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New Details Emerge in JFK's $13 Billion Renovation, BA Moving to Terminal 8 and More

Feb. 06, 2019
5 min read
T8 JFK American
New Details Emerge in JFK's $13 Billion Renovation, BA Moving to Terminal 8 and More
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Last October New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $13 billion dollar overhaul to New York's JFK Airport, and today major airlines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed details of how some of those renovations will look once they're completed over the next seven years.

For the last 50 years, British Airways has called New York's JFK's Terminal 7 its home base in the Big Apple. Over the last decade its invested more and more cash into the terminal and recently announced a $65 million injection in the dated building to update its lounges among other upgrades to the general terminal.

Today it's announced that it will be moving to Terminal 8, American Airlines' busiest terminal in the New York area and home to many long-haul and transcontinental flights. British Airways and American Airlines are Oneworld partners but also operate a joint-venture for transatlantic flights, along with Iberia and Finnair.

American and British Airways will invest $344 million to expand Terminal 8 by 70,000 square feet and refurbish an existing 57,500 square feet of the terminal, which currently measures in at 1.58 million square feet according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. That includes five more gates that can handle wide-body aircraft. Renderings released don't show much of an actual footprint expansion, but show long jet bridges to accommodate new aircraft at Terminal 8. A remote stand and transformed regional jet gate will serve as two of the new widebody gates.

A rendering of JFK's upgraded Terminal 8 include long jet bridges to accommodate additional widebody jets.

"Changes to the terminal will include additional stands, enhanced state-of the-art baggage systems, new lounges, premium check-in areas and upgraded concessions," British Airways said in a release.

New York JFK's Terminal 8 (Photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy).

The overhaul of JFK includes the creation of two new more centralized mega-terminals and the demolition of others. British Airways will continue to operate out of Terminal 7 until 2022 when the space will then be demolished to allow for JetBlue's Terminal 5 to expand.

JetBlue's new terminal, which will cover the areas of the current Terminal 5, Terminal 6 (which was demolished in 2011) and Terminal 7, will include widebody gates to accommodate its partners, like Emirates — meaning some gates would have to be large enough to accommodate Emirates A380s.

Rendering of the expanded JFK Terminal 5.

To minimize walking times, the terminal will utilize both the T5 and and T7 AirTrain stations and there will be two check-in and security areas, with the goal being to limit the walking distance to under 1500 feet, reports NYCAviation. The expansion will break ground in 2020, and it will then partially open in 2023 with a target for a full open in 2025.

Terminal 1, home to international carriers like Lufthansa, Korean and Air France will be demolished and a new mega-terminal will take its place. This terminal will be located in the place of Terminal 1, Terminal 2 (Delta's smaller, mostly domestic terminal) and Terminal 3 (demolished in 2013 which essentially now serves as a parking lot for Delta jets). It will more than double the amount of widebody gates to up to 22, twelve more than the gates currently serving Terminal 1.

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A rendering of JFK's new Terminal 1.

JFK's AirTrain will be relocated to drop passengers off inside the new terminal, similar to how Terminal 4 is currently designed — officials said they also want to limit walking distances in T1, but to under 2500 feet, noting the lengthy journey it travelers in Terminal 4 concourse B have to complete to get to some gates. Terminal 1 currently measures in at approximately 800,000 square feet and the new mega terminal will be a whopping 2.9 million square feet.

(Photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)
New York JFK's Terminal 1. (Photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)

$12 billion of the funds for JFK's renovation come from the airlines and private investment while the final $1 billion is funded by the Port Authority, which runs JFK.

American's and BA's joint venture provides up to 70 flights per day between the US and London, and once the two airlines are under the same roof at JFK, customers will be able to make more seamless connections between partner airlines.

Terminal 8 is home to other Oneworld airlines like Cathay and LATAM, and those departing in premium cabins on these partner airlines will have more lounge options, including new lounges that British Airways plans to build there.

Additional reporting provided by Wallace Cotton.

Featured image by (Photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)