New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced a $13-billion plan to transform John F. Kennedy International Airport into a modern 21st-century facility anchored by two new world-class international terminal complexes on the airport’s north and south sides. This record investment, which includes $12 billion in private funding, will advance Cuomo’s vision for a unified and interconnected airport system 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.
The governor’s Vision Plan, initially unveiled in January 2017 and based on the recommendations from the governor’s Airport Advisory Panel, calls for an overhaul of JFK’s eight disparate terminals into one unified airport. The plan also calls for increasing the number and size of gates, improving parking availability, adding an array of airside taxiway improvements to allow for bigger planes and reduced gate congestion, upgrading the AirTrain JFK system to handle increased passenger capacity, and enhancing roadways on and off the airport.
The announcement followed the selection last September of a master planning team for the redevelopment of the airport, led by Mott MacDonald and Grimshaw Architects. Grimshaw’s portfolio of prior master planning and redevelopment projects includes airports around the world.
The proposed new $7-billion, 2.9-million-square-foot terminal on the airport’s south side will be developed by the Terminal One Group, which is a consortium of four international airlines: Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines, and Korean Air Lines. The plan calls for replacing JFK’s Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, as well as the area left vacant when Terminal 3 was demolished in 2014. When completed, the terminal will yield a net increase of over 2 million square feet from the existing terminals and provide 23 international gates, 22 of which will be designed to accommodate larger, wide-body aircraft. The complex will be operated by Munich Airport International and also be connected to the existing Terminal 4, which initially opened in 2001 and has been expanded twice since then, most recently in 2013.
On the airport’s north side, the proposed new $3-billion, 1.2-million-square-foot terminal will be developed by JetBlue. JetBlue plans to demolish Terminal 7 and combine it with the vacant space where Terminal 6 was demolished in 2011 to create a world-class international terminal complex that would be connected to the airline’s existing Terminal 5 and be occupied by the airline and its various partners currently spread throughout the airport.
The plans for the two terminals announced yesterday will now be submitted to the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners. Once lease terms are finalized, the leases will be subject to final board approval. Construction is expected to begin in 2020, with the first new gates opening in 2023 and substantial completion expected in 2025.
The Port Authority also will seek proposals to develop the new Kennedy Central hub, issuing a request for information in coming months.