Governor Kathy Hochul celebrated a key milestone in the Port Authority’s transformation of John F. Kennedy International Airport with the groundbreaking for a $9.5 billion, privately financed New Terminal One. The start of construction follows a revised agreement late last year between the Port Authority and the New Terminal One – a consortium of financial sponsors – to build the 2.4 million square foot, a state-of-the-art new international terminal that will anchor the south side of John F. Kennedy International Airport and create 10,000 jobs, including 6,000 jobs in construction.
“Our state-of-the-art renovations of New York State’s airports are critical and long overdue – especially at JFK, the nation’s front door to the world,” Governor Hochul said. “The investments we are making today will ensure all New Yorkers, and the tens of millions of people who come here every year, have a first-class travel experience tomorrow – all while creating more than 10,000 jobs. Congratulations, and thank you to everyone who has put in years of hard work to make this transformative project possible.”
Designed to accommodate the growing demand for international air travel, the New Terminal One will be more than twice the size of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Bright and airy check-in halls and arrival spaces, advanced security technology, and a state-of-the-art baggage handling system will enhance the passenger experience. The new Terminal One will double the number of gates that currently accommodate wide-body aircraft, with 22 of the 23 new gates designed for larger aircraft that are key to international travel.
With more than 300,000 square feet of world-class, locally inspired dining and retail concessions, as well as lounges, indoor green space, inspiring public art, family-friendly amenities, and revamped roadways, the New Terminal One will provide customers the world-class experience expected at a global gateway, and it will compete with some of the highest-rated airport terminals in the world.
In keeping with the Port Authority’s commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the Terminal will be sustainably designed and future-focused, including on-site renewable energy generation, electric ground support equipment, and optimized lighting and building controls.
Initially expected to break ground in 2020, the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel required that the Port Authority and the New Terminal One (NTO) consortium restructure the previous agreement to build and operate the new Terminal. A revised agreement was approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners and announced by Governor Hochul in December 2021, enabling the project to move forward.
In June, the Port Authority’s Board also voted to approve a new lead investor in the project. Ferrovial, a global airport operator with experience building world-class terminals, acquired 96 percent of The Carlyle Global Infrastructure Fund’s 51-percent stake in the New Terminal One. The consortium, including the financial partners ULLICO and JLC Infrastructure, will design, build and operate the state-of-the-art terminal.
The entire cost of the Terminal will be privately financed by the NTO consortium. The Port Authority will undertake infrastructure upgrades and improvements, including roads, parking, and utilities, including a new electrical substation as part of the project. The project will be built in phases, with the arrivals and departures hall and 14 new gates opening in 2026 and completion of the Terminal’s final nine gates in 2030
The New Terminal One will be built on the sites of the current undersized and outdated Terminal 1, the aging and obsolete 60-year-old Terminal 2, and the site of the former Terminal 3, which was demolished in 2014. In order to maintain full flight operations during construction, the demolition of old structures will be coordinated with the opening of new facilities. Work will begin at the vacant Terminal 3 site. Terminal 2 will be demolished after Delta Air Lines consolidates its operations at a newly expanded and modernized Terminal 4 in 2023. The current Terminal 1 will be torn down after the first phase of the New Terminal One is completed in 2026, allowing the second phase of the project to move forward.
Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said, “Today’s groundbreaking for a New Terminal One represents a significant step toward ensuring that our region remains the nation’s gateway to the world. When completed, this new terminal will represent another crucial step into refashioning our airports into soaring spaces that deliver passengers a world-class experience in a sustainable way while serving as economic engines for the surrounding community.”
Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said, “The new Terminal One project represents the biggest and boldest public-private partnership in the history of Port Authority airports, involving the commitment of $9.5 billion of private investment, all brought to the table by private investors with faith in New York, faith in the region and faith in the future of JFK International Airport. Our explicit goal is to build one of the top 10 airline terminals in the world, and with today’s groundbreaking for a world-class New Terminal One, JFK is on course to become a global gateway that the region deserves.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeffrey Lynford said, “Not only is JFK International Airport the nation’s busiest for international travel, creating vital links to the rest of the world, it is also an important economic engine for our entire region. Today’s groundbreaking for a New Terminal One is an important step forward in the transformation of JFK into a world-class global gateway that will continue to drive our region’s economic growth and create thousands of good-paying jobs. The Port Authority’s program to transform the region’s airports into world-class gateways will play a critical role in our efforts to recover from the pandemic and build the foundation for the future.”
Dr. Gerrard P. Bushell, Chief Executive Officer of The New Terminal One said, “When it is complete, this project will bring a world-class terminal that is sustainably designed and future-focused and a new gateway to the world’s greatest city. Through our extensive partnerships with the community and labor, we will drive historically high MWBE participation goals and deliver jobs and real economic opportunity for this community for generations to come.”
Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York President Gary LaBarbera said, “Today’s groundbreaking on a new Terminal One at JFK International Airport represents the start of another critical, large-scale infrastructure upgrade that will play a crucial role in New York’s continued economic recovery and create thousands of good-paying, middle-class careers with benefits. Now more than ever, we need development projects that create sustainable career opportunities for our city’s working people, and we thank Governor Hochul for her continued leadership and steadfast dedication to ensuring that these job-generating projects are the gateway to a new era in New York. Our members are at the ready and look forward to ramping up their work fully modernizing JFK International Airport into the exemplary, world-class transportation hub that New Yorkers, and our visitors, truly deserve.”
Transforming JFK Into a World-Class Global Gateway
The New Terminal One builds on the momentum of the other three major components of the airport’s transformation. The $3.9 billion development of a state-of-the-art new Terminal 6, to be built by JFK Millennium Partners, on the airport’s north side that will seamlessly connect with JetBlue’s existing Terminal 5 and was approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners in August 2021. The $1.5 billion expansion of Terminal 4, led by Delta Air Lines and JFK International Air Terminal, was approved in the spring and is now under construction. Additionally, work began in December 2019 on the $425 million expansion of JFK’s Terminal 8, led by American Airlines, which operates the Terminal, and British Airways, which will be relocating to Terminal 8 from Terminal 7, once the project is completed by the end of this year.
Combined, the privately financed terminal projects combined with the Port Authority’s roadway, parking, and infrastructure projects represent an $18 billion transformation of JFK International and an extraordinary series of public-private partnerships. The Port Authority’s capital investment of $2.9 billion is leveraging private investment at a rate of more than five to one when taking into account the full private investment of more than $15 billion that has been committed to the four projects comprising the full JFK redevelopment program.
Representative Gregory Meeks said, “The construction of The New Terminal One at JFK demonstrates how modernizing key transportation hubs while centering community needs and passenger experience are critical to the economic growth of a region. The billions of dollars invested in this transformative project will create thousands of good jobs and MWBE and local contracting opportunities, among other benefits. As Co-Chair of the Community Advisory Council, I look forward to continuing to work with all of our partners to realize the robust workforce development programs, business development opportunities, educational programs, and environmental sustainability commitments for the neighborhoods surrounding JFK.”
State Senator Leroy Comrie said, “JFK Airport serves as a vital gateway, linking the world to our region. This groundbreaking demonstrates New York’s commitment to improving and investing in a JFK that can meet the future transportation needs of the tri-state area. I am grateful for the leadership of Governor Hochul, the diligent work of the Port Authority, and all who are participating in crafting this new era of excellence for JFK.”
State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said, “The groundbreaking of the new Terminal One at John F. Kennedy International Airport is a big step towards the future for New York. By making these vital investments into our infrastructure, we are letting New Yorkers and visitors know that we are committed to creating an improved experience for them when traveling to and from our state by creating a more efficient airport. This project will create thousands of new jobs, including union construction jobs, as well as additional job opportunities when the Terminal is open.”
State Senator James Sanders, Jr. said, “Even as we work out a Community Benefits Agreement, we applaud the progress so far. JFK’s Terminal 1 will address safety, efficiency and usability, making travel a better, more pleasurable experience for residents and visitors, and bring this gateway to the forefront of the modern era.”
Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato said, “The groundbreaking of Terminal One shows our State’s clear goal of providing new jobs and a strong economic opportunity for workers, all while being environmentally responsible. Through this investment and a dedicated commitment by our State, we are bringing job growth to South Queens and JFK into the 21st Century by ensuring that our airport is operating and using the most modern and energy-efficient technology available. This is a testament to our community, our State and the people of New York.”
Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman said, “This is an exciting milestone for JFK Airport. As the JFK Terminal One project will certainly expand the services of the airport, it will also create more jobs for individuals and businesses to secure. It is imperative to require and provide quality trainings while constructing this new terminal and prepare employees to communicate with customers to experience this positive transition. Ultimately, I am convinced that the New Terminal One (NTO) will be considered as the new standard of airport terminals and will be designed to accommodate passengers to their comfort.”
Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages said, “Today, we celebrate a significant milestone in the redevelopment of the JFK International Airport. With the completion of the Terminal One project, we are moving closer to meeting the demands of 21st Century travel. I applaud Governor Hochul, labor, and all the stakeholders on this outstanding achievement and look forward to a world-class, top-rank terminal that will be the largest international terminal at JFK.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. said, “It’s a truly historic day for Queens and for the millions of travelers we welcome to our city via Kennedy Airport as we break ground on one of the biggest infrastructure and economic development projects in our borough’s history. With the creation of at least 10,000 jobs, many of which will go to local residents, and millions of dollars in contracts to Queens businesses, the brand-new Terminal One will be an indescribably important boost to the Queens economy, the critically important aviation industry and the region as a whole. Thank you to Governor Hochul, the Port Authority and every single partner who helped make today possible.”
New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said, “JFK Airport is a vital gateway for the New York City metropolitan region and a key economic engine in Southeast Queens. The New Terminal One will create jobs, provide new opportunities for small businesses, and improve the passenger experience for visitors and New Yorkers. This project will also improve local roadways and infrastructure, which is critical for the advancement of the communities around the airport. As the transformation of JFK Airport moves forward, I look forward to continued partnership with all stakeholders to ensure Southeast Queens and all New Yorkers benefit from these crucial investments.”
New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers said, “As the former Manager of External Affairs and Community Outreach for the Port Authority, I am grateful to break ground on the state-of-the-art $9.5 billion Terminal One Project, ushering in 10,000 jobs, of which 6,000 are union positions. Already an international transportation hub, JFK International Airport will truly be the fulcrum of construction jobs, MWBE entrepreneurial opportunities, and world-class transportation on the East Coast. I look forward to working with my elected colleagues to expand access to small and local MWBE businesses in southeast Queens, create scholastic opportunities for our young people and provide infrastructure opportunities through the JFK Redevelopment project.”
Redeveloping JFK Airport in Lockstep with the Local Community
In 2018, the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council was formed. It is co-chaired by U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and is 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 job seekers.
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.