One of the most famous airports in the world is set to get a major facelift, as the Governor of New York has confirmed plans to completely overhaul operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The project was first proposed in January 2017, but this month’s announcement finally offered some tangible details as to how the state plans to renovate one of the world’s busiest airports. Overall, it is estimated that the project will cost $13 billion, with $12 billion of that coming from private funding. Construction will begin in 2020 and will last for seven years, with the first of the newly constructed gates scheduled to open in 2023.
One of the most ambitious parts of the plan is to completely redesign and reconfigure the layout of JFK’s existing terminals. As it stands right now, the terminal situation at the airport could be described as…. well, terminal. There are currently 6 functioning terminals, logically named 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8. These are scattered across the airport’s land, with connecting passengers usually required to exit one building and go through security again at the next.
Under the new plans, these terminals will be combined into just two, North and South, which will be connected to one another. This not only means that passengers who find themselves far from their gate will be able to move around without going through security again, but also that the roads taking passengers to the terminals can be laid out in a much more effective manner. Cuomo addressed this issue specifically in his announcement, stating "The spaghetti bowl of JFK, with all those signs, it's just impossible.”
The new design will be architecturally modern, incorporating large areas, high ceilings, natural light, greenery, and exhibits from New York-based artists. The new design will also be much better suited to the 21st Century, with free high-speed wi-fi throughout, as well as plenty of charging points for our devices. The capacity of the airport’s AirTrain is also set to double.
Roughly 60 million people go through JFK every year, and the new design aims to increase the airport’s capacity by 15 million. Passenger numbers are expected to hit 75 million by 2030, so if all goes according to plan, these renovations should be finished just in time to deal with the growing number of people visiting or passing through New York.