|JFK Welcomes A380
Ushering in a new era in air travel, Kennedy International Airport on August 1 welcomed more than 500 passengers and crew when Emirates Airline Flight 3801 from Dubai completed its first U.S. scheduled flight of the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft.
The airport was prepared for the arrival, thanks to a $179 million improvement program that included infrastructure modifications: strengthening four taxiway bridges and runway pavement to handle the heavier planes, and relocating a taxiway to enable the wider-body aircraft to maneuver safely and efficiently.
Since 2004, the number of annual passengers at JFK has increased by more than 43 percent, to 48.2 million. The A380 and other new large aircraft will help meet existing and anticipated demand for flights at the airport. Current projections call for the airport to handle almost 60 million passengers a year by 2017.
JFK's Terminal 1 and Terminal 4 are each equipped to handle large aircraft like the A380. Several other airlines are expected to enter new large aircraft into service at JFK over the next 18 months.