John F. Kennedy International Airport
|Owner||Port Authority of New York and New Jersey|
|Operator||Port Authority of New York and New Jersey|
|Serves||New York metropolitan area|
|Location||Queens, New York City, U.S.|
|Opened||July 1, 1948|
|Focus city for|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−05:00)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−04:00)|
|Elevation AMSL||13 ft / 4 m|
FAA airport diagram as of October 2016
John F. Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK, ICAO: KJFK, FAA LID: JFK) (colloquially referred to as JFK Airport) is an international airport in New York City, U.S. based in the borough of the Queens. It is one of the primary airports serving New York City. The airport is the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America, the 20th-busiest airport in the world, the sixth-busiest airport in the United States, and the busiest airport in the New York airport system, having handled over 62.5 million passengers in 2019. More than ninety airlines operate from the airport, with nonstop or direct flights to destinations in all six inhabited continents.
JFK is located in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, 16 miles (26 km) southeast of Midtown Manhattan. The airport features six passenger terminals and four runways. JFK is a hub for both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and it is the primary operating base for JetBlue. JFK was also formerly a hub for Pan Am, TWA, Eastern, National, and Tower Air.
The facility opened in 1948 as New York International Airport and was commonly known as Idlewild Airport. Following John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, the airport was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport as a tribute to the 35th President.
John F. Kennedy International Airport was originally called Idlewild Airport (IATA: IDL, ICAO: KIDL, FAA LID: IDL) after the Idlewild Beach Golf Course that it displaced. It was built to relieve LaGuardia Field, which had become overcrowded after its 1939 opening.:2 In late 1941, mayor Fiorello La Guardia announced that the city had tentatively chosen a large area of marshland on Jamaica Bay, which included the Idlewild Golf Course as well as a summer hotel and a landing strip called the Jamaica Sea-Airport, for a new airfield.:2 Title to the land was conveyed to the city at the end of December 1941. Construction began in 1943, though the airport's final layout was not yet decided upon.:2–3
About US$60 million was initially spent with governmental funding, but only 1,000 acres (400 ha) of the Idlewild Golf Course site were earmarked for use. The project was renamed Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport in 1943 after a Queens resident who had commanded a Federalized National Guard unit in the southern United States and died in late 1942. The renaming was vetoed by Mayor La Guardia and reinstated by the New York City Council; in common usage, the airport was still called "Idlewild". In 1944, the New York City Board of Estimate authorized the condemnation of another 1,350 acres (550 ha) for Idlewild. The Port of New York Authority (now the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) leased the Idlewild property from the City of New York in 1947:3 and maintains this lease today. In March 1948, the City Council changed the official name to New York International Airport, Anderson Field, but the common name remained "Idlewild" until December 24, 1963. The airport was intended as the world's largest and most efficient, with "no confusion and no congestion".:3
The first flight from Idlewild was on July 1, 1948, with the opening ceremony attended by then-U.S. President Harry S. Truman. The Port Authority canceled foreign airlines' permits to use LaGuardia, forcing them to move to Idlewild during the next couple of years. Idlewild at the time had a single 79,280-square-foot (7,365 m2) terminal building;:3 by 1949, the terminal building was being expanded to 215,501 square feet (20,021 m2). Further expansions would come in following years, including a control tower in 1952, as well as new and expanded buildings and taxiways.
Idlewild opened with six runways and a seventh under construction; runways 1L and 7L were held in reserve and never came into use as runways. Runway 31R (originally 8,000 ft or 2,438 m) is still in use; runway 31L (originally 9,500 ft or 2,896 m) opened soon after the rest of the airport and is still in use; runway 1R closed in 1957 and runway 7R closed around 1966. Runway 4 (originally 8,000 ft, now runway 4L) opened June 1949 and runway 4R was added ten years later. A smaller runway 14/32 was built after runway 7R closed and was used until 1990 by general aviation, STOL, and smaller commuter flights.
The Avro Jetliner was the first jet airliner to land at Idlewild on April 16, 1950. A Sud Aviation Caravelle prototype was the next airliner to land at Idlewild, on May 2, 1957. Later in 1957, the USSR sought approval for two Tupolev Tu-104 flights carrying diplomats to Idlewild; the Port Authority did not allow them, saying noise tests had to be done first. (The Caravelle had been tested at Paris.)
In 1951, the airport averaged 73 daily airline operations (takeoffs plus landings); the October 1951 Airline Guide shows nine domestic departures a day on National and Northwest. Much of Newark's traffic moved to Idlewild (which averaged 242 daily airline operations in 1952) when Newark closed in February 1952. L-1049 Constellations and DC-7s appeared between 1951 and 1953 and did not use LaGuardia for their first several years, bringing more traffic to Idlewild. The April 1957 Airline Guide cites a total of 1,283 departures a week, including about 250 from Eastern Air Lines, 150 from National Airlines and 130 from Pan American.[full citation needed]
By 1954, Idlewild had the highest volume of international air traffic of any airport globally.:3 The Port of New York Authority originally planned a single 55-gate terminal, but the major airlines did not agree with this plan, arguing that the terminal would be far too small for future traffic. Architect Wallace Harrison then designed a plan for each major airline at the airport to be given its own space to develop its own terminal. This scheme made construction more practical, made terminals more navigable, and introduced incentives for airlines to compete with each other for the best design. The revised plan met airline approval in 1955, with seven terminals initially planned. Five terminals were for individual airlines, one was for three airlines, and one was for international arrivals. (National Airlines and British Airways arrived later.) In addition, there would be an 11-story control tower, roadways, parking lots, taxiways, and a reflecting lagoon in the center.:3 The airport was designed for aircraft up to 300,000-pound (140,000 kg) gross weight The airport had to be modified in the late 1960s to accommodate the Boeing 747's weight.
The International Arrivals Building, or IAB, was the first new terminal at the airport, opening in December 1957. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM).:3 The terminal stretched nearly 2,300 feet (700 meters) and was parallel to runway 7R. The terminal had "finger" piers at right-angles to the main building allowing more aircraft to park, an innovation at the time. The building was expanded in 1970 to accommodate jetways. However, by the 1990s the overcrowded building was showing its age and it did not provide adequate space for security checkpoints. It was demolished in 2000 and replaced with Terminal 4.
American Airlines opened Terminal 8 in February 1960. It was designed by Kahn and Jacobs:3 and had a 317-foot (97 m) stained-glass facade designed by Robert Sowers, the largest stained-glass installation in the world until 1979. The facade was removed in 2007 as the terminal was demolished to make room for the new Terminal 8; American cited the prohibitive cost of removing the enormous installation.
Pan American World Airways opened the Worldport (later Terminal 3) in 1960, designed by Tippetts-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton.:4 It featured a large, elliptical roof suspended by 32 sets of radial posts and cables; the roof extended 114 feet (35 m) beyond the base of the terminal to cover the passenger loading area. It was one of the first airline terminals in the world to feature Jetways that connected to the terminal and that could be moved to provide an easy walkway for passengers from the terminal to a docked aircraft. Jetways replaced the need to have to board the plane outside via airstairs, which descend from an aircraft, via truck-mounted mobile stairs or via wheeled stairs. The Worldport was demolished in 2013.
Trans World Airlines opened the TWA Flight Center in 1962, designed by Eero Saarinen with a distinctive winged-bird shape. With the demise of TWA in 2001, the terminal remained vacant until 2005 when JetBlue and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) financed the construction of a new 26-gate terminal partly encircling the Saarinen building. Called Terminal 5 (Now T5), the new terminal opened October 22, 2008. T5 is connected to the Saarinen central building through the original passenger departure-arrival tubes that connected the building to the outlying gates. The original Saarinen terminal, also known as the head house, has since been converted into the TWA Hotel.
National Airlines opened the Sundrome (later Terminal 6) in 1969. The terminal was designed by I.M.Pei. It was unique for its use of all-glass mullions dividing the window sections, unprecedented at the time. In 2001, United Airlines planned to redevelop this terminal and the TWA Flight Center as a new United terminal. Terminal 6 was used by JetBlue from 2001 until JetBlue moved to Terminal 5 in 2008. The Sundrome was demolished in 2011.
The airport was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24, 1963, a month and two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. proposed the renaming. The IDL and KIDL codes have since been reassigned to Indianola Municipal Airport in Mississippi.
Airlines began scheduling jets to Idlewild in 1958–59; LaGuardia did not get jets until 1964, and JFK became New York's busiest airport. It had more airline takeoffs and landings than LaGuardia and Newark combined from 1962 to 1967 and was the second-busiest airport in the country, peaking at 403,981 airline operations in 1967. LaGuardia received a new terminal and longer runways from 1960 to 1966. By the mid- 1970s, the two airports had roughly-equal airline traffic (by flight count); Newark was in third place until the 1980s, except during LaGuardia's reconstruction. The Concorde, operated by Air France and British Airways, made scheduled trans-Atlantic supersonic flights to JFK from November 22, 1977, until its retirement by British Airways on October 24, 2003. Air France had retired the aircraft in May 2003.
Construction of the AirTrain JFK people-mover system began in 1998, after decades of planning for a direct rail link to the airport. Although the system was originally scheduled to open in 2002, it opened on December 17, 2003 after delays caused by construction and a fatal crash. The rail network links each airport terminal to the New York City Subway and the Long Island Rail Road at Howard Beach and Jamaica.
The airport's new Terminal 1 opened on May 28, 1998; Terminal 4, the $1.4 billion replacement for the International Arrivals Building, opened on May 24, 2001. JetBlue's Terminal 5 incorporates the TWA Flight Center, and Terminals 8 and 9 were demolished and rebuilt as Terminal 8 for the American Airlines hub. The Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved a $20 million planning study for the redevelopment of Terminals 2 and 3, the Delta Air Lines hub, in 2008.
On March 19, 2007, JFK was the first airport in the United States to receive a passenger Airbus A380 flight. The route, with an over-500-passenger capacity, was operated by Lufthansa and Airbus and arrived at Terminal 1. On August 1, 2008, it received the first regularly-scheduled commercial A380 flight to the United States (on Emirates' New York–Dubai route) at Terminal 4. Although the service was suspended in 2009 due to poor demand, the aircraft was reintroduced in November 2010. Airlines operating A380s to JFK include Singapore Airlines (on its New York–Frankfurt–Singapore route), Air France (on its New York–Paris route), Lufthansa (on its New York–Frankfurt route), Korean Air (on its New York–Seoul route), Asiana Airlines (on its New York–Seoul route), Etihad Airways on its New York–Abu Dhabi route, and Emirates (on its New York–Milan–Dubai and New York–Dubai routes). On December 8, 2015, JFK was the first U.S. airport to receive a commercial Airbus A350 flight when Qatar Airways began using the aircraft on its New York–Doha route.
On August 14, 2016, at 9:31 pm, gunfire was reported at Terminal 8; shortly afterward, gunfire was also reported at Terminal 1. An investigation indicated that no shooting had occurred, but frightened travelers ran from the terminals onto nearby highways and runways. The terminals were temporarily shut down, and flights were rerouted. Police, who were investigating, learned that the reported gunshots were travelers clapping for Usain Bolt after he won the men's 100-meter dash at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Two people were injured in the resulting stampede, and the Port Authority Police Department later reviewed its strategy for dealing with possible terror attacks.
On January 4, 2017, the office of New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to renovate most of the airport's existing infrastructure at a cost of $7 to $10 billion. The Airport Master Plan Advisory Panel had reported that JFK, ranked 59th out of the world's top 100 airports by Skytrax, was expected to experience severe capacity constraints from increased use. The airport was expected to serve about 75 million annual passengers in 2020 and 100 million by 2050, up from 60 million when the report was published. The panel had several recommendations, including enlarging the newer terminals; relocating older terminals; reconfiguring highway ramps and increasing the number of lanes on the Van Wyck Expressway; lengthening AirTrain JFK trainsets or connecting the line to the New York City transportation system, and rebuilding the Jamaica station with direct connections to the Long Island Rail Road and the New York City Subway. No start date has yet been proposed for the project; in July 2017, Cuomo's office began accepting proposals for master plans to renovate the airport.
In October 2018, Cuomo released details of a $13 billion plan to rebuild passenger facilities and approaches to JFK Airport. Two all-new international terminals would be built, and the total number of gates would be brought up from 128 to 149. One of the terminals, a $7 billion, 23-gate structure replacing terminals 1 and 2 (and the vacant space of Terminal 3) and connecting to Terminal 4, would be financed and built by a partnership between Munich Airport Group, Lufthansa, Air France, Korean Air, and Japan Airlines. The other terminal, a new Terminal 6 costing $3 billion, would be developed by a consortium including JetBlue, RXR Realty, and Vantage Airport Group known as JFK Millennium Partners, and will replace Terminal 7 and the vacant space of Terminal 6, and would connect to Terminal 5. Terminal 8 would remain a separate terminal operating American Airlines and AA's partner Oneworld flights. JFK's redesign will include adding cars to AirTrain trainsets; widening connector ramps between the Van Wyck Expressway and Grand Central Parkway in Kew Gardens; and adding another lane in each direction to the Van Wyck, at a combined cost of $1.5 billion. If approved, construction is expected to begin in 2020. Under the plan, the first gates would open in 2023, and the project would be complete in 2025.
On January 7, 2020, construction began on expanding and improving Terminal 8. Following the construction, British Airways and Iberia will move into Terminal 8. This construction will be the first phase in the airport's expansion. On February 11, 2020, Cuomo and the Port Authority, along with Delta Air Lines, announced a $3.8 billion plan to add sixteen domestic gates to the 'A' side of Terminal 4. The main headhouse will be expanded to accommodate additional passengers and would open in 2022. The sixteen new gates will open in 2023, allowing the demolition of Terminal 2, the consolidation of flights for Delta, and the ability to build the new Terminal 1. An expanded roadway will be completed in 2025.
JFK has six terminals, containing 131 gates in total. The terminals are numbered 1–8 but skipping terminals 3 (demolished in 2013) and 6 (demolished in 2011).
The terminal buildings, with the exception of the former Tower Air terminal, are arranged in a deformed U-shaped wavy pattern around a central area containing parking, a power plant and other airport facilities. The terminals are connected by the AirTrain system and access roads. Directional signage throughout the terminals was designed by Paul Mijksenaar. A 2006 survey by J.D. Power and Associates in conjunction with Aviation Week found JFK ranked second in overall traveler satisfaction among large airports in the United States, behind McCarran International Airport, which serves the Las Vegas metropolitan area.
Until the early 1990s, each terminal was known by the primary airline that served it, except for Terminal 4, which was known as the International Arrivals Building. In the early 1990s, all of the terminals were given numbers except for the Tower Air terminal, which sat outside the Central Terminals area and was not numbered. Like in the other airports controlled by the Port Authority, terminals are sometimes managed and maintained by independent terminal operators. At JFK, all terminals are currently managed by airlines or consortiums of the airlines serving them, with the exception of the Schiphol Group-operated Terminal 4. All terminals except Terminal 2 can handle international arrivals that are not pre-cleared.
Most inter-terminal connections require passengers to exit security, then walk, use a shuttle bus, or use the AirTrain JFK to get to the other terminal, then re-clear security.
Terminal 1 opened in 1998, 50 years after the opening of JFK, at the direction of the Terminal One Group, a consortium of four key operating carriers: Air France, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, and Lufthansa. This partnership was founded after the four airlines reached agreement that the then-existing international carrier facilities were inadequate for their needs.
Terminal 1 is served by SkyTeam carriers Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, China Eastern Airlines, Korean Air, and Saudia; Star Alliance carriers Air China, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, EVA Air, Lufthansa, and Turkish Airlines; and Oneworld carriers Japan Airlines and Royal Air Maroc. Other airlines serving terminal 1 include Air Serbia, Azerbaijan Airlines, Cayman Airways, Philippine Airlines, and VivaAerobus.
Terminal 1 was designed by William Nicholas Bodouva + Associates. It and Terminal 4 are the two terminals at JFK Airport with the capability of handling the Airbus A380 aircraft, which are flown by Lufthansa on the route from Frankfurt Airport, and by Korean Air on the route from Seoul–Incheon. Air France operated Concorde here until 2003, and the A380 until 2020. Terminal 1 has 11 gates.
Terminal 2 opened in 1962 as the home of Northeast Airlines, Braniff, and Northwest Airlines, and is currently occupied by Delta Air Lines. The facility contains 11 jetbridge-equipped gates (C60–C70), one mezzanine-level airline club, and it formerly housed several hardstands for smaller regional airliners. As the only terminal without a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, T2 is unable to accept any international flights arriving unless subject to US Customs preclearance.
After the demise of Northeast Airlines and Braniff, the terminal was taken over by Pan Am and subsequently Delta. Upon the completion of Terminal 4, T2's gates were prefaced with the letter 'C', and airside shuttle buses provided passenger connectivity between the terminals. Prior to 2013, Terminal 2 hosted the majority of Delta's operations in conjunction with Terminal 3, but the 2013-2015 expansion of Terminal 4 allowed the airline to consolidate most of its operation in the new larger facility, including international and transcontinental flights. In mid-2020, following drastic schedule reductions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta suspended all operations from Terminal 2. In April 2021, the Port Authority finalized plans to expand Terminals 1 and 4 and demolish Terminal 2 at an unspecified date. Terminal 2 is expected to be vacant by 2022, and the renovated Terminal 1 will occupy its former footprint.
As of June 2021, the facility has been re-opened to arrivals and connecting flights only, with no provision for passenger screening.
Terminal 4, developed by LCOR, Inc., is managed by JFK International Air Terminal (IAT) LLC, a subsidiary of the Schiphol Group and was the first in the United States to be managed by a foreign airport operator. Terminal 4 currently contains 38 gates in two concourses and functions as the hub for Delta at JFK. Concourse A (A2–A7) serves primarily Asian and some European airlines, while Concourse B primarily serves both domestic & international flights of Delta Air Lines and its Skyteam partners.
Airlines servicing Terminal 4 include SkyTeam carriers Aeromexico, Air Europa, China Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM, and XiamenAir; Star Alliance carriers Air India, Asiana Airlines, Avianca, Copa Airlines, EgyptAir, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, and Swiss International Air Lines; and non-alliance carriers Caribbean Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Eastern Airlines, El Al, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Hainan Airlines, JetBlue (late night international arrivals only), Kuwait Airways, LATAM Brasil, LATAM Chile, Uzbekistan Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Volaris, and WestJet. Like Terminal 1, the facility is Airbus A380-compatible with service currently provided by Asiana Airlines (to Seoul), Emirates (to Dubai; both non-stop and one-stop flights via Milan), Etihad Airways (to Abu Dhabi), and Singapore Airlines (to Singapore via Frankfurt). As of 2019 only one gate (A6) at Terminal 4 has three jetways, which is generally the most efficient system to board and offload an A380.
Opened in early 2001 and designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the 1.5-million-square-foot (140,000 m2) facility was built at a cost of $1.4 billion and replaced JFK's old International Arrivals Building (IAB), which opened in 1957. The new construction incorporated a mezzanine-level AirTrain station, expansive check-in hall, and four-block-long retail area.
Terminal 4 has seen multiple expansions over the years. On May 24, 2013 the completion of a $1.4 billion project added mechanized checked-bag screening, a centralized security checkpoint (consolidating two checkpoints into one new 4th floor location), 9 international gates, improved U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities, and the largest SkyClub lounge in Delta's network. Later that year, the expansion also improved passenger connectivity with Terminal 2 by bolstering inter-terminal JFK Jitney shuttle bus service and building a dedicated 8,000 square-foot bus holdroom facility adjacent to gate B20. Also in 2013, Delta and the Port Authority agreed to a further $175 million Phase II expansion which called for 11 new regional jet gates to supersede capacity provided by the soon-to-be-demolished Terminal 2 hardstands and Terminal 3. Delta sought funding from the New York City Industrial development Agency, and work on Phase II was completed in January 2015.
By 2017, plans to again expand Terminal 4's passenger capacity were being floated in conjunction with a larger JFK modernization proposal. In early 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that the Port Authority and Delta/IAT had agreed to terms extending Concourse A by 16 domestic gates, renovating the arrival/departure halls, and improving land-side roadways at a cost of $3.8 billion. By April 2021, that plan had been scaled-back to $1.5 billion worth of improvements as a result of financial hardships imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The revised plan currently calls for arrival/departure hall modernization and just 10 new gates in Concourse A. Consolidation of Delta's operations entirely within T4 is expected by 2022, with full project completion in 2023.
In 2019, American Express began construction of a Centurion lounge which subsequently opened in October 2020. The structural addition extends the headhouse between the control tower and gate A2, and includes 15,000 square-feet of dining, bars, and fitness facilities.
Terminal 5 opened in 2008 for JetBlue, the manager and primary tenant of the building, as the base of its large JFK hub. The terminal has also been used by Hawaiian Airlines since June 2012, TAP Air Portugal, Cape Air, and Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus, whose flights arriving into JFK from Shannon and Dublin have already been pre-cleared in Ireland. Aer Lingus previously used Terminal 4 prior to the introduction of pre-clearance in Ireland, moving to Terminal 5 on April 3, 2013. On November 12, 2014, JetBlue opened the International Arrivals Concourse (T5i) at the terminal. TAP Air Portugal has used Terminal 5 since reinstating its JFK–Lisbon service on July 1, 2016.
The terminal was redesigned by Gensler and constructed by Turner Construction, and sits behind the preserved Eero Saarinen-designed terminal originally known as the TWA Flight Center, which is now connected to the new structure and is considered part of Terminal 5. The TWA Flight Center reopened as the TWA Hotel in May 2019. The active Terminal 5 building has 29 gates: 1 through 12 and 14 through 30, with gates 25 through 30 handling international flights that are not pre-cleared (gates 28–30 opened in November 2014).
The terminal has a TSA Pre check point for expedited security checks and is open from 3am to 11pm.
Airspace Lounge opened an airport lounge near Gate 24 in July 2013, and Aer Lingus opened an airport lounge in 2015. In August 2016, Fraport USA was selected by JetBlue as the concessions developer to help attract and manage concessions tenants that align with JetBlue's vision for Terminal 5. During the summer of 2016, JetBlue renovated Terminal 5, completely overhauling the check-in lobby.
Terminal 7 was designed by GMW Architects and built for BOAC and Air Canada in 1970. Currently operated by British Airways, it is also the only airport terminal operated on US soil by a foreign carrier, although Terminal 1 is operated by a consortium of foreign carriers serving the building.
Airlines operating out of Terminal 7 include Oneworld carriers Alaska Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia; Star Alliance carriers All Nippon Airways, LOT Polish Airlines, and United Airlines; SkyTeam member Aerolíneas Argentinas; and non-alliance carriers Icelandair and Ukraine International Airlines.
Between 1989 and 1991, the terminal was renovated and expanded at a cost of $120 million. The expansion was designed by William Nicholas Bodouva + Associates, Architects. In 1997, the Port Authority approved British Airways' plans to renovate and expand the terminal. The $250 million project was designed by Corgan Associates and was completed in 2003. The renovated terminal has 12 gates.
In 2015, British Airways extended its lease on the terminal through 2022, with an option of a further three years. BA also planned to spend $65 million to renovate the terminal. Despite being operated by British Airways, a major A380 operator, Terminal 7 is not currently able to handle the aircraft type. As a result, British Airways cannot operate A380s on the lucrative London-Heathrow to New York flights, even though in 2014 there was an advertising campaign that British Airways was going to do so. However, British Airways plans to join its Oneworld partners in Terminal 8, and it will not exercise its lease options on Terminal 7. When BA vacates the terminal, the Port Authority has chosen JFK Millennium Partners, a consortium including JetBlue, RXR Realty, and Vantage Airport Group to operate, and eventually demolish, the current terminal while it builds a new Terminal 6 to serve as a direct replacement.
In late 2020 United Airlines announced they would be returning to JFK in February 2021 after a 5 year hiatus. As of Sunday, March 28, 2021, United operates transcontinental nonstop service from Terminal 7 to its west coast hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Terminal 8 is a major Oneworld hub with American operating its hub here. In 1999, American Airlines began an eight-year program to build the largest passenger terminal at JFK, designed by DMJM Aviation to replace both Terminal 8 and Terminal 9. The new terminal was built in four phases, which involved the construction of a new midfield concourse and demolition of old Terminals 8 and 9. It was opened in stages between 2005 and its official opening in August 2007. American Airlines, the third-largest carrier at JFK, manages Terminal 8 and is the largest carrier at the terminal. Some Oneworld airlines that operate out of Terminal 8 include Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Qantas, Qatar Airways, and Royal Jordanian Airlines, as well as Star Alliance carrier Ethiopian Airlines.
On January 7, 2020, construction began on expanding and improving Terminal 8. The construction is estimated to be completed in 2022. British Airways will move into Terminal 8 following the construction and will provide 14 daily flights to London. This construction is the first phase in an overall plan to renovate JFK airport.
The terminal is twice the size of Madison Square Garden. It offers dozens of retail and food outlets, 84 ticket counters, 44 self-service kiosks, 10 security checkpoint lanes, and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility that can process more than 1,600 people an hour. Terminal 8 has an annual capacity of 12.8M passengers. It has two American Airlines Admirals Clubs and a Flagship Lounge for premium class passengers.
Terminal 8 has 29 gates: 12 gates in Concourse B (1–8, 10, 12, 14 and 16) and 17 gates in Concourse C (31–47). Gate 31 is further subdivided into 5 regional service gates for small jets, 31A–31E. Gate 32 is subdivided into 4 regional service gates for small jets, 32F–32I. The total number of jetbridges is, therefore, 36. Passenger access to and from Concourse C is by a tunnel that includes moving walkways.
JFK Airport was originally built with ten terminals, compared to the six it has today. Ten terminals remained until the late 1990s, then nine remained until the early 2000s, followed by eight until 2011 and seven until 2013.
Eastern Air Lines terminal
Terminal 3 (Worldport)
Terminal 3 opened as the Worldport in 1960 for Pan American; it expanded after the introduction of the Boeing 747 in 1970. After Pan Am's demise in 1991 Delta Air Lines took over ownership of the terminal and was its only occupant until its closure in 2013. It had a connector to Terminal 2, Delta's other terminal, used mainly for domestic flights. Terminal 3 had 16 Jetway equipped gates: 1–10, 12, 14–18 with two hardstand gates (Gate 11) and a helipad on Taxiway KK.
A $1.2 billion project was completed in 2013, under which Terminal 4 was expanded and with Delta subsequently moving its T3 operations to T4.
On May 23, 2013, the final departure from the terminal, Delta Air Lines Flight 268, a Boeing 747-400 to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, departed from Gate 6 at 11:25 p.m. local time. The terminal ceased operations on May 24, 2013, 53 years to the day from when it opened on May 24, 1960. Demolition began soon thereafter and was completed by Summer 2014. The site where Terminal 3 used to stand is now used for aircraft parking by Delta Air Lines.
There has been large media outcry, particularly in other countries, over the demolition of the Worldport. Several online petitions requesting the restoration of the original 'flying saucer' gained popularity.
International Arrivals Building (Original Terminal 4)
The International Arrivals Building (IAB) was opened in 1957, and was replaced with current Terminal 4 in 2001.
Terminal 6 (Sundrome)
Trans World Airlines then expanded into the terminal, referring to it as the "TWA Terminal Annex", later called "TWA Domestic Terminal". It was eventually connected to the TWA Flight Center. Later, after TWA reduced flights at JFK, Terminal 6 was used by United Airlines, ATA Airlines, a reincarnated Pan American Airways (1996–1998), Carnival Air Lines, Vanguard Airlines, and America West Airlines.
In 1998, JetBlue began service from Terminal 6, later opening a temporary complex in 2006 that increased its capacity by adding seven gates. Until 2008, JetBlue was the tenant of Terminal 6. It became vacant on October 22, 2008, when JetBlue moved to Terminal 5, and finally demolished in 2011. The international arrivals annex of Terminal 5 now uses a portion of the site, and the rest of the site is used for aircraft parking by both JetBlue and British Airways (which operates from nearby Terminal 7), but will be occupied by the new Terminal 6, an annex to Terminal 5, planned to be fully opened by 2025.
Terminal 8 (1960)
The original Terminal 8 opened in 1960; its stained-glass façade was the largest in existence at the time. It was always used by American Airlines and in later years it was used by other Oneworld airlines that did not use Terminal 7. This terminal was demolished in 2007–2008 and replaced with a new Terminal 8.
Terminal 9 opened in 1959 and was used by United Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Delta moved to Terminal 2 when they acquired Northeast Airlines in 1972. Braniff moved from Terminal 2 to Terminal 9 in 1973, and operated in Terminal 9 until its bankruptcy in 1982. United used Terminal 9 from its opening in 1959 until it vacated the terminal in 1991 and became a tenant at British Airways' Terminal 7. Terminal 9 then became the home of American Airlines' domestic operations and American Eagle flights for the remainder of its life. This terminal was demolished in 2007–2008 and replaced with a new Terminal 8.
Tower Air terminal
The Tower Air terminal, unlike other terminals at JFK airport, sat outside the Central Terminals area in Building 213 in Cargo Area A. Originally used by Pan Am until the expansion of the Worldport (later Terminal 3), it was later used by Tower Air and TWA shuttle until the airline was acquired by American Airlines in 2001. Building 213 has not been used since 2000. It is located next to the Delta Air Lines employees' parking lot number 7, which was once the Tower Air terminal parking lot.
Runways & Taxiways
The airport covers 5,200 acres or 21 square kilometers (8.1 sq mi). Over 25 miles (40 km) of paved taxiways allow aircraft to move around the airfield. The standard width of these taxiways is 75 feet (23 m), with 25 feet (7.6 m) heavy-duty shoulders and 25-foot (7.6 m) erosion control pavement on each side. The taxiways have are generally of asphalt concrete composition 15 to 18 inches (380 to 460 mm) thick. Painted markings, lighted signage, and embedded pavement lighting including runway status lights provide both position and directional information for taxiing aircraft. There are four runways (two pairs of parallel runways) surrounding the airport's central terminal area.
|13R/31L||14,511 feet (4,423 m)||200 feet (61 m)||Cat. I (31L)||Third-longest commercial runway in North America (the longest is a 16,000-foot (4,900 m) runway at Denver International Airport, and the second longest is a 14,512-foot (4,423 m) runway at Las Vegas International Airport). Adjacent to Terminals 1, 2, and 3. Handled approximately one half of the airport's scheduled departures. It was a backup runway for space shuttle missions. It was closed on March 1, 2010 for four months. The reconstruction of the runway widened it from 150 to 200 feet (46 to 61 m) with a concrete base instead of asphalt. It reopened on June 29, 2010.|
|13L/31R||10,000 feet (3,048 m)||200 feet (61 m)||Cat. II (13L); Cat. I (31R)||Adjacent to Terminals 5 and 7. Equipped at both ends with ILS and ALS systems. Runway 13L has two additional visual aids for landing aircraft, a Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) and a Lead-In Lighting System (LDIN). The ILS on 13L, along with TDZ lighting, allows landings down to half a mile's visibility. Takeoffs can be made with visibility of one-eighth of a mile. It closed on April 1, 2019 for almost 8 months as part of a major runway modernization project that replaced the asphalt base with a concrete base and widens the runway from 150 to 200 feet (46 to 61 m). It reopened on November 16, 2019.|
|4R/22L||8,400 feet (2,560 m)||200 feet (61 m)||Cat. III (both directions)||Equipped at both ends with Approach Lighting Systems (ALS) with sequenced flashers, and touchdown zone (TDZ) lighting. The first Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) in North America was installed at the northeast end of the runway in 1996. The bed consists of cellular cement material, which can safely decelerate and stop an aircraft that overruns the runway. The arrestor bed concept was originated and developed by the Port Authority and installed at JFK Airport as a joint research and development project with the FAA and industry.|
|4L/22R||12,079 feet (3,682 m)||200 feet (61 m)||Cat. I (both directions)||Adjacent to Terminals 4 and 5. Both ends allow instrument landings down to three-quarters of a mile's visibility. Takeoffs can be conducted with one-eighth of a mile's visibility. It closed on June 1, 2015 for almost 4 months as part of a major runway modernization project that replaced the asphalt base with a concrete base and widened the runway from 150 to 200 feet (46 to 61 m). It reopened on September 28, 2015.|
The Air Traffic Control Tower, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and constructed on the ramp-side of Terminal 4, began full FAA operations in October 1994. An Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE) radar unit sits atop the tower. At the time of its completion, the JFK tower, at 320 feet (98 m), was the world's tallest control tower. It was subsequently displaced from that position by towers at other airports in both the United States and overseas, including those at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, currently the tallest tower at any U.S. airport, at 398 feet (121 m) and at KLIA2 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, currently the world's tallest control tower at 438 feet (134 m).
Electricity for JFK is generated by the Kennedy International Airport Power Plant, owned and operated by Calpine Corporation. The natural gas-fired electric cogeneration facility uses two General Electric LM6000 gas turbine engines to supply a total of 110 megawatts, which is purchased by the Port Authority for airport operations. Excess energy is also sold to New York Independent System Operator. The 45,000 ft2 (4,180 m2) facility was designed by RMJM and first entered commercial service in February 1995.
Heating and cooling for all of JFK's passenger terminals is provided by a co-located Central Heating and Refrigeration Plant (CHRP) in conjunction with a Thermal Distribution System (TDS) which entered service in August 1994. Waste heat from the power plant powers two heat recovery steam generators and a 25 megawatt steam turbine, which in-turn run chillers to generate 28,000 tons of refrigeration, or heat exchangers to generate 225 million Btu/hour.
Aviation Ground Service
Aircraft service facilities include seven aircraft hangars, an engine overhaul building, a 32-million-US-gallon (120,000 m3) aircraft fuel storage facility and a truck garage. Fixed-base operation service for general aviation flights is provided by Sheltair, which possesses the airport's sole helipad.
The airport hosts an extensive array of numbered administrative, government, and air cargo support buildings. In 2002, the New York metropolitan area accounted for 18 percent of import (and over 24 percent of all) air cargo volume in the nation. At that time, JFK itself was reported to have 4.5 million ft2 (418,064 m2) of warehouse space with another 434,000 ft2 (40,320 m2) under construction.
|Building #||Status||Use||Current Tenant(s)||Additional Information|
|141||Active||Mixed||Aviation High School1||Originally housed the Port Authority.2 Other tenants included Servisair, the Port Authority Police Department, and North American Airlines.
1 In 2000, a 5,000 ft2 (460 m2) an aircraft powerplant lab annex was opened at a cost of $800,000 to serve maintenance students.
2 In 2003 the building was dedicated in honor of PANYNJ employee Morris Sloane.
|23||Active||Cargo||Lufthansa Cargo||Previously known as 'Tract 8/9A'. Development of the 434,000 ft2 (40,320 m2) site began in August 2001. Currently capable of handling four 747 aircraft. Previous tenants included Alliance Airlines and Cargo Service Center.|
|77||Active||Mixed||U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Alliance Ground International
|151||Active||Cargo||Worldwide Freight Services|
|86||Active||Cargo||MSN Air Service|
|213||Inactive||Passenger Terminal||Former Tower Air terminal.|
|17||Inactive||Hangar||Former Tower Air hangar and office. Later housed artifacts from September 11 attacks, which were distributed to the 9/11 Museum and other memorials.|
|66||Active||Cargo||Nippon Cargo Airlines|
|145||Active||Ground Service||Sheltair||Previously operated by PANYNJ. Became the first privately-operated FBO in JFK's history when it was transferred from PANYNJ on May 21, 2012.|
|255||Active||Public Safety||PAPD||ARFF training facility equipped with two propane-fueled, computer-controlled aircraft fire simulators.|
|208||Active||Ground Service||Aerosnow||Former 400,000 ft2 (37,161 m2) Pan Am facility|
|9||Active||Cargo||Korean Air Cargo||Opened in 2001 on a 188,000 ft2 (17,466 m2) site capable of handling three 747 aircraft. The facility was the first at JFK to utilize a computerized automated storage and retrieval system for cargo-handling.|
|89||Active||Cargo||DHL Global Forwarding|
|139||Active||Ground Service||LSG Sky Chefs|
|81, 81A, 81B||Active||Hangar||JetBlue||140,000 ft2 (13,006 m2) maintenance facility with 70,000 ft2 (6,503 m2) of hangar space. Broke ground in 2003 and opened in 2005 at a cost of $45 million.|
|178||Unkown||Unknown||Former Tower Air headquarters|
In January 2017, the Ark at JFK Airport, a luxury terminal for pets, opened at a cost of $65 million. Ark was built ostensibly so that people who were transporting pets and other animals would be able to provide luxurious accommodations for these animals. At the time, it was supposed to be the only such facility in the U.S. However, in January 2018, Ark's owner sued the Port Authority for violating a clause that would have given Ark the exclusive rights to inspect all animals who arrive at JFK from other countries. In the lawsuit, the owner stated that Ark had incurred large operational losses because many animals were instead being transported to a United States Department of Agriculture facility in Newburgh.
In the immediate vicinity of the airport, parking and other information can be obtained by tuning to a highway advisory radio station at 1630 AM. A second station at 1700 AM provides information on traffic concerns for drivers leaving the airport.
Kennedy Airport, along with the other Port Authority airports (LaGuardia and Newark), uses a uniform style of signage throughout the airport properties. Yellow signs direct passengers to airline gates, ticketing and other flight services; green signs direct passengers to ground transportation services and black signs lead to restrooms, telephones and other passenger amenities. In addition, the Port Authority operates "Welcome Centers" and taxi dispatch booths in each airline terminal, where staff provide customers with information on taxis, limousines, other ground transportation and hotels.
There are several hotels adjacent to JFK Airport, including the Courtyard by Marriott and the Crowne Plaza. The former Ramada Plaza JFK Hotel is Building 144, and it was the only on-site hotel at JFK Airport. It was previously a part of Forte Hotels and previously the Travelodge New York JFK. Due to its role in housing friends and relatives of aircraft crash victims in the 1990s and 2000s, the hotel became known as the "Heartbreak Hotel". In 2009 the PANYNJ stated in its preliminary 2010 budget that it was closing the hotel due to "declining aviation activity and a need for substantial renovation" and that it expected to save $1 million per month. The hotel closed on December 1, 2009. Almost 200 employees lost their jobs. As of 2009, the Port Authority hoped to build a new hotel on the airport property.
On July 27, 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference that the TWA Flight Center building would be used by the TWA Hotel, a 505-room hotel with 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) of conference, event, or meeting space. The new hotel is estimated to have cost $265 million. The hotel has a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) observation deck with an infinity pool. Groundbreaking for the hotel occurred on December 15, 2016, and it opened on May 15, 2019.
JFK Airport is connected to the New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road by AirTrain JFK. It stops at all terminals, parking lots, hotel shuttle areas, car rental lots, the Jamaica LIRR station, Howard Beach-JFK Airport subway station on the IND Rockaway Line (A train) and Sutphin Boulevard–Archer Avenue–JFK Airport subway station on the Archer Avenue Line (E, J, and Z trains).
Several city bus lines link JFK to the New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road, including the Q3, Q6, Q7, Q10, B15, with free transfers provided for subway connections. The B15, Q3 and Q10 buses all serve the Central Terminal Area via a dedicated bus stop at the former Terminal 6 (connection to other terminals via AirTrain JFK, with a direct walkway provided to Terminal 5), while the Q6 serves only eastern Cargo Area D and the USPS Airport Mail facility and the Q7 serves only Cargo Area C. There are also many private bus lines operating express buses to Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Long Island.
New York City's yellow cabs, licensed by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, offer a flat-rate service of $52 from JFK Airport to Manhattan, excluding tips and tolls. Since November 30, 2006, this flat-rate fare (excluding tips and tolls) applies to travel from Manhattan to JFK as well. Depending on the time of day, taxi travel from JFK to Midtown Manhattan can be as quick as 35 minutes or as long as 90 minutes. Door-to-door car service is another popular transportation option.
JFK Airport is located in southern Queens on the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678), which can be accessed from the Belt Parkway, the Grand Central Parkway and Queens Boulevard. A ring road connects the airport terminals to the Belt Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway. The airport offers customers over 17,000 parking spaces, included in multi-level parking garages, surface spaces in the Central Terminal Area, a long-term parking lot and valet parking. Tesla, Inc. has a Supercharger (fast vehicle charging station) at the airport. There are also private off-site parking operators near the airport.
Airlines and destinations
^a Air Senegal's flight from Dakar to New York continues on to Washington–Dulles. However, the airline does not have eighth freedom rights to solely transport passengers between New York and Washington.
^b Qantas flies the 787 Dreamliner from New York to Sydney as QF12 with a stop-over in Los Angeles, where passengers have the option to connect onto the airline's flights to Brisbane and Melbourne. The airline does not have eighth freedom rights to solely transport passengers between New York and Los Angeles due to US government regulations.
When ranked by the value of shipments passing through it, JFK is the number three freight gateway in the United States (after the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of New York and New Jersey), and the number one international air freight gateway in the United States. Almost 21% of all U.S. international air freight by value and 9.6% by tonnage moved through JFK in 2008.
The JFK air cargo complex is a Foreign Trade Zone, which legally lies outside the customs area of the United States. JFK is a major hub for air cargo between the United States and Europe. London, Brussels and Frankfurt are JFK's three top trade routes. The European airports are mostly a link in a global supply chain, however. The top destination markets for cargo flying out of JFK in 2003 were Tokyo, Seoul and London. Similarly, the top origin markets for imports at JFK were Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei and London.
25 cargo airlines operate out of JFK, among them: Air China Cargo, ABX Air, Asiana, Atlas Air, CAL Cargo Air Lines, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Cargo, China Airlines, EVA Air, Emirates SkyCargo, Nippon Cargo Airlines, FedEx Express, DHL Air UK, Kalitta Air, Korean Air, Lufthansa Cargo, UPS Airlines, Southern Air and, formerly, World Airways. Top 5 carriers together transported 33.1% of all revenue freight in 2005: American Airlines (10.9% of the total), FedEx Express (8.8%), Lufthansa Cargo (5.2%), Korean Air Cargo (4.9%), China Airlines (3.8%).
Most cargo and maintenance facilities at JFK are located north and west of the main terminal area. DHL, FedEx Express, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Nippon Cargo Airlines and United Airlines have cargo facilities at JFK. In 2000, Korean Air Cargo opened a new $102 million cargo terminal at JFK with total floor area of 81,124 square feet (7,536.7 m2) and capability of handling 200,000 tons annually. In 2007, American Airlines opened a new priority parcel service facility at their Terminal 8, featuring 30-minute drop-offs and pick-ups for priority parcel shipments within the US.
|1||Los Angeles, California||307,000||Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue|
|2||Fort Lauderdale, Florida||200,000||Delta, JetBlue|
|3||Miami, Florida||185,000||American, Delta|
|4||Orlando, Florida||177,000||Delta, JetBlue|
|5||San Juan, Puerto Rico||175,000||Delta, JetBlue|
|6||Atlanta, Georgia||174,000||Delta, JetBlue|
|7||San Francisco, California||126,000||Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, United|
|8||Charlotte, North Carolina||98,000||American, Delta|
|9||Salt Lake City, Utah||91,000||Delta, JetBlue|
|10||Phoenix, Arizona||86,000||American, Delta, JetBlue|
|1||London–Heathrow||2,949,407||American, British Airways, Delta, Virgin Atlantic|
|2||Paris–Charles de Gaulle||1,555,957||Air France, American, Delta, Norwegian Air Shuttle|
|3||Mexico City||979,126||Aeroméxico, Delta, VivaAerobus|
|4||Santo Domingo||930,763||Delta, JetBlue|
|5||Santiago de los Caballeros||919,737||Delta, JetBlue|
|7||Milan–Malpensa||820,572||Air Italy, American, Alitalia, Delta, Emirates|
|8||Frankfurt||796,115||Delta, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines|
|9||Madrid||791,978||Air Europa, American, Delta, Iberia|
|10||Seoul–Incheon||755,915||Asiana Airlines, Korean Air|
|2||Delta Air Lines||5,179,000||33.66%|
Accidents and incidents
Stephen Abraham, also known as Kennedy Steve (born August 16, 1962), is a former air traffic controller at John F. Kennedy International Airport; where he worked from 1994 to 2017. He is known for his more "casual" ATC conversations with pilots while working as a ground controller; which resulted in him being known as "Kennedy Steve" on various channels on YouTube. In 2017 Abraham won the Dale Wright Award from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association for distinguished professionalism and exceptional career service to the NATCA and National Air Space System. In 2019, he was hired as Airside Operations and Ramp Manager for Terminal 1.
Notes and references
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The Port Authority has operated Idlewild and LaGuardia for more than 55 years. The original 50-year lease [with the City of New York] was signed in 1947 and extended to 2015 under a 1965 agreement.
- "General Information". The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. March 2020. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
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- "Top 25 U.S. Freight Gateways, Ranked by Value of Shipments: 2008". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. United States Department of Transportation. 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- "Busiest airports in the United States – 2019". AirMundo.com. Retrieved January 19, 2021.[dead link]
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- "N.Y. Airport Has Troubles". Reading Eagle. Reading, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. August 4, 1949. p. 31. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- "Idlewild becomes Kennedy". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. December 6, 1963. p. 1. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
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- "Idlewild's New Code is JFK". The New York Times. United Press International. January 1, 1964. p. 40.
The FAA code became JFK at the beginning of 1964; the Airline Guide used JFK and it seems the airlines did too; the airlines must print millions of new baggage tags carrying the initials JFK
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|volume=has extra text (help)
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: John F. Kennedy International Airport (category)|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for John F. Kennedy International Airport.|
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (official site)
- (PDF), effective June 17, 2021
- FAA Terminal Procedures for JFK, effective June 17, 2021