Plan to Transform JFK Into a World-Class 21st Century Airport

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Posted: Monday, October 8, 2018 6:25 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a historic $13 billion plan to transform John F. Kennedy International Airport into a modern 21st century airport anchored by two new world-class international terminal complexes on the airport's north and south sides. This record investment, including $12 billion in private funding, advances the Governor'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.

"While leaders in Washington talk about investing in infrastructure, we're actually doing it at historic levels and the transformation of JFK Airport into a 21st century transportation hub will ensure New York remains the nation's front door to the world," said Governor Cuomo. "This historic investment to modernize JFK Airport and the surrounding transportation network will not only ease travel through this major hub, but it will ensure JFK joins the ranks as one of the finest airports in the world."

"We know how powerful investing in infrastructure can be as a boost to our economy and a driver of job creation," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Here in New York we have transformed our state with record investments in infrastructure, especially at our airports. This latest plan for the modernization of JFK will build upon our efforts to improve the transportation network of this world-class facility, and enhance the traveler experience."

The Governor's JFK Vision Plan, initially unveiled in January 2017 and based on the recommendations from the Governor's Airport Advisory Panel, calls for an overhaul of the airport's hodgepodge of 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, 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 enhanced roadways on and off the airport. This includes better access to JFK from regional roadways, particularly the Van Wyck Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway, including the Kew Gardens Interchange.

This announcement follows the selection in September 2017 of a master planning team for the redevelopment of the airport, led by Mott MacDonald and Grimshaw Architects, and whose portfolio of prior master planning and redevelopment projects includes airports in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia. Starting late last year, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees JFK Airport, embarked on an extensive and rigorous process with the airport's existing six terminal operators, each of which operates under a long-term lease agreement, seeking proposals from each of them to modernize, expand and/or replace their facilities.

These proposals were in turn evaluated by a formal comparative analysis team, comprised of seasoned experts, against a set of established criteria to determine the best combination of developments that would achieve the core master plan objectives, as well as fully leverage the Port Authority's previously approved $1 billion capital plan commitment. The plans for the two terminals announced 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. Additional discussions with multiple other airlines and terminal operators remain ongoing to further advance the goals of the Vision Plan.

The new passenger facilities will feature significantly larger waiting areas with high ceilings, natural light and modern architecture coupled with interior green space, exhibits and art featuring iconic New York landmarks and local artists. World-class retail, restaurants and bars will include locally-based restaurateurs, craft beverage options and Taste NY stores. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi and an abundance of charging stations throughout the terminals will enable passengers to stay connected at each step of their journey.

State-of-the-art technological improvements will be part of the terminal upgrades, with security enhancements, such as radiation detection and next-generation identification of unattended packages.

At the center of the airport, the Port Authority will seek proposals to develop the new Kennedy Central hub, issuing a Request for Information in the coming months to determine the most effective and functional way to leverage this blank canvas in a fashion that will complement and add value to airport experience. Options might include, but aren't limited to, public open and recreational space, conference centers, cultural uses and other amenities for the traveling public and the airport's workforce.

Two new centrally-located JFK Welcome Centers will serve as convenient access points for taxis, buses, for-hire vehicles and parking.

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, a consortium of four international airline, Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines and Korean Air Lines. The plans call for replacing JFK's Terminal 1, 20 years old and undersized, which the group currently operates, and Terminal 2, 56 years old and functionally obsolete, as well as the area left vacant when Terminal 3 was demolished in 2014.

When completed, it will yield a net increase of over 2 million in square feet from the existing terminals and provide 23 international gates, 22 of which will be designed to accommodate larger, wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or Airbus A380, which provides seating for more than 500 passengers.

The new terminal will contain at least 24 security screening lanes, more than 230,000 sq. ft. of retail, dining and other concessions, 116,000 sq. ft. of airline lounges, and 55,000 sq. ft. of interior green space, children's play areas and cultural exhibits. 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 sq. ft. terminal will be developed by JetBlue. JetBlue plans to demolish Terminal 7, 48 years old, undersized and functionally obsolete, 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. Terminal 5 opened in 2008 and is the newest of JFK's current six terminals.

This new terminal will have 12 international gates, all of which be able to accommodate larger, wide-body aircraft. It will feature 74,000 sq. ft. of retail, 30,000 sq. ft. of airline lounges, and 15,000 sq. ft. of recreational space.

Construction is expected to begin in 2020 with the first new gates opening in 2023 and substantial completion expected in 2025.

An additional $2 billion in private non-Port Authority funding will be allocated to an array of critical infrastructure upgrades laying the foundation for these world-class new terminals.

SOURCE: Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

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