an aerial view of an airport

Pre-pandemic, there were huge plans for JFK Airport in New York. Antiquated, and frankly – downright sad – terminals were to be torn down and replaced with larger, airy modern spaces to create a truly “first class” travel experience through one of America’s largest gateways.

Then, the pandemic came, priorities obviously shifted and all the talk of British Airways and American moving in together, and Terminal 1 becoming this epic oasis of modern travel with countless international airlines seemed to fade.

As government officials in the US look to now “build back better” with the pandemic shifting to an endemic, New York Governor, Kathy Hochul has unveiled sweeping plans to carry on with work at JFK Airport.

an aerial view of an airport

New York JFK Airport To Receive $18 Billion Makeover

Over $18 billion will be invested in new facilities and terminals at JFK via a new public and private partnership, with private funding coming in at a 5:1 ratio versus public.

Talks of a revolutionary Terminal 1 are now more than hyperbole, with over $9.6b being invested to create 14 new gates and a brand new terminal for the space alone.

Details remain somewhat unclear around whether previous plans to demolish T2 and T3, to create a super terminal known as T1 would go ahead. There was also previous talk of tearing down T7, to merge with T5 and the space left from what once was T6 to create another “super-terminal” on the other side of the airport.

Previous suggestions also pointed to connectivity between the new Terminal 1, with T4, so that partner airlines such as Air France, which have operated out of T1, could send feeder traffic to domestic Delta Airlines flights out of T4, and vice versa.

For now, this is exciting news, particularly since construction will begin in 2022. With all exciting future projects, things might be a bit haphazard in the interim, but JFK needed an upgrade and this one promises to be one of the most significant revamps in recent US airpot history.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Total runway capacity increase: zero percent. So basically $ 18 billion to have nicer places to wait for your delayed flight. How have we gotten this stupid?

  2. Without more investment in access and egress, everything else is lipstick on a pig….if you can’t get in or out efficeintly, what difference does it make what’s inside….?

    Airports should be designed to move people. Jfk remains an invalid among world airports and a sad welcome to the USA.

  3. Private money is likely ‘private equity” and they deman a massive ROI…quickly. Prices will skyrocket inside the terminal.

  4. JFK is dogshit. Has been for over a decade. Funny to see if/when this will be completed. That’s a whole lotta dinero.

  5. Kurwa and Paul are spot on. I’m a pilot who’s trips all originate and terminate at JFK. The two main arteries one must travel to get there, the Belt Parkway and Van Wyck Expressway, are abysmal. It routinely takes me 45 minutes to an hour to travel the 15 miles from the Verrazano Bridge to the JFK exit. There’s virtually no public transit options so ground transport is the only way to get to/from La Guardia and Newark as well. I dare say that anywhere else in the developed world there would be high speed rail service. Lipstick on a pig, indeed.

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