Governor Cuomo Announces $10 Billion Upgrade to JFK Airport

Jan 4, 2017

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New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) came in at #2 on our list of worst airports in the United States — fortunately, it’ll soon get a much-needed $10 billion upgrade, through a new plan introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. At the Association for a Better New York January Luncheon, Cuomo announced the plan to redevelop NYC’s aging airport with a focus on three key areas: improved road access, expanded rail transit options for arriving and departing passengers and a transformation of JFK into a “world-class airport.”

Cuomo outlined several goals within the three core mission statements. On the outside of the airport, the Van Wyck Expressway will expand to four lanes, leading into a “ring road” configuration across each of the terminals. Parking access would be added to the new roads, with both short- and long-term options available.

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The plans for JFK include AirTrain expansions. Image via Ramin Talaie via Getty Images.

Driving would not be the only way travelers could get to the airport. The plan also calls for an expansion of the JFK AirTrain through one of two methods. One proposed plan could include increasing the number of cars available on each train, while expanding key stops. Another plan in consideration would include line expansion to allow a one-seat ride from the airport into the New York City center.

In addition, the plan calls for expanding newer terminals, while either redeveloping or outright rebuilding older terminals. Tunnels and hallways will ultimately connect each terminal to one another, allowing passengers to pass through the airport seamlessly.

Inside the airport, the governor’s plan calls for “world-class” amenities, including more dining options, better duty-free shopping experiences and additional meeting and entertainment facilities. Cuomo cited the groundbreaking on the TWA Flight Center Hotel as an example of the new feature amenities.

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The upgrade will bring better shopping and amenities to JFK’s terminals. Image courtesy of Robert Alexander via Getty Images.

On the tarmac, money will be dedicated to expanding taxiways throughout the airport. The goal is to reduce the amount of time passengers spend delayed, while increasing the number of flight slots available to airlines operating out of JFK.

Behind the scenes, passengers will remain safe through new security plans, developed by a task force of experts at the state and federal level. The airport will maintain a single operations plan for all security teams, with regular trainings between all stakeholders at JFK.

The plan has so far been met with praise from stakeholders who operate out of JFK. Doug Parker, chief executive of American Airlines said the plan “…will elevate the customer travel experience and allow JFK to maintain its rightful position as a world class global gateway for generations to come.,” while JetBlue president Robin Hayes praised the proposal for “…developing a comprehensive plan for the airport and for focusing on road and rail improvements making it easier for travelers to get to and through the airport.”

Featured image courtesy of yenwen via Getty Images.

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