Gov. Hochul Announces Major Groundbreaking in the Port Authority’s JFK Transformation Project

Groundbreaking for Terminal Expansion that will Unify Delta Operations, Add 10 New Gates to T4, and Expand Check-In and Arrival Areas

Governor Hochul Announces Major Groundbreaking in the Port Authority’s JFK Transformation Project

Governor Kathy Hochul celebrated a key milestone in the Port Authority’s transformation of John F. Kennedy International Airport with the groundbreaking for a $1.5 billion privately financed expansion and modernization of Terminal 4. Earlier this year, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reached a revised agreement with Delta Air Lines and JFK International Air Terminal (JFKIAT), the operator of Terminal 4, to expand the facility and to consolidate Delta operations there.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a huge part in the story of New York’s comeback from the hardship we underwent during the pandemic,” Governor Hochul said. “The economic impact of this transformation will be felt for decades while solidifying our state’s global leading role in welcoming visitors from abroad and those returning home. I look forward to all this partnership with the Port Authority and Delta will bring to New York.”

A restructured and revised agreement for Terminal 4 was successfully negotiated earlier this year and approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners at the April board meeting. Initially authorized by the Port Authority Board in February 2020 prior to the pandemic, the plan was revised due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel. Earlier this year, the Board agreed to enter into a revised lease amendment with JFKIAT and Delta for the expansion and renovation of the Terminal 4 arrivals and departures hall, a major concourse expansion to add 10 new gates, the renovation of existing concourses, and roadway upgrades to improve access for vehicles. The expansion at Terminal 4 is expected to be complete with Delta consolidating its operations in 2023. The expansion and upgrade of Terminal 4 is expected to result in over 1,500 total jobs, including over 1,000 union construction jobs.

Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said, “Today we celebrate the expansion and renovation of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport which, upon completion, will significantly improve the customer experience with extensive renovations and additional gates, as well as provide thousands of jobs to local residents. With millions of people traveling through this airport annually, it is critical we remain a leader as the largest international gateway to the country.”

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said, “This groundbreaking is a transformative moment for the Port Authority and its partners as the JFK transformation continues. We look forward to seeing the expansion at Terminal 4 where Delta and JFKIAT continue working together to provide best-in-class customer service. We are delighted to see this project move forward as a key part of our plan to transform JFK to the world-class airport that the region deserves.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeffrey Lynford said, “For over 70 years, John F. Kennedy International Airport has been gateway for domestic and international travel, and a major driver of our regional economy. This groundbreaking at Terminal 4 is a key part of our transformation of JFK as we improve the passenger experience and build a world-class airport. The fact that this project will create thousands and thousands of good-paying union construction jobs while offering billions in contract opportunities to local businesses makes it all the more exciting. As we emerge from the pandemic, mega-infrastructure projects like the rebuild of JFK will be critical to getting the economy back on track, and the Port Authority looks forward to contributing to the recovery by continuing to invest in our facilities across the region.”

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said, “We’re looking forward to delivering a world-class airport that will exceed expectations for years to come. Our significant, ongoing investments continue to offer our customers and employees the premium travel experience they deserve at JFK. Thank you to our partners at the Port Authority and JFKIAT for helping us make this vision a reality.”

President and CEO of JFKIAT Roel Huinink said, “Today’s groundbreaking marks an important milestone in the evolution of Terminal 4 as one of the world’s most modern and efficient air terminals. As a Queens-based business, JFKIAT sees this expansion as an opportunity to revitalize our local economy in the wake of the pandemic, and we are committed to working with our partners to ensure that this world-class initiative benefits our community. We look forward to partnering with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Delta in our mission to provide a best-in-class customer experience to restore the public’s confidence in air travel.”

Representative Gregory W. Meeks said, “I congratulate the Port Authority, Delta Airlines, and JFK International Air Terminal for the groundbreaking of JFK’s Terminal 4. This is a pivotal phase for the transformation of JFK airport. Throughout the redevelopment of the airport, Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority has maintained communication with the local community while creating jobs and opportunities that benefit MWBEs and locally based enterprises. I have seen firsthand the commitment from the Port Authority as Co-Chair of the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council and look forward to its continued progress.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jrsaid, “The overhaul of Terminal 4 is about more than just new departure and arrival halls or concourse expansions. This project represents a massive investment in the economic health of Queens through the creation of thousands of good-paying jobs, contracting opportunities for local businesses, a strong commitment to MWBE participation and more. Paired with the $9.5 Terminal One project and the $3.9 billion new Terminal 6, this radical transformation of JFK Airport will economically uplift Queens families for generations to come, while giving millions from around the world an incredible first impression of Queens, New York City and New York State as a whole.”

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said, “Whenever we can break ground on a major project like this, everybody wins. Living next to the airport my entire life, I know that not only will this massive expansion and modernization of JFK’s Terminal 4 benefit the airport and the millions of visitors each year, but it is also expected to create over 2,000 total jobs, including over 1,000 union construction jobs, which will benefit the local community. I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition!” 

Senator Leroy Comrie said, “As the JFK redevelopment project continues to reach new milestones, New Yorkers and travelers across the globe will ultimately be the beneficiaries of this airport expansion and modernization creating a world-class transportation hub. The billion dollar plus in private investment, coupled with the collaborative partnership with the Port Authority and JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council, will yield the results our city, state and the great borough of Queens deserves. I look forward to continuing the work we have done the past several years but certainly to helping to bring safe, convenient air travel, commerce and business back to our state with a truly transformed JFK. I want to commend Governor Hochul, Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton, Delta CEO Ed Bastian and JFKIAT CEO Roel Huinink and all of our community partners for their leadership in making this public-private partnership vision a reality.”

Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman said, “Today marks a momentous advancement for JFK Terminal 4. As the 1.5 billion dollar expansion is underway in just a few short months, this expansion will not only expand check in and arrive areas but create quicker and better check in times with new state of the art technology, self-service kiosks and new self-bag check locations. With the expansion comes 2,000 new jobs and as well as 1000 union construction jobs that also will ensure my Assembly District 29 and South East Queens community will thrive. Let’s get to work!” 

Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato said, “Once again Governor Kathy Hochul and the Port Authority have demonstrated how seriously they are committed in investing in South Queens and the JFK Airport, as we turn it into a world class airport worth of the people of this great Borough. As we move down the road to economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the jobs and opportunities that this airport will provide to the people of Queens are sorely needed. I want to thank the Governor, the Port Authority, and Delta Airlines for this commitment, and I can’t wait for this project to takeoff!”

Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson said, “With today’s announcement of a $1.5 billion private investment to expand and modernize Terminal 4 at JFK Airport, we continue to see a bold commitment to world-class development in Southeast Queens. My priority as the state representative is to bridge such promising economic opportunity with the local demand for union jobs, careers, and access to MWBE contracts that will drive down unemployment rates and help ensure an equitable recovery for the communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working with Governor Kathy Hochul, my colleagues in elected government, the Port Authority, private developers, and the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council.”

Council Member Adrienne Adams said, “The New Terminal One at JFK Airport will enhance the traveling experience for New Yorkers and visitors alike, stimulate our local economy, and provide important opportunities for small businesses, residents, and students. I look forward to seeing the impact and benefits of this transformative project as New York City recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Council Member-elect Nantasha Williams said, “As an incoming councilmember, resident of the south east queens community, and one of the creators of the community development efforts for the JFK Redevelopment I am elated that the T4 project is underway. When we were hit by COVID-19 we had to pivot but never ceased our efforts in ensuring the efforts of the program were in careful coordination with the Southeast Queens community. I am looking forward to furthering the goals of the program in my new capacity in service to the community.”

Council Member Selvena N. Brooks-Powers said, “I am honored to join Governor Kathy Hochul, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Executive Director Rick Cotton, Delta CEO Ed Bastian, and JFKIAT CEO Roel Huinink at this transformational groundbreaking, announcing a $1.5 billion investment to expand Terminal 4, ushering in a state-of-the-art terminal fitting of my community and all New Yorkers. This expansion and upgrade will provide over 2,000 new jobs – including 1,000 union construction jobs – to modernize one of New York’s major international transportation pipelines. I look forward to our continued partnership in ensuring the residents of Southeast Queens are prioritized throughout these milestones.” 

President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York Gary LaBarbera said, “The redevelopment plan for JFK Airport’s Terminal 4 is a critical component of building towards New York’s future in a way that transforms our city’s transportation infrastructure and generates tens of thousands of middle-class careers with benefits in the process. New York deserves world-class airports that are not only recognized but admired around the world. We thank Governor Hochul for her effective leadership in moving this landmark infrastructure project forward.”

President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City Kathryn Wylde said, “The new Delta terminal is a credit to Governor Hochul’s commitment to modernizing our airports, leveraging private sector investment to make New York the premier destination for tourists. The new state-of-the-art amenities and expanded capacity are critical as tourists return, and will greatly benefit the local community, bringing thousands of jobs to Queens.”

President & CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce Thomas J. Grech said, “As the oldest and largest business association in Queens, we are proud to stand here with Governor Hochul, and our friends at the Port Authority, Delta Air Lines and JFKIAT, to celebrate this historic $1.5 billion investment to expand and modernize Terminal 4. This investment will enhance a key part of our region’s transportation infrastructure, create jobs, and provide opportunities for small businesses in Queens, particularly MWBEs. Small businesses in Queens rely on our aviation infrastructure, and the transformation of JFK will be vital to our region’s economic recovery.”

President & CEO of Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation Kevin W. Alexander said, “Today’s kick-off of the of the $1.5 Billion Port Authority JFK Terminal 4 Project is another milestone for not only Southeastern Queens, but all of New York. The transformation of JFK International Airport as a world class airport that reflects our diversity and spirit of inclusion in all aspects of the JFK Redevelopment Project is our opportunity to show the world how it can be when you have forward thinking leaders – Governor Kathy Hochul, PANY/NJ Executive Director Rick Cotton, JFK Advisory Co-Chairs Congressman Gregory Meeks and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and the leadership of the Terminal 4 team – Delta and JFKIAT working in unison. As the Co-Chair of the JFK Community Advisory Council Workforce & Career Development Committee, we look forward to working with the Terminal 4 Project team to get our community members engaged, prepared and ready for not only temporary jobs but life changing career, entrepreneurial and business opportunities.”

President and CEO of the New York Building Congress Carol A. Scissura said, “The historic transformation of JFK Airport continues as we break ground on this expansion. The expanded Terminal 4 will improve the passengers’ experience, create good jobs, open opportunities for MWBEs and give New York City the world-class gateway it deserves. The New York Building Congress applauds Governor Hochul, the Port Authority, Delta and JFKIAT.”

Interim President and CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation Justin Rodgers said, “The world knows of JFK airport as the international gateway to New York, but it’s also a crucial component to the southeast Queens economic livelihood. The State’s continued improvements to JFK not only make the red carpet to the city more beautiful, they also create job opportunities and business growth for numerous residents around Jamaica.”

Expanding Terminal 4 with Customer Needs in Mind

The $1.5 billion Terminal 4 project, which is being financed by private capital, is the second groundbreaking under the JFK Redevelopment Plan. The terminal expansion will create 10 new gates, primarily serving regional and domestic flights, while adding 150,000 square feet to expand the terminal.

This expansion will allow Delta to offer connecting customers a seamless travel experience by consolidating all of its operations into Terminal 4, allowing for more convenient customer transfers Delta currently operates out of both Terminal 4 and Terminal 2. The project will include a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal 4’s Concourse A, as well as expanded seating areas and concessions, modern wayfinding, and new or upgraded restrooms designed with travelers in mind.

In addition, the terminal will undergo a renovation program to improve the customer experience with new check-in counters that will improve capacity and efficiency with state-of-the-art technology, installation of new self-service kiosks and self-bag check locations, renovations to restrooms, baggage claim, and arrival areas, as well as new retail finishes and public art.

Delta continues to grow at JFK and in New York City at large, where it offers the most flights and seats of any carrier at JFK and LGA with 400 total daily departures to 95 domestic and international destinations. The airline operates more than 160 average daily flights to 68 destinations worldwide from JFK alone. Since 2010, Delta has invested more than $3.5 billion in airport expansion and redevelopment in New York, including earlier projects at JFK and LaGuardia Airport. The airline is also undertaking a $3.9 billion project to consolidate Terminals C and D at LGA, with a state-of-the-art arrivals and departures hall set to open next spring.

JFKIAT, a U.S. affiliate of Royal Schiphol Group, has been the operator of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport since 1997. The expansion will further enhance the terminal’s offerings for its almost 30 airline partners with technologies to ensure expedited and seamless passenger processing capabilities, additional food options, and other amenities to ensure passenger comfort and convenience.

The redesign of Terminal 4 – which became the first air terminal to achieve LEED Gold O+M certification in 2017 – will continue a commitment by the Port Authority and JFKIAT to energy efficiency, utilizing energy-saving equipment and lighting throughout the terminal.

In keeping with the Port Authority’s Net Zero emissions’ goals and standards for transitioning to all-electric vehicles across its facilities, the project includes charging stations for electric ground service equipment at the new gates, along with a deicing recovery system to capture spent deicing fluid.

The initial plans to redevelop JFK airport were delayed due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant that the original agreement for the project needed to be restructured. Now, the expansion and renovation of Terminal 4 will be fully financed by Delta Air Lines and JFKIAT.

The groundbreaking for the expanded Terminal 4 builds on the momentum of the other three major components of JFK’s transformation. Overall, all four major projects to transform JFK airport will total roughly $15 billion in private investment.

The year ahead will witness significant activity and milestones as part of the JFK Redevelopment program. Construction of both the new Terminal 6 and Terminal One will break ground in 2022 and construction of the redeveloped Terminal 8 will be completed in 2023.

Artist Rendering

Redeveloping JFK Airport in Lockstep with the Local Community   

In 2018, JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council was formed. It is co-chaired by U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and composed of elected officials, community boards, business and nonprofit organizations, civic organizations, and clergy leaders from the targeted local communities of Southeast Queens, Southwest Queens, the Rockaways, and western portions of Nassau County. Since its inception, the Council has been working with the Port Authority to expand community outreach efforts and develop community-focused programs, ensuring that this ambitious project solicits ongoing feedback from local stakeholders and provides meaningful opportunities for local businesses, MWBEs, students, and jobseekers.

This includes programming to advance the Port Authority’s commitment to a 30 percent MWBE contracting goal in all categories of work, and a special focus on opportunities for local businesses across all aspects of the JFK Redevelopment program, including this terminal project, which will be built by union labor under a full project-labor agreement. Other community development initiatives prioritized by the Council focus on job opportunities and workforce development programs for local residents, small business outreach and development, and educational programming for local students.   

The JFK Redevelopment Community Information Center opened in Jamaica, Queens in early 2019, providing easier access for firms looking for business opportunities, local residents in search of jobs, or neighbors seeking more information about the project.


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