Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has signed a 15-year lease agreement on a new 346,000ft² cargo terminal at John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, US.

The cargo terminal is the first phase of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s comprehensive vision plan aimed at boosting the international reputation of JFK.

Set to open in the fourth quarter of 2020, the terminal will be the airport’s first dedicated facility for temperature-controlled pharmaceutical products and perishable cargo.

The facility has a processing capacity of more than 300 million kilograms per annum. It aims to improve cargo flow, reduce transfer time and shorten truck waiting time.

It will also incorporate the latest security procedures and screening systems.

“The new $132m JFK facility is being constructed by Aeroterm on a 26-acre site following the demolition of two 40-year-old vacant cargo buildings at the airport.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “We are transforming JFK into a world-class, state-of-the-art airport and, with this new cargo facility, a major economic engine.

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“With this much-needed modernisation of JFK’s cargo operations, we will help create jobs and support economic growth across the entire New York metropolitan area for years to come.”

The new $132m JFK facility is being constructed by Aeroterm on a 26-acre site following the demolition of two 40-year-old vacant cargo buildings at the airport. It will also provide ramp space for wide-body aircraft.

The Port Authority Board has also sanctioned a further $62.2m project to upgrade taxiways CA and CB at JFK to accommodate modern freight aircraft.

WFS Americas CEO Michael Duffy said: “With our own volumes at JFK growing some 6% in 2017, the Aero JFK II facility will give us the capacity to grow and to fulfil our prime global commitment to safety, security and service quality.”

WFS is handling more than 650,000 tonnes of cargo a year for approximately 70 airlines at its nine JFK facilities.