JFK’s new Terminal 6 just reached a major airport redevelopment milestone during a major airport makeover

A refurbished John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York is well on its way to becoming a reality.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, along with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the region’s major airports, announced Thursday that the new Terminal 6 project at JFK has secured the funding it needs to move forward. to proceed with construction.

The agency worked to secure $4.2 billion in funding to build the first phase of the new Terminal 6 project from four private companies: JFK Millennium Partners, American Triple I, RXR and JetBlue Airways.

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The lease for the new Terminal 6 was approved last year by the Supervisory Board of the Port Authority, but the agency had not yet arranged the financing for the new building. Now that it has secured the funds, the lease has been signed and construction is expected to begin early next year.

COURTESY Vantage Airport Group

The opening of the first phase is expected in 2026, followed by full completion in 2028.

“This will be a state-of-the-art, truly extraordinary facility, and at all three airports, the Port Authority is committed to 21st-century high-performance, state-of-the-art airports for the region,” said Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority, during the agency’s board meeting on Thursday.

The new 1.2 million square foot Terminal 6 at JFK will be located on the north side of the airport between the existing facilities of Terminals 5 and 7. It will have 10 gates, 9 of which can accommodate wide-body aircraft.

This image from a June 2020 presentation shows the proposed plan for a new Terminal 6 at JFK in New York. COURTESY JFK Millennium Partners.

Terminal 6 will seamlessly connect to JetBlue’s existing home in Terminal 5. Construction will begin without any impact on JFK operations as it will be largely confined to an area currently used as aircraft parking lots.

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When Terminal 6 is finished, the existing Terminal 7 will be demolished. British Airways, the current main tenant in Terminal 7, will move to American’s Terminal 8 later this year, while the other airlines in the existing Terminal 7 are expected to move to other terminals in the coming years.

The Port Authority is teasing a host of passenger-focused improvements to the new Terminal 6, including a bright and airy arrivals and departures hall with floor-to-ceiling windows, a robust public arts program, automated TSA security lanes, and more than 100,000 square feet of space dedicated to retail and dining.

This render shows what designers have planned for the concession area at New York’s new Terminal 6 at JFK. COURTESY Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

JetBlue will share space in Terminal 6 with the Lufthansa Group, which will move to Terminal 6 after it opens in 2026. This includes flights from Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, which currently operate from Terminal 1.

With Lufthansa consolidating into Terminal 6, the Port Authority is teasing a “world-class lounge experience” for Terminal 6 flyers. I would expect this to include dedicated Lufthansa first, business and Senator lounges.

The Terminal 6 project is the capstone of the grand $18 billion “JFK Vision” transformation plan. While all JFK projects were suspended at the start of the pandemic, those days are now firmly in the rearview mirror.

The new, $9.5 billion Terminal One at JFK opened in September 2022. This 2.4 million square foot international terminal will anchor the south side of the airport. The project is estimated to cost $9.5 billion and will create at least 10,000 jobs, according to the Port Authority.

To make way for the new Terminal One, the existing Terminal 2 will be demolished. When completed, the new terminal will be the largest at JFK – almost the same size as LaGuardia Airport’s two new terminals combined.

COURTESY Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

When fully completed in 2030, the new Terminal One will feature 23 gates, a redesigned check-in hall and updated arrival areas. (The existing terminals 1 and 2 have 12 and 11 gates respectively.)

Delta’s Terminal 4 is undergoing major expansion, including additional gates for Delta’s operation, along with $100 million in renovations to the existing check-in areas, as well as an upgraded arrivals hall to avoid congestion.

COURTESY OF American Airlines.

Finally, American is leading a $400 million modernization of its JFK home, Terminal 8. This work includes new gates, premium lounges and other amenities expected to open in the coming weeks.

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