$9.5 billion New Terminal One transformation underway, creating 6,000 construction jobs

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New York Construction Report staff writer

Officials celebrated a milestone in the Port Authority’s transformation of John F. Kennedy International Airport this week, with the ground-breaking for a $9.5 billion, privately financed New Terminal One.

“Today’s groundbreaking on a new Terminal One at JFK International Airport represents the start of another critical, large-scale infrastructure upgrade that will play a crucial role in New York’s continued economic recovery and create thousands of good paying, middle class careers with benefits. Now more than ever, we need development projects that create sustainable career opportunities for our city’s working people,” said Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York President Gary LaBarbera.

“Our members are at the ready and look forward to ramping up their work fully modernizing JFK International Airport into the exemplary, world- class transportation hub that New Yorkers, and our visitors, truly deserve.”

The 2.4-million terminal is the biggest public-private partnership in the history of Port Authority airports, involving the commitment of $9.5 billion of private investment. It is expected to create 6,000 for construction workers.

“Our state-of-the-art renovations of New York State’s airports are critical and long overdue – especially at JFK, the nation’s front door to the world,” Governor Hochul said. “Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has put in the years of hard work to make this transformative project possible.”

Designed to meet increased demand for international air travel, the facility will be more than twice the size of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Bright and airy check-in halls and arrival spaces advanced security technology and a state-of-the-art baggage handling system will enhance the passenger experience. It will double the number of gates that currently accommodate wide-body aircraft, with 22 of the 23 new gates designed for larger aircraft that are key to international travel.

In order to maintain full flight operations during construction, demolition of old structures will be coordinated with the opening of new facilities. Work will begin at the vacant Terminal 3 site. Terminal 2 will be demolished after Delta Air Lines consolidates its operations at a newly expanded and modernized Terminal 4 in 2023. The current Terminal 1 will be torn down after the first phase of the New Terminal One is completed in 2026, allowing the second phase of the project to move forward.

“Today’s groundbreaking for a New Terminal One represents a significant step toward ensuring that our region remains the nation’s gateway to the world. When completed, this new terminal will represent another crucial step into refashioning our airports into soaring spaces that deliver passengers a world-class experience in a sustainable way while serving as economic engines for the surrounding community,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.

The project includes more than 300,000 square feet of dining and retail concessions, lounges, indoor green-space, public art and revamped roadways. It is sustainably designed with on-site renewable energy generation, electric ground support equipment and optimized lighting and building controls.

Construction was delayed during the pandemic and a revised agreement was approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners and announced by Governor Hochul in December 2021, enabling the project to move forward.

Three other major projects are in the works:

  • The $3.9 billion development of a state-of-the-art new Terminal 6, to be built by JFK Millennium Partners, on the airport’s north side that will seamlessly connect with JetBlue’s existing Terminal 5 and was approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners in August 2021.
  • The $1.5 billion expansion of Terminal 4, led by Delta Air Lines and JFK International Air Terminal was approved in the spring and is now under construction.
  • Work began in December 2019 on the $425 million expansion of JFK’s Terminal 8, led by American Airlines, which operates the Terminal, and British Airways, which will be relocating to Terminal 8 from Terminal 7, once the project is completed by the end of this year.

“As the oldest and largest business association in Queens, we are delighted to stand with Governor Hochul, and our friends at the Port Authority to kick off construction on this historic investment in JFK International Airport,” said Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech.

“This $9.5 billion investment to create a world-class passenger experience at Terminal 1 will provide opportunities for local MWBEs and be a tremendous boost to our region’s economic recovery. We are incredibly proud of the part Queens Chamber members will play in this transformative project”

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