The JetBlue Terminal or Terminal 5 of John F Kennedy Airport is one of the first terminals in US to be built after 9/11. The terminal was officially opened in October 2008 and is primarily used by JetBlue Airways, which is popularly known as New York’s hometown airlines.
The new Terminal 5 was built by renovating the airport’s former TWA Terminal and is a low-profile metal and glass structure, providing 26 contact gates to handle an estimated 20 million passengers a year. The new terminal accommodates 250 flights a day.
JetBlue Airways operates flights to more than 50 destinations in the US, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda and Mexico. It operates a fleet of 134 aircraft consisting of Airbus A320-200s and Embraer 190s.
Known as T5i, a new international extension to the terminal was opened in November 2014. An estimated $1bn was invested over the past decade for the construction of the T5 and the T5i.
JetBlue project and TWA upgrade
The decision to build a new dedicated terminal for JetBlue was made in August 2004, in the light of the passenger numbers and the ongoing refurbishment projects at JFK.
The terminal is attached and built next to the old TWA terminal, which JetBlue partially uses for check-in facilities and also possibly the ‘flight wing tubes’ to conduct passengers to their flights (a famous feature of the TWA terminal that was designed in 1962 by Eoro Saarinen). The remainder of the TWA terminal was converted into a museum.
The 70-acre site for the new JetBlue terminal was leased from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which also owns the TWA terminal building.
New JFK terminal
Built with an investment of $850m, the 635,000ft² terminal building features 26 gates distributed throughout three concourses. It houses a 55,000ft² central retail market place and allows customers to move freely throughout the terminal.
Additional facilities at the terminal include two check-in areas with a total of 65 e-ticket kiosks and 40 traditional check-in counters, an in-line baggage handling and screening system and a large central security checkpoint that can accommodate 20 screening lanes. Passenger facilities at the terminal include grandstand seating under a 40ft diameter digital ring of LCD monitors, wide gate areas with ample seating, broad windows offering runway views, a children’s play area and a lounge-like area in the east concourse.
The terminal also offers 22 concessions, 25 speciality retail stores, restaurants, bars, cafes, a gourmet food hall, coffee bars and lounges.
It is designed to accommodate 250 flights a day, which is more than double the number JetBlue previously operated from JFK, and a total of 20 million passengers a year.
The facility only uses a limited number of light fixture styles and a single bold colour self-cleaning industrial carpet. The ticketing hall’s low-ceiling is designed to reduce operating and construction costs.
The security section has a large single-configuration system to promote passenger flow. The passenger concourse, which has been described as a ‘glowing blue box’, provides the ‘passenger wow factor’ as a grand reception space with food and drink concessions and ample seating.
The terminal also has a 1,500-space car park and connection to the AirTrain station.
JetBlue terminal contractors
The new terminal was designed by Gensler (architects) and construction began in 2005. The contractors involved in the construction and outfitting of the building included Arup (planners and design managers, building services engineering, IT, security, acoustics), DMJM Harris (airside / landside engineer), Ammann & Whitney (structural engineer), Rockwell Group (interior architect for the ‘glowing blue box’), Turner (construction management) and BNP Associates (baggage handling consultant).
New international arrivals facility expansion
The new international arrivals hall extension named as T5 International (T5i) was opened at Terminal 5 in November 2014. JetBlue introduced a new US Customs and Border Protection federal inspection service area to create a better travel experience for all international passengers.
Construction of the T5i facility started in 2012. The extension houses six international arrivals gates, three new and three converted from T5, an international arrivals hall with full federal inspection services, 40 state-of-the-art automated passport control (APC) machines and ten global entry kiosks.
The T5i accommodates up to 1,400 customers an hour and can handle JetBlue’s current schedule of up to 39 daily international arrivals from various places, including Barbados, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks & Caicos.
Environment-friendly features at the extension include the provision for abundant natural daylight, circulation paths to ease the movement and reduce the walking time in the terminal, and the use recycled concrete for the construction, low volatile organic compounds (VOC) materials, efficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, low flow water fixtures and time of day lighting controls.
More than 50 contractors, including Gensler, Ammann & Whitney, Arup, AECOM, Gleeds USA and Turner Construction Company, were involved in this two-year project.
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