USA. New York John F. Kennedy International Airport Terminal 4 is set for a US$3.8 billion expansion and renovation that will add 500,000sq ft of space and enhance retail and dining options.

The news was announced on Tuesday by Governor Andrew Cuomo after The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reached agreement on terms with Delta Air Lines and JFK International Air Terminal (JFKIAT), which runs Terminal 4. The partners said it marked “a key step in the transformation of John F. Kennedy International Airport into a 21st century global gateway”.

Subject to Board approval this week, the Port Authority will enter into a lease amendment with JFKIAT for an expansion and renovation of the arrivals and departures hall, a major concourse expansion to add 16 new gates, the renovation of existing concourses and roadway upgrades to improve access for vehicles.

The expansion is expected to be complete with Delta consolidating its operations at T4 in early 2023 (it currently operates out of T2 and T4). Roadway improvements will be completed in late 2025 with other JFK Airport redevelopment projects.

“The Terminal 4 expansion will be another milestone in the transformation of JFK Airport, with upgrades that will give passengers the world-class experience they expect when flying into New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “When completed, our US$13 billion project to modernise JFK will create a more unified airport and solidify New York’s position as the premier entry point to our country.”

Terminal transformation: Towards a best-in-class customer experience at JFK T4 (Photo: Bjorg Magnea)

“The expansion of Terminal 4 represents the next evolution of one of the world’s most modern and efficient air terminals,” said JFKIAT President and CEO Roel Huinink. “T4 accounts for one-third of traffic for JFK, and by investing in this expansion, we will be able to continue driving innovation within the terminal, increase its capacity, and bring our best-in-class customer experience to the next level. We look forward to our continued partnership with Delta and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as we begin this exciting initiative to strengthen JFK’s position as a world class airport.”

The expansion and renovation will be financed by JFKIAT. The renovated terminal and concourses will convey a Sense of Place, said the terminal operator, and will feature “innovative food options, a locally inspired retail mix, children’s play areas and other amenities to ensure passenger comfort and convenience”.

The 16-gate 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 improved connections for Delta’s partner airlines.

The project will include expanded seating areas and concessions, modern wayfinding and new restrooms. The expansion also includes a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal 4’s Concourse A.

The redesign of Terminal 4 – which became the first US terminal to achieve LEED O+M certification in 2017 – will carry a strong focus on energy efficiency, using energy-saving equipment and lighting throughout the terminal. The concourse expansion will incorporate infrastructure for rainwater capture and reuse within the building. The project includes charging stations for electric ground service equipment at all new gates along with a deicing recovery system to capture spent deicing fluid.

Progressing the JFK Vision Plan

In January 2017, Governor Cuomo announced his JFK Vision Plan to transform JFK Airport. It calls for an overhaul of the airport’s eight terminal sites into one unified JFK Airport by demolishing old terminals, using vacant space and modernising on-airport infrastructure.

In October 2018, the governor announced a commitment to advance the JFK Vision Plan and build two new international terminal complexes on the airport’s north and south sides, driving a US$13 billion investment in the project.

As previously announced, on the airport’s south side, the Port Authority will enter into a lease agreement for The New Terminal One, a US$7.4 billion, 2.8 million sq ft new international terminal with a consortium of airlines – Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines and Korean Air Lines – and development and financial partners. The New Terminal One will replace JFK Terminal 1 which the group currently operates, Terminal 2 (which opened in 1962 and is set to be demolished), as well as the area left vacant when Terminal 3 was demolished in 2014.

On the airport’s north side, the proposed new US$3 billion, 1.2 million sq ft international terminal will be developed by JetBlue-JFK Millennium Partners. The consortium plans to create a “world-class” international terminal complex that will connect to the existing Terminal 5. The new terminal will be occupied by JetBlue and its various partners currently spread throughout the airport.

In addition, American Airlines and British Airways will add over 70,000sq ft of customer and operational space to Terminal 8. Improvements include reconfiguration of the check-in lobby to increase capacity by +25%, renovation and modernisation of terminal restrooms, expansion of the fourth-level lounge areas to create joint American Airlines/British Airways premium lounges, and enhanced retail and dining options. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2022.