JFK breaks ground on US$4.2bn international terminal

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Airline JetBlue has broken ground on the US$4.2bn Terminal 6 project at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York.

Terminal 6 will connect with JetBlue’s current home at Terminal 5, adding gates and opportunities for the airline to add flights, destinations and partner airline connections. The partners will build the 365,760m2 (1,200,000ft2 ) international terminal on the airport’s north side. According to estimates, the project will create approximately 4,000 jobs, including 1,800 union construction jobs and direct wages of US$1.9bn. With hiring ongoing throughout the company, more than 7,000 JetBlue crew members are now based at JFK Airport.

The terminal will be developed in two phases, with the first new gates opening in 2026 and construction completion in 2028. Terminal 6 will have capacity for 10 gates – including nine wide-body gates. Customers will be able to access approximately 30,480m2 (100,000ft2) of shopping and dining featuring local restaurateurs, craft beverage options and Taste NY stores.

Touchless technology will be installed from check-in to gates and digital systems to streamline the customer journey throughout the terminal. The terminal’s security systems will include automated TSA security lanes, biometric-based access control systems and a flexible design to accommodate future technology or regulatory changes. A taxi plaza as well as designated for-hire vehicle pickup areas will be shared with Terminal 5, to reduce traffic congestion on the terminal road frontage and maximize connectivity across the airport.

As part of the construction agreement, the Port Authority will commit US$130m in capital funding to build enabling infrastructure for the new Terminal 6, including airside improvements that will reduce congestion and delays, and roadway improvements that will optimize airport traffic flow.

The project is a public-private partnership between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and JFK Millennium Partners – a consortium that includes JetBlue; Vantage Airport Group, an investor, developer and manager of airport projects, including LaGuardia Terminal B; American Triple I, a certified minority-owned investor, owner, developer and manager of infrastructure assets; and New York real estate operating company RXR.

Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue, said, “It was 23 years ago that JetBlue launched our first flights from our home at JFK, eventually growing and taking over our modern Terminal 5 and now sending customers to more than 80 destinations, including London and soon Paris. At a time when JetBlue is set to grow significantly, we are excited to once again invest and further the governor’s vision as we build the new Terminal 6. As we move JFK into the future with a new, state-of-the-art, customer-focused facility, we are so pleased to have an opportunity to expand our presence with new gates in a new terminal. The team putting this project together is setting out to develop a terminal that New Yorkers, including our JetBlue crew members, can be proud of.”

Helena Williams, CEO and Vantage executive of JFK Millennium Partners, said, “Great cities need great airports. Alongside our partners at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Vantage Airport Group, ATI, RXR, and JetBlue, we are ready to deliver a terminal that transforms the guest experience, drives significant economic activity, and creates extensive opportunities for local minority and women-owned businesses to make their mark at JFK International Airport, starting now and for years to come.”

Read more construction and architecture updates from the passenger terminal industry, here.

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