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NEW YORK — John F. Kennedy International Airport will get two new terminals, centralized ground transport, and better security and runways in a transformation that will increase its capacity by at least 15 million passengers a year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.
The project was initially announced last year, but the governor’s update offered the public its first glimpse at many details of the ambitious plan to rebuild one of the nation’s busiest airports.
“JFK has been outdated all of my life,” Cuomo said in a speech to a gathering of the Association for a Better New York. He noted similar redevelopment efforts at LaGuardia Airport as Penn Station, saying New York must update its transportation infrastructure or fall behind other cities. “Either you are building and you are creating, or you are getting left behind, that is the simple reality of life.”
Construction for the seven-year, $13 billion update is expected to begin in 2020. The first new gates are scheduled to open three years later, with most of the project completed in 2025. The newly redesigned airport will be able to accommodate larger international flights.
The plan calls for replacing several existing or recently demolished terminals with two main, interconnected terminals anchoring either end. Passengers won’t have to exit the airport to change terminals.
Of the $13 billion price tag, $12 billion will come from private sources.
A $7 billion terminal on the south side of the airport will be financed and built by a partnership of four international carriers – Lufthansa, Air France, Korean Air Lines and Japan Airlines. A $3 billion terminal on the north side will be built and paid for by JetBlue.
Another priority is improving road and transit access. More than $1 billion in public funds will be invested in new roads to ease bottlenecks and congestion. The expansion will also double capacity on the AirTrain, a rail line that carries passengers from Queens’ Jamaica neighbourhood.
Sixty million people pass through JFK each year. By 2030, 75 million are expected, and by 2050, 100 million.