The $13 billion plan to rebuild New York’s JFK Airport
Tuesday, October 09, 2018
Seven years of construction work are slated to tackle the growing problems at New York’s JFK Airport in a plan announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Oct. 4 that will see two new terminals and a raft of changes to improve the experience for passengers.
This is the next stage of the program to upgrade JFK, first announced in January 2017, when Cuomo promised that the airport was "next in line" following work starting on LaGuardia.
A lot of the details back then were up in the air. Now, following a successful bidding process by Mott MacDonald and Grimshaw Architects, there’s a lot more clarity on just how the complicated mess of JFK will be unraveled, and will include some major changes to the terminals at the airport.
While the previous report and early images of how JFK will change alluded to the desire to create a clearer, more joined up central terminal area out of the existing eight terminals, it is now understood that two new structures will be created and many older ones removed.
First will be an international terminal to the north of the central area, alongside the existing Terminal 5 operated by JetBlue. The airline will be the chief resident and is behind the construction of the facility.
Second, the Terminal One Group, which includes airlines such as Air France, Korean Air, Lufthansa and Japan Airlines, will expand their own terminal significantly at the southern side of the central area.
Cuomo describes the current facilities as a "disconnected Hodgepodge" that will be replaced by a new central hub, and three of the older terminal buildings will be demolished once the two new international terminals are completed. The site of former terminals 3 and 6 will also be built upon.
Perhaps taking inspiration from the world’s favorite airport, Singapore Changi, the new facilities will include an art exhibition area and open spaces full of greenery. These areas are preliminarily named after New York landmarks, like Central Park, Chelsea Market and the High Line.
JFK will benefit from an uplift in capacity by around 15 million passengers per year once the new terminals are completed, with more parking gates available to aircraft — especially modern, larger types like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777X. Passengers will also enjoy many new areas of lounges, shopping and dining.
The revamp will also be an opportunity to introduce new security technology. Cuomo stated that facial recognition, biometrics and "next generation" techniques in the detection of suspicious objects would all be part of the new terminals.
Revisiting the contentious issue of road and public transport access to JFK, the governor said the Port Authority was still intending to improve the flow of traffic to and from the airport, and a redesign of the road entrances to simplify routes in and out of the airport.
The new JFK is planned to be completed between 2023 and 2025, with work being undertaken while the airport remains fully operational once construction starts. Private funding sources will pay for $12 billion of the work, with the remaining $1 billion coming from the Port Authority.
Additional funding is to be released to "rehabilitate" one of the airport’s runways and taxiways in the short term. However, there will be no new runways built, causing many to believe that while the passenger experience and facilities will be improved, there will be no improvement to the notoriously delayed flights experience.
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