Holiday surprise: Newark’s new Terminal One is on track and will receive 2 bonus upgrades

Dec 23, 2020

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When the pandemic is hopefully behind us, New York-area flyers will have two brand-new airport terminals to enjoy.

In addition to a recently unveiled Terminal B at LaGuardia, Newark’s outdated Terminal A is getting a stunning replacement in 2022, dubbed Terminal One. Spanning three levels across one million square feet, the new 33-gate terminal is poised to become Newark’s flagship terminal.

On Friday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced two exciting updates to the project, as well a revised timeline for the terminal’s completion.

The first enhancement will include a completely overhauled arrivals area, easing the curbside pickup experience.

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With four dedicated pickup curbs, passenger loading zones will be increased by 250%, minimizing waiting time, congestion and stress.

New drop-off and pick-up areas

Each of the four curbs will be dedicated to a particular ride type, in the following order starting with the closest to the terminal:

  • Private automobiles
  • Taxis
  • Public transit/airport hotel shuttle
  • Rideshares, like Uber or Lyft

Several other passenger-facing improvements include digital signage with real-time wait times and location information for both taxis and ride-hailing vehicles, hopefully speeding up the pickup process.

As for departures, the Port Authority has already reassured flyers that the four-lane, 1000-foot-long drop-off area is purpose-designed to handle projected traffic demand during the busiest times.

The second major recently announced enhancement includes a plethora of long-lasting health and safety changes that will be built-in to the new Terminal One from the start.

In addition to using hospital-grade air filtration systems, Terminal One will feature an entirely touchless experience from curbside to planeside.

Contactless e-gate for the TSA screening

All airline counters will offer a touchless check-in, along with self-bag-drop stations. Entering the TSA checkpoint will simply require a valid boarding pass scanned at an e-gate, and all security bins at all 18 lanes will be processed through a UV light sanitizer.

Once it’s time to board, all gates will support contactless, self-boarding, eliminating the need to interact with an agent throughout the entire departure experience.

Self-boarding gates

During TPG’s first look at the new terminal in September 2020, Port Authority chairman Kevin O’Toole said that the first phase will be complete in about 12 to 14 months. Unlike most major construction projects, things are, so far, progressing as planned.

In early 2022, 21 of the total 33 gates are expected to open, along with the public parking garage. The remaining 12 gates will come online in the fourth quarter of 2022. Finally, the new consolidated rental car center will be completed in the second quarter of 2023.

More: First look at Newark’s brand-new Terminal One

The new Terminal One will likely house the existing airlines operating from the current Terminal A, including Air Canada, Alaska, American and JetBlue. United operates a select few flights from Terminal A, so it’ll be interesting to see if those frequencies move to the new space when it opens or whether they will be combined with United’s existing presence at Terminal C.

Main thoroughfare of the new Terminal One

Terminal One will offer 28,000 square feet dedicated to four airline lounges.

The existing Terminal A is home to an Air Canada Maple Leaf LoungeAmerican Airlines Admirals Club and United Club. We’ll likely see the former two spaces relocate to Terminal One (and possibly the United Club depending on whether the airline uses any gates in the new terminal). Fingers crossed that American Express decides to put an outpost in the new Terminal One.

The red fence is the perimeter of the new airport lounges

Aside from many of the passenger-facing improvements, the Port Authority is working on taxiway improvements for aircraft parking and pushing back. There will be two taxiways on the apron, allowing planes to both push back and pull in at the same time — leading to more flights departing and arriving on time, even during peak periods.

“We are constantly looking at ways to improve our new facilities and ensure their look, feel, and functionality are best-in-class,” said Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton. And with the latest updates to the Newark redevelopment project, the Port Authority is living up to its word.

All photos by Zach Griff/The Points Guy. Renderings provided courtesy of the Port Authority

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