THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY APPROVES JETBLUE AIRWAYS EXPANSION PLAN FOR NEW INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS FACILITY AT JFK

Date: May 31, 2012
Press Release Number: 82-2012

Expansion at Terminal 5 by one of the airport’s largest carriers will meet growing travel demands and create $325 million in economic activity

Seeking to improve customer service and meet growing travel demands, JetBlue Airways will invest more than $200 million to expand Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport by creating a new international arrivals area. Under action approved by the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners, the changes will include more gates and nearby space for parking planes.

The Board of Commissioners approved a supplemental lease agreement with JetBlue that will allow construction of an additional 145,000 square feet of space on three levels in Terminal 5, a state-of-the-art facility that opened to widespread acclaim in 2008. Terminal 5 handled 10.5 million passengers last year alone. The new section will be dedicated to international arrivals, with creation of a new Federal Inspection Service facility that will enable U.S. Border and Customs Protection agents to handle up to 1,200 arriving passengers hourly.

JetBlue, one of JFK’s largest carriers, began international service in Terminal 4 in 2004 and the expanded Terminal 5 will allow the airline to consolidate and increase its international service. The airline’s growth in international fliers helped JFK establish an overall airport record of 23.9 million international passengers in 2011.

A total of 1,090 jobs, $74 million in wages and $325 million in economic activity are anticipated over the life of the project, which is set to begin in July and finish by the end of 2014.

“The JetBlue agreement is another great example of the agency’s efforts to partner with the private sector to provide for our region’s transportation infrastructure needs, while creating high-paying construction jobs and spurring further long-term economic activity in New York and New Jersey,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “The airline’s $200 million investment also will improve customer service and help meet the region’s ever-growing passenger demands.”

“JetBlue is expanding its already impressive position as one of New York City’s premier airlines with this added investment for international travel at JFK,” said Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “While JetBlue initially made its mark on our region with domestic travel, the Port Authority looks forward to the airline’s continued growth as an international carrier as well.”

“The JetBlue investment is the latest in a series of investments aggregating billions at our airports, including Port Authority investments in runways and terminals, Delta’s ongoing expansion efforts at JFK and LaGuardia, and the agency’s own plans to replace the outmoded Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia and Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport,” said Executive Director Pat Foye. “At the same time the Port Authority has committed to short-term initiatives to improve customers’ experience at our three metropolitan area airports, while promising long-term expansion and terminal improvement projects to create 21st century facilities.”

“By 2030, more than 160 million people will fly through our airports annually,” said Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “They deserve the best customer experience in the best terminals. Projects like our partnership with JetBlue will ensure that our customers are flying in the most up to date and customer-friendly terminals anywhere in the world.”

JetBlue’s lease supplement, which includes the additional 145,000 square feet of space and 19.3 acres of land where Terminal 6 once stood, will mean $447 million in rent payments for the Port Authority over the 28-year term of the existing lease agreement.

The airline will convert three existing gates for international and domestic use and add three new gates capable of handling international flights, while improving the ramp space between Terminals 5 and 7. Three new hard-surfaced areas, known as hardstands, will be set up on the ramp area to park planes and bus passengers to and from the terminal. Two other hardstands will be created as parking areas for 747-size planes.

Contact:
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Ron Marsico, 212-435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. This includes John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.