JFK Project Adjusted, Approved at $1.5B


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners recently approved an agreement on key terms for an amended plan for the JFK International Airport. The terms were with Delta Air Lines and JFK to expand Terminal 4 and consolidate Delta operations.

The now $1.5 billion project, which is being financed by private capital, was initially authorized in February 2020 as a $3.8 billion expansion and modernization plan. However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the plan has been reduced by about 60% to highlight key priorities.

The expansion of Terminal 4 as part of the transformation of JFK Airport is a milestone that’s prudent and important,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “The significant but prudent investment of $1.5 billion in private capital in this project is a vote of confidence in the future of JFK Airport, the future of the New York/New Jersey region, and the future of air travel as it continues to recover from the pandemic.  And it is remarkable in that it represents an important step forward in Governor Cuomo’s vision to modernize JFK as a unified world-class airport and the largest international gateway to the country.”

The Port Authority will now finalize and enter into a lease amendment with JFKIAT for an expansion and renovation of the Terminal 4 arrivals and departures hall and a concourse expansion to add 10 new gates.

Delta currently operates out of both Terminal 4 and Terminal 2, and this expansion aims to allow Delta to offer a seamless travel experience by consolidating all of Delta's JFK operations into Terminal 4.

The project will modernize and expand the existing terminal by about 150,000 square feet and will replace the 11 gates currently used at Terminal 2, which was built in 1962. That terminal will then be demolished.

The expansion and renovation at Terminal 4 is slated to break ground later this year, enabling Delta to consolidate its operations in late 2022, with full project completion in late 2023. A contractor for the project has not been released.

JFK Redevelopment Plan History

Initially unveiled in January 2017, the revamp plan for JFK revealed eight terminals to combine into one unified airport with the terminal complexes on the north and south sides. In addition, airport amenities, ground transportation and roadways are also set to improve. Overall, the airport’s capacity is estimated to increase by 15 million passengers a year.

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,” said Cuomo at the time.

By October of that year, a team was tapped for the extension, led by United Kingdom-based firm duo Mott MacDonald and Grimshaw Architects, which is responsible for spearheading airport redesigns in London, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Zurich, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

The team also includes: TranSolutions, Harris Miller Miller & Hanson, VJ Associates, ACB Architects, EnTech Engineering, Naik Consulting, Reichman Frankle and Holmes Keogh.

A year later, Cuomo announced that the new $7 billion, 2.9 million-square-foot terminal on the airport's south side would be developed by the Terminal One Group, a consortium of four international airlines—Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines and Korean Air Lines. The initial plans called for replacing JFK's Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 as well as the area left vacant when Terminal 3 was demolished in 2014. It would also be connected to the existing Terminal 4.

On the north side, the proposed new $3 billion, 1.2 million-square-foot terminal would be developed by JetBlue, which planned to demolish Terminal 7 and combine it with the vacant space where Terminal 6 was demolished in 2011. This would connect to the airline's existing Terminal 5.

New passenger facilities would also feature 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, according to officials at the time.

In July 2019, the Port Authority issued requests for the development of the new Kennedy Central Hub. The 14-acre mixed-use development will serve as a commercial and recreational epicenter for airport visitors, travelers and employees.

The RFPs for that project are anticipated in the second quarter of this year.

At the end of October, the authority approved an investment of approximately $4.5 billion for three of its major projects, including $445 million for the JFK reno. As a whole, the JFK project is expected to be achieved through a public-private partnership, in which 90% of will be covered by private funds.

In February, Cuomo announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reached an agreement on terms with Delta Air Lines for work on JFK International Air Terminal’s Terminal 4—a $3.8 billion renovation project.

The work is for the expansion and renovation of Terminal 4 originally included the addition of 16 new gates (500,000 square feet), the renovation of existing concourses and roadway upgrades.


Tagged categories: Airports; JFK International Airport; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Renovation; Upcoming projects

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