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Port Authority scales back Delta expansion at JFK Terminal 4

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners approved in April a revised plan for Delta Airlines in JFK’s Terminal 4. While the expansion will still unify Delta operations adding new gates and expanded check-in and arrival areas, it will also have phases for construction reflecting the severe impact of the pandemic on air travel.

The now $1.5-billion project, which is being financed by private capital, was initially authorized by the Board in February 2020 as a $3.8-billion expansion and modernization. The revised plan prioritizes components including new gates critical to Delta’s consolidation of its operations at JFK into Terminal 4 and other elements throughout the terminal designed to improve the passenger experience. Further enhancements including additional new gates and seating areas will be deferred to future phases.

Based on the Port Authority Board approval as well as approval by Delta Air Lines’ Board of Directors and the Directors of Schiphol USA, the Port Authority will finalize and enter into a lease amendment with JFKIAT for an expansion and renovation of the Terminal 4 arrivals and departures hall and a concourse expansion to add 10 new gates (eight for regional jets and for two narrow-body aircraft). The expansion and renovation at Terminal 4, which is expected to be financed by JFKIAT, will break ground later this year, enabling Delta to consolidate its operations in late 2022, with full project completion in late 2023.

Expanding Terminal 4 in a Practical Fashion with Customer Needs in Mind

The Terminal 4 project will modernize and expand the existing terminal, adding more than 150,000 square feet and 10 new gates, serving primarily regional and domestic flights. The project will also expand and renovate the arrivals and departures hall to improve the ticketing areas, security check points, baggage claim, and arrivals areas. Delta currently operates out of both Terminal 4 and Terminal 2, and this expansion will allow Delta to offer connecting customers a seamless travel experience at JFK by consolidating all of Delta’s JFK operations into Terminal 4. 

The expansion will replace the 11 gates currently used by Delta at Terminal 2, which was built in 1962, and allow for the demolition of that 58-year-old terminal. The consolidation will also allow for more seamless connections on many of Delta’s partner airlines. The project will include expanded seating areas and concessions, modern wayfinding, and new or upgraded restrooms designed with travelers in mind. The expansion project also includes a new Delta lounge in Terminal 4’s Concourse A. 

Delta has grown its presence in New York City by over 65 percent in the last 10 years and in 2019 operated more than 240 peak daily departures from JFK to nearly 100 destinations in more than 30 countries around the world. The airline first expanded its New York presence at JFK with a major commitment to Terminal 4 in 2013. At LaGuardia Airport, where in 2019 Delta operated hundreds of daily departures, it began construction on the $3.9 billion replacement of Terminals C and D in August 2017. Delta’s first new concourse and new gates on the eastern side of the airport opened in October 2019. A state-of-the-art arrivals and departures hall for the new terminal will open in 2022 as part of “A Whole New LGA.”