A new Terminal 6 is proposed to be developed at the John F Kennedy (JFK) international airport in New York, US, to improve traffic flow and reduce delays.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), the operator of the JFK airport, aims to build a new state-of-the-art international Terminal 6 as part of the wider plans to transform the airport into a modern global gateway. The new terminal is expected to cost $3.9bn.
Construction is scheduled to be commenced in mid-2022, with the first new gates of the world-class terminal set to be operational in 2025.
The new terminal will feature more than 100,000ft² of commercial facilities including restaurants, bars, and retail stores as well as lounges and recreational spaces. It will also be installed with the latest technologies in sustainability and security.
The project is expected to generate more than 4,000 direct jobs and contribute to economic activity worth $6.3bn.
Terminal 6 development background
The former Terminal 6 at the JFK International Airport was opened in 1970 and was demolished in 2011 after JetBlue moved to Terminal 5 in 2008. PANYNJ earlier reached an agreement with JFK Millennium Partners (JMP), a consortium of JetBlue Airways, Vantage Airport Group, American Triple I (ATI), and RXR Realty, for the development of a new Terminal 6.
The project was supposed to be started in 2020 but was delayed due to the impact of Covid-19 on air travel and the broader commercial aviation industry. The parties signed a revised lease deal for the new terminal development in August 2021, which was approved by the Commissioners of PANYNJ in the same month.
The restructured deal will also provide a ten-year extension of the master lease of the airport. The City of New York extended the lease, which was earlier set to expire in 2050. AECOM Hunt, an engineering firm based in the US, was selected to provide the design-build services for the project.
JFK International Airport’s new Terminal 6 details
The new 1.2 million-square-foot terminal will be constructed on the sites of the former Terminal 6 and the ageing Terminal 7, which will be demolished following the relocation of British Airways to Terminal 8. Set to anchor the north side of the airport, Terminal 6 will accommodate both wide and narrow-body aircraft and connect to Terminal 5, which is currently used by JetBlue.
The international arrivals facilities of the two terminals and a distinct taxi plaza as well as designated vehicle pick-up areas are planned to be consolidated to improve the passenger experience. In addition to ten new gates, the new terminal will feature airy check-in halls and improved arrival spaces.
It will also include advanced passenger security systems, automated screening lanes at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints, biometric-based access control systems, touchless passenger journey, digital systems for efficient passenger flow and queue management, and advanced video search analytics. The improved design of the terminal will also allow it to adapt to future technology and regulatory changes.
The passenger facilities at the terminal will include larger waiting areas. The key design elements of the facilities will include natural lighting, high ceilings, green areas, and modern architecture depicting iconic New York landmarks.
Furthermore, charging stations and free high-speed Wi-Fi will be provided to passengers.
The terminal will incorporate a number of sustainability features, including a solar hot water system, and aircraft de-icing and fluid recovery to cut carbon emissions.
Electric ground service equipment will be installed to facilitate the switch of the baggage tractors, belt loaders, and other equipment to electric power.
The JMP consortium will finance the entire construction cost of the Terminal 6 project. PANYNJ will contribute $130m in capital funding to support the construction of the airside improvements and utility enhancements.
JFK International Airport background
JFK International Airport, the busiest airport in New York, was opened in 1948 as New York International Airport but was commonly known as Idlewild Airport. It was later renamed John F Kennedy International Airport in honour of the 35th President of the US.
The airport handled 62.6 million passengers in 2019, which represents a 1.5% increase over 2018. The passenger traffic included 34.3 million international passengers, which was the highest among all the US airports. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic led to a decline of 73.48% in passenger traffic to 16.6 million in 2020, compared to 2019.