American Airlines Terminal 8 at JFK. Photo: Chris Sloan

MIAMI – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced an agreement between The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, JFK International Air Terminal (JFKIAT), and Delta Air Lines (DL) for a $3.8 billion redevelopment project to expand Terminal 4.

To expand the Terminal 4 arrivals and departures hall, the Port Authority will finalize and enter into a lease amendment with JFK International Air Terminal 4, subject to Board approval

In addition, the redevelopment adds a major concourse expansion to add 16 new gates, the renovation of existing concourses, and roadway upgrades to allow better access for vehicles.

The expansion at Terminal 4 is expected to be complete with DL, consolidating its operations in early 2023. The roadway improvements will be completed in late 2025 with further airport redevelopment projects.

Map of Delta JFK Terminal 4 Operations. (Credits: Delta Air Lines)

Roel Huinink, President and CEO of JFKIAT, which operates Terminal 4, said, “The expansion of Terminal 4 represents the next evolution of one of the world’s most modern and efficient air terminals.”

“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,” added Huinink.

The redevelopment program includes:

  • State-Of-The-Art Expansion To Unify Delta Operations, with 16 New Gates and Expanded Check-In and Arrivals Areas
  • Renovation of Existing Terminal to Include New World-Class Retail and Food Options, Best-in-Class Technology, Upgraded Ticketing, and Gate Areas, and New Self-Service Bag Check.
  • Redesigned Departures and Arrivals Road Frontage to Improve Vehicle Access
  • Demolition of Terminal 2

“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 $13 billion projects to modernize JFK will create a more unified airport and solidify New York’s position as the premier entry point to our country.”

Expanding Terminal 4 with customer needs in mind

The $3.8 billion Terminal 4 project intends a modernized expansion of the existing terminal, with more than 500,000 square feet and 16 domestic narrow-body gates. This will improve the ticketing, arrivals and baggage areas, and also security checkpoints.

The renovated terminal and concourses will include modern concessions and amenities to welcome travelers coming to the city.

In all, The 16-gate expansion will replace the 11 gates currently used by DL at the 58-year-old Terminal 2, consolidating more seamless connections on many of Delta’s partner airlines.

The renovations will also expand seating areas and concessions, with modern wayfinding and brand-new restrooms. The expansion project also includes a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal 4’s Concourse A.

Roadway access and frontage adjacent to Terminal 4 will also be reconfigured as part of this project, improving vehicle access for customers.

The renovation of Terminal 4, the first air terminal to achieve LEED O+M certification back in 2017, is a testament to Port Authority’s and JFKIAT’s commitment to energy efficiency, installing throughout the terminal energy-saving equipment and lighting.

The concourse expansion will incorporate infrastructure for rainwater capture and reuse within the building. The project also includes charging stations for electric ground service equipment at all new gates and a deicing recovery system.

The expansion of Terminal 4 is expected to be financed by JFKIAT. In early February.

Delta’s footprint in the Big Apple

DL has grown its presence in New York City by over 65% in the last 10 years, currently operating more than 240 peak daily departures from JFK to nearly 100 destinations in more than 30 countries around the world.

Delta’s Terminal 2, formerly used by Northwest, Northeast, and Braniff, remains open as the oldest remaining terminal at JFK. The WorldPort Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 are in the background. (Credits: Author)

The airline first unveiled its $1.4 billion international gateway at JFK’s Terminal 4 back in in 2013. At LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and began construction on the $4 billion replacement of Terminals C and D in August 2017.

In addition, DL’s first new concourse and new gates on the eastern side of the airport opened in October 2019. A modern headhouse will open in 2022 as part of a Whole New LGA, with the phased opening of three additional concourses.

Governor Cuomo’s Vision for a New JFK

In January 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo presented his JFK Vision Plan to transform J the airport into the “unified, interconnected, world-class airport that New Yorkers deserve.”

The JFK Vision Plan calls for an overhaul of the airport’s eight terminal sites into one unified JFK Airport by demolishing old terminals, taking advantage of vacant space, and modernizing on-airport infrastructure in addition to placing modern amenities for passengers.

There is also an increment in the number and size of gates, improved parking and airside taxiway availability to reduce gate congestion, an upgrade to the AirTrain JFK system to increase capacity and a redesign of roadways on and near the airport.

Redeveloping JFK Airport in conjunction with the local community

The Advisory Council will continue to hold public meetings on a regular basis with the Port Authority, the terminal developers, committee members, and other community members, to discuss additional strategies and programs that will offer more opportunities to local businesses and students interested in aviation.

“Delta and JFKIAT have been true partners in the Port Authority’s work to modernize and unify JFK International Airport,” said Kevin O’Toole, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

JFK Airport

“This project will advance the agency’s mission to keep the region moving and its commitment to provide a best-in-class experience to all travelers and visitors to the metropolitan region,” O’Toole added.

Ed Bastian, Delta CEO, also added, “Delta is investing more in airport infrastructure today than at any other time in our history. With transformational projects now underway at both JFK and LaGuardia, we’re creating the airports our New York customers have long deserved.”

Two New World-Class Terminals anchoring the North and South sides

On the airport’s south side, the Port Authority will enter into a lease agreement for the $7.4 billion, 2.8 million-square-foot New Terminal One.

The lease includes a new international terminal consortium comprised of airlines (Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines and Korean Air Lines), as well as development and financial partners (The Carlyle Group, JLC Infrastructure and the Union Labor Life Insurance Company (Ullico)).

The consortium will be responsible for the design, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance of the modern, eco-friendly terminal, which will replace JFK’s Terminal 1 and 2, both set to be demolished, as well as the area that remained vacant when Terminal 3 was demolished in 2014.

On the airport’s north side, the proposed new $3 billion, 1.2 million-square-foot international terminal will be developed by JetBlue-JFK Millennium Partners.

To round these developments off, the consortium has envisioned a world-class international terminal complex that connects to the existing Terminal 5, which will be occupied by JetBlue and its various partners currently spread throughout the airport.

Construction underway at Terminal 8

Governor Cuomo announced the first groundbreaking as part of the complete transformation of JFK International Airport in December 2019.

As part of the project, American Airlines and British Airways will add over 70,000 square feet of the customer and operational space to Terminal 8.

Improvements include a restructuring of the check-in lobby, increasing capacity by 25 percent, the renovation, and modernization of terminal restrooms, an expansion of the fourth-level lounge areas to open joint American Airlines/British Airways premium lounges and a retail and dining options enhancements.

The redeveloped Terminal 8 will feature five additional wide-body gates to accommodate larger aircraft, with four wide-body hardstands, and enhanced baggage systems.

Redevelopment work is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

On and off-airport roadway Improvements

On-airport, a simple roadway system will be constructed for speedier access to all terminals for vehicles, with reconfigured parking lots for short-term and long-term parking.

Off-airport, the New York State Department of Transportation will spend $1.5 billion in highway improvements designed to ease bottlenecks in the Interchanges near the airport. Thus reducing travel times for vehicles between midtown Manhattan and JFK.