JFK opens redeveloped Terminal 8

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has opened the US$400m expansion at Terminal 8, marking the completion of the first phase of the airport’s expansion framework, the JFK Vision Plan.

The operational improvements of Terminal 8 include five new widebody gates, four new widebody parking positions, and an expanded and upgraded baggage handling system that will together support additional transatlantic flights. The terminal has also been expanded with approximately 130,000ft2  of additional and refurbished space. Terminal 8 will also be undergoing major concessions upgrade across the terminal over the next 18 months, including local food and beverage options.

The privately financed expansion and modernization will enable British Airways to move from its long-time home in Terminal 7 and co-locate with American Airlines in Terminal 8. The 60-year-old Terminal 7 will be demolished to clear space for a new Terminal 6 that will begin construction early in 2023.

Iberia moved into Terminal 8 on Dec 1, and Japan Airlines expects to move its operations to Terminal 8 in May 2023. Premium customers traveling on both airlines will now be able to enjoy an elevated travel experience at Terminal 8. Upon arrival at Terminal 8, premium customers on Iberia and Japan Airlines will be greeted at the co-branded premium check-in area, which has been designed to provide personalized, concierge-style service. Once through security, three distinctive lounges – Chelsea, Soho and Greenwich – are available to eligible customers based on cabin of travel and loyalty program status. Chelsea and Soho lounges have been designed with original finishes to evoke a sense of space.

The Terminal 8 project involved the work of more than 115 minority- and women-owned businesses enterprises (MWBE) that were awarded contracts totaling more than US$161m, exceeding the Port Authority’s commitment to at least 30% MWBE participation at the agency’s capital projects. Local businesses were awarded nearly US$33m in contracts at Terminal 8.

Soho Lounge, Terminal 8, JFK.
Credit: British Airways

Announced in January 2017, the JFK Vision Plan provides a strategic framework for the Port Authority and its partners to completely redevelop, modify and expand existing facilities and infrastructure. The newly expanded Terminal 8 builds on the momentum of the other three major components of the airport’s transformation now underway.

The US$9.5bn development of the New Terminal One that will anchor the airport’s south side broke ground in September 2022. The US$1.5bn expansion of Terminal 4, led by Delta Air Lines and JFK International Air Terminal, was approved in the spring of 2021, broke ground in the autumn of 2021 and is now under construction with completion expected in the autumn of 2023. The US$4.2bn development of a new Terminal 6, which will connect to Terminal 5 to anchor the airport’s north side, achieved financial close earlier this month, securing full private financing for the project, and will begin construction by 2023.

Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York, said, “The completion of Terminal 8 is the latest milestone in our historic efforts to build a whole new JFK worthy of New York. I congratulate American Airlines, British Airways and the Port Authority for the first of what will be many milestones to come. We will continue our close partnerships as we transform JFK into a magnificent global gateway that will help to keep New York at the center of the world stage.”

Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority, said, “This inspiring expansion of Terminal 8, fostering superb hourly services between JFK and London, is an example of what’s to come at JFK, where our vision for a world-class, 21st-century airport is now unfolding from one end of the airport to the other. Thanks to the investment made by American Airlines and British Airways, Terminal 8 – with five new wide-body gates – offers an improved passenger experience and expanded capacity for transatlantic travel to and from JFK. This investment by our private partners at Terminal 8 is a vote of confidence in the future of the airport and of the JFK region.”

Kevin O’Toole, chairman, Port Authority, said, “Today, we celebrate the expansion of Terminal 8, which is the first of many more great things to come at JFK. Just as we’ve done at Newark and LaGuardia, the Port Authority and our private partners are successfully building the modern airports that the region deserves.”

Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, said, “This expansion of Terminal 8 at JFK International Airport represents the completion of a portion of this critical, large-scale redevelopment plan that continues to play a crucial role in revitalizing New York’s economic recovery and creating good-paying, middle-class careers with benefits. Completing these projects will open a gateway to a new era in New York and we celebrate being a step closer in fully modernizing JFK International Airport into the exemplary, world-class transportation hub that New Yorkers, and our visitors, truly deserve.”

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