Today's authorizations will help accelerate a program that everyone agrees is vital to the airport's future success," Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeffrey Lynford said.

A recent uptick in passenger numbers seems to be putting pressure on the existing terminals and road and rail access, which has spurred the funding approval.

"Newark Liberty is experiencing unprecedented growth in passenger traffic, up about 7 percent this year and on pace to greatly exceed the record 40 million customers we served in 2016," Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole added.

This initial phase will see "extensive paving work and the milling of existing pavement; the demolition of buildings, concourses and satellites; installation of a new drainage system; construction of four new bridge structures, and taxi lane lighting and new curbing."

Ultimately, however, a new train station will also be added to the new terminal to improve access to New York City and other cities. An additional $75 million of funding was approved Thursday for foundation work on this station, as well as $175 million to create the airside parking areas needed for aircraft around the new terminal.

Terminal One is expected to open in 2021, with continued work toward becoming fully operational in 2022. It will be able to accommodate 13.6 million passengers alone, with room for expansion, and will work alongside the existing terminals that will eventually be updated or replaced.

Alongside developments at the city's other airports, Newark's improvements will be a major advance toward accommodating the growing demand for flights to and from New York.