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 as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s comprehensive plan to make the airport a modern, 21st-century gateway to the nation.
“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 square feet and increasing the airport’s capacity by at least 15 million passengers annually,” Gov. Cuomo said. “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. From JFK and LaGuardia to Ithaca and Rochester, we are making historic progress rebuilding our airport infrastructure for the future and ensuring New York State remains the nation’s front door.”
“This significant investment continues our efforts to expand and modernize services at JFK Airport,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. “The project will create new jobs and new opportunities for thousands of New Yorkers, and continue to grow our state’s economy and attract more visitors. This transformation of JFK and other airports across the state will ensure easier and safer travel and enhance the overall experience.”
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 announcement was the latest step in Gov. Cuomo’s sweeping $13 billion vision plan for the future of JFK unveiled in October 2018. This record investment, 90 percent of which is private funding, calls for a unified and interconnected airport featuring two new international terminals with state-of-the-art passenger amenities, convenient ground transportation options, and vastly simplified roadways that will increase the airport’s capacity by at least 15 million passengers per year.
The American Airlines and British Airways investment in Terminal 8 will improve the overall customer experience, with a total of 70,400 square feet of added space including 33,000 square feet of public space. Another 57,500 square feet 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. As a result, passengers will have the increased flexibility of 14 daily flights to London from the same terminal.
The continuing investments come as JFK has been setting record passenger volumes in recent years, hitting an all-time high of more than 61 million passengers in 2018, up 2.5 percent from the prior year’s record.
The Terminal 8 upgrade is expected to create 500 direct jobs and 750 total jobs over the project’s life, adding to the 9,600 new jobs in the Governor’s original $13 billion JFK vision plan.
As part of the implementation of the JFK vision plan announced last October, JetBlue is constructing a $3 billion, 1.20-million-square-foot 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-square-foot 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.
Collectively, these necessary changes will increase the airport’s capacity by at least 15 million passengers a year. Additionally, state-of-the-art technological improvements will be included as part of the terminal upgrades. 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.