JFK Airport’s major runway reopens after $400m modernisation project

30 September 2015 (Last Updated September 30th, 2015 18:30)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reopened John F. Kennedy International Airport’s major runway after completion of a six-month long revamp worth $400m.

JFK airport

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reopened John F. Kennedy International Airport's major runway after completion of a six-month long revamp worth $400m.

All four runways of the JFK Airport are in full use now for the first time since the spring this year, when the Port Authority commenced the major portion of rehabilitative work on Runway 4Left-22Right.

The runway stretches more than two miles from the Rockaway Boulevard to a peninsula extending into Jamaica Bay. It now has an 18in thick concrete surface that was built using a total of 220,000t of concrete to replace the runway's previous base of asphalt.

The concrete runway is expected to have a lifespan of about 40 years.

The project was executed in three phases and included addition of a high-speed taxiway to reduce ground delays by enabling the arriving aircrafts to exit the runway faster and letting other planes touchdown or takeoff on the same runway with greater frequency.

The modernisation project involved lengthening the runway safety zones at each end of the landing strip to 1,000ft to provide extra overrun areas in case of aircraft emergencies, as per the upgraded FAA regulations.

In addition, the runway was widened from 150ft to 200ft to accommodate the world's largest passenger aircraft.

Port Authority aviation director Thomas Bosco said: "With cooperation from our airline partners and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the past six months of continuous work on Runway 4Left-22Right will prove to pay huge dividends in terms of operational safety and efficiency over the coming decades at JFK."

While the project was underway, the impact on airport operations were minimised with the coordination between FAA and the airlines operating at JFK.

The airport supports more than 278,000 jobs, $14.1bn in wages, and generates about $39.3bn per year in economic activity.

The airport serves more than 54 million passengers annually.


Image: Aerial view of the JFK Airport. Photo: courtesy of Joe Mabel.