Airlines to invest $344 million in JFK Terminal 8 project

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American Airlines and British Airways will invest $344 million in John F. Kennedy International Airport to expand and improve the customer experience at Terminal 8 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release.

“Only four months ago, we announced plans to transform JFK Airport into a state-of-the-art global hub, with new and unified terminals adding 4 million sq. ft. and increasing the airport’s capacity by at least 15 million passengers annually,” Cuomo said in the statement.

“Today that transformation is well underway, with an extraordinary private investment that will turn JFK into a truly modern airport. This new investment is part and parcel with the State’s broader efforts to modernize airports all across New York.”

The Terminal 8 enhancements will be made pursuant to an agreement between the Port Authority and American Airlines over the next three years in preparation for British Airways moving from their current location in Terminal 7, which will be replaced as part of JetBlue Airways’ plan to build a new terminal on the airport’s north side. No Port Authority funding is being committed to the Terminal 8 upgrade.

The airlines will add 70,400 sq. ft. to the terminal, including 33,000 sq. ft. of public space. Another 57,500 sq. ft. of existing space will be refurbished. New amenities include premium lounges for both airlines, enhanced baggage systems, premium check-in space and upgraded concessions.

There will be five additional wide-body gates to allow for more transatlantic flights and four nearby on-airfield plane parking/unloading areas to accommodate the added flights.

The Terminal 8 upgrade is expected to create 500 direct jobs and 750 total jobs over the project’s life.

JetBlue is constructing a $3 billion, 1.2 million sq. ft. new terminal on the airport’s north side that will connect to the airline’s existing Terminal 5. Additionally, another new $7 billion, 2.9 million sq. ft. terminal on the airport’s south side will occupy the area where the existing Terminals 1 and 2 are located, in addition to the are left vacant when Terminal 3 was demolished in 2014. The new south side terminal will be developed by the Terminal One Group, a consortium of four international airlines—Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines and Korean Air Lines.

Additionally, the New York State Department of Transportation will improve highways leading to/from JFK, while the Port Authority will invest in on-airport roadway improvements to simplify the existing spaghetti-like loop roads.

The Governor last fall announced the creation of the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council, composed of elected officials, community boards, nonprofit organizations, civic organizations and clergy leaders.

The council is chaired by Queens Borough president Melinda Katz and U.S. Congressman Gregory Meeks, and works with the Port Authority to expand community outreach efforts. This includes a commitment to 30 percent utilization of MWBEs. A community office for the project will open in Jamaica, Queens in the coming weeks, providing easier access for firms looking for business opportunities as well as local residents in search of jobs, the news release says.

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