Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reached agreement on key terms with Delta Air Lines and JFK International Air Terminal, the operator of Terminal 4, to dramatically expand Terminal 4 and consolidate Delta operations there, a key step in the transformation of John F. Kennedy International Airport into a 21st century global gateway.
Subject to Board approval this week, the Port Authority will finalize and enter into a lease amendment with JFK International Air Terminal for an expansion and renovation of the Terminal 4 arrivals and departures hall, a major concourse expansion to add 16 new gates, the renovation of existing concourses, and roadway upgrades to improve access for vehicles. The expansion at Terminal 4 is expected to be complete with Delta consolidating its operations in early 2023. The roadway improvements will be completed in late 2025 with the other JFK Airport redevelopment projects.
“The Terminal 4 expansion will be another milestone in the transformation of JFK Airport, with upgrades that will give passengers the world-class experience they expect when flying into New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “When completed, our $13 billion project to modernize JFK will create a more unified airport and solidify New York’s position as the premier entry point to our country.”
Expanding Terminal 4 With Customer Needs in Mind
The $3.8 billion Terminal 4 project will modernize and expand the existing terminal, adding more than 500,000 square feet and 16 domestic narrow-body gates, while expanding and renovating the arrivals and departures hall to improve the ticketing areas, security check points, baggage claim, and arrivals areas. The newly renovated, light-filled terminal and concourses will convey a sense of place with modern concessions and amenities that welcome travelers to New York. Delta currently operates out of both Terminal 4 and Terminal 2, and this expansion will allow Delta to offer connecting customers a seamless travel experience at JFK by consolidating all of Delta’s JFK operations into Terminal 4. The 16-gate expansion will replace the 11 gates currently used by Delta at Terminal 2, which was built in 1962 and allow for the demolition of that 58-year-old terminal. The consolidation will also allow for more seamless connections on many of Delta’s partner airlines. The project will include expanded seating areas and concessions, modern wayfinding, and brand-new restrooms designed with travelers in mind. The expansion project also includes a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal 4’s Concourse A. Roadway access and frontage adjacent to Terminal 4 will also be reconfigured as part of this project, improving vehicle access for customers.
The redesign of Terminal 4 – which became the first air terminal to achieve LEED O+M certification in 2017 – will continue the Port Authority’s and JFKIAT’s commitment to energy efficiency, utilizing energy saving equipment and lighting throughout the terminal. The concourse expansion will incorporate infrastructure for rainwater capture and reuse within the building. In keeping with the Port Authority’s standards for transitioning to electric vehicles across its facilities, the project includes charging stations for electric ground service equipment at all new gates along with a deicing recovery system to capture spent deicing fluid.
The expansion and renovation of Terminal 4 is expected to be financed by JFKIAT. In early February, Delta’s Board of Directors authorized Delta’s management team to negotiate and enter into definitive agreements.
Delta has grown its presence in New York City by over 65 percent in the last 10 years and today operates more than 240 peak daily departures from JFK to nearly 100 destinations in more than 30 countries around the world. The airline first unveiled its $1.4 billion, state-of-the-art international gateway at JFK’s Terminal 4 in 2013. At LaGuardia Airport, Delta operates more than 275 peak daily departures and began construction on the $4 billion replacement of Terminals C and D in August 2017. Delta’s first new concourse and new gates on the eastern side of the airport opened in October 2019. A modern headhouse will open in 2022 as part of a Whole New LGA, with the phased opening of three additional concourses.
JFKIAT, a U.S. affiliate of Royal Schiphol Group, has been the operator of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport since 1997. The expansion will further enhance the terminal’s offerings for its 33 airline partners with new technologies to ensure expedited and seamless passenger processing capabilities, innovative food options, a locally inspired retail mix, children’s play areas, and other amenities to ensure passenger comfort and convenience.
Governor Cuomo’s Vision for a New JFK
In January 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced his JFK Vision Plan to transform John F. Kennedy International Airport into the unified, interconnected, world-class airport that New Yorkers deserve. The JFK Vision Plan calls for an overhaul of the airport’s eight disparate terminal sites into one unified JFK Airport by demolishing old terminals, utilizing vacant space, and modernizing on-airport infrastructure, while incorporating the latest in passenger amenities and technological innovations.
The Vision Plan also calls for increasing the number and size of gates, improving parking availability, providing an array of airside taxiway improvements to reduce gate congestion, upgrading the AirTrain JFK system to increase capacity, and enhancing roadways on and off the airport, particularly the Van Wyck Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway, including the Kew Gardens Interchange.
In October of 2018, the governor announced a historic commitment to advance the JFK Vision Plan and build two new world-class international terminal complexes on the airport’s north and south sides, driving a $13 billion investment in the project. The investment will transform the traveler experience from curb to gate, with best-in-class passenger amenities, centralized ground transportation options and vastly improved roadways that collectively will increase the airport’s capacity by at least 15 million passengers a year.
Redeveloping JFK Airport in Lockstep with the Local Community
As part of his October 2018 announcement, Governor Cuomo created the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council to advance community-focused programs throughout the airport’s redevelopment specifically related to advancing the Port Authority’s commitment to a 30 percent Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) contracting goal, as well as a variety of community benefits including job opportunities, small business outreach and development for local businesses, education for Queens residents, and environmental stewardship. The Advisory Council is co-chaired by Representative Gregory Meeks and the Queens Borough President and is composed of elected officials, community boards, nonprofit organizations, civic organizations and clergy leaders in the targeted communities of Southeast Queens, Southwest Queens, the Rockaways and Western portions of Nassau County.
Since its inception, the Advisory Council has been working with the Port Authority to expand community outreach efforts, ensuring that this ambitious project solicits ongoing feedback from local stakeholders and provides meaningful opportunities for local businesses, MWBEs and jobseekers. This includes a commitment to the governor’s nation-leading goal of 30 percent utilization of MWBEs, which applies to all aspects of the redevelopment including the expansion and renovation of Terminal 4 by Delta and JFKIAT.
In October 2019, the Advisory Council unveiled the first of a series of initiatives targeting job opportunities, business opportunities, and training and education initiatives to benefit the local communities around JFK Airport: a commitment for The New Terminal One to reserve 50% of concessions for opportunities for New York and Queens local businesses; an initiative to match both construction and airport operations jobs with local Queens residents; a new second chance program to ensure opportunities for formerly incarcerated Queens residents; and a new program that brings science and technology to life with an aviation focus for Queens students grades 1-12.
In the months ahead, the Advisory Council will continue to hold public meetings on a regular basis at which the Port Authority, the terminal developers, committee members and other community members discuss additional strategies and programs to provide more opportunities for local businesses, jobseekers and students interested in aviation.
Two New World-Class Terminals Anchoring the North and South Sides
As previously announced, on the airport’s south side, the Port Authority will enter into a lease agreement for The New Terminal One, a $7.4 billion, 2.8 million square foot new international terminal with a consortium of airlines – Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines and Korean Air Lines – and development and financial partners -The Carlyle Group, JLC Infrastructure and the Union Labor Life Insurance Company (Ullico) – for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the new, sustainably designed and future focused state-of-the-art terminal. The New Terminal One will replace JFK’s Terminal 1 which the group currently operates, Terminal 2 which opened in 1962 and is set to be demolished, as well as the area left vacant when Terminal 3 was demolished in 2014.
On the airport’s north side, the proposed new $3 billion, 1.2 million square foot international terminal will be developed by JetBlue-JFK Millennium Partners. The consortium plans to create a world-class international terminal complex that will connect to the existing Terminal 5. The new terminal will be occupied by JetBlue and its various partners currently spread throughout the airport.
Construction Underway at Terminal 8
Governor Cuomo announced the first groundbreaking as part of the complete transformation of JFK International Airport in December 2019. As part of the project, American Airlines and British Airways will add over 70,000 square feet of customer and operational space to Terminal 8. With customer experience in mind, improvements include reconfiguration of the check-in lobby to increase capacity by 25 percent, renovation and modernization of terminal restrooms, expansion of the fourth-level lounge areas to create joint American Airlines/British Airways premium lounges, and enhanced retail and dining options to enjoy before flight. The redeveloped Terminal 8 will feature five additional wide-body gates to accommodate larger aircraft, four wide-body hardstands, and enhanced baggage systems. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
On-Airport and Off-Airport Roadway Improvements
Another key part of the redevelopment project, a simplified roadway system will enable quicker access to all terminals for private cars, taxis, ride-share and other for-hire vehicles and to reconfigured parking lots for short-term and long-term parking.
Plans call for the terminal areas to be linked by two main “ring roads,” a north loop and a south loop, which will make it easier to enter and exit the airport while providing significantly easier access to the terminal complex areas on the airport’s north and south sides.
Off airport, the New York State Department of Transportation has targeted $1.5 billion in highway improvements designed to ease bottlenecks, particularly at the Kew Gardens Interchange with the Van Wyck Expressway and on the notoriously congested Van Wyck as well. The goal is to help reduce travel times for vehicles between midtown Manhattan and the airport.
With respect to mass transit, the Port Authority will be adding 50 percent capacity to the AirTrain JFK system as well as increasing frequency of service to keep up with rising demand. AirTrain JFK handled nearly 21 million passengers in 2019, surpassing the previous annual record set in 2018. Additionally, at Jamaica Station the Long Island Rail Road is constructing a new, 12-car platform that will increase capacity for those traveling to and from JFK.