New 26-Gate Terminal to Serve JetBlue Airways and Preserve Historic TWA Flight Center

Governor George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and JetBlue Airways Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman and President Dave Barger to mark the start of construction on a new 26-gate passenger terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 5. The $875 million project is the largest construction project since the airline’s inception. Completion on the terminal is anticipated for early 2009 and will allow JetBlue to more than double the number of flights daily. The new terminal is being built behind the existing TWA Flight Center, a landmark building and icon of American architecture that will be rehabilitated and restored concurrently.

“The rise of this terminal ushers in a new era for Kennedy Airport, and builds on JFK’s great legacy as the nation’s premier international gateway,” said Governor Pataki. “With our investment in this new facility, we ensure a future of continued economic strength, and provide New Yorkers with unbridled access to more flights serving more destinations – including upstate New York – than anywhere else in the world. It’s a great day for the Port Authority, for Kennedy Airport and for JetBlue Airways, but most of all, it’s a great day for New York and New Yorkers.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “JetBlue’s continued growth is further evidence that New York City is a prime location for airlines to locate and grow. The New York City-based airline began operations in 2000 with service from JFK to Ft. Lauderdale. Today, JetBlue flies to 32 cities and employs more than 4,000 people at JFK alone. Diversifying the economy is one of our key economic development strategies, and JetBlue’s expansion is the latest sign that the airline industry can be a growth sector in New York City. The new state-of the-art terminal and increased service into and out of New York City is the latest improvement to JFK, and will help secure the City’s position as the world’s greatest place to visit and do business.”

JetBlue Airways Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman said, “New York and JFK are the heart of our operation, and with our new terminal, we will be able to offer more flights and low fares. Our new terminal is designed around the great JetBlue experience customers have come to expect from us, especially efficient line-free check-in and friendly service. Our goal from the beginning was to bring humanity back to air travel, and Terminal 5 will showcase the best of JetBlue.”

JetBlue Airways President Dave Barger said, “The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey made this project possible. We share a vision for the future that includes making air travel affordable for more people, and making the experience of travel pleasant again. On behalf of JetBlue’s 9,500-plus crewmembers, I extend my personal thanks to our partners at the Port Authority for their dedication to this project.”

JetBlue currently operates 110 flights daily out of JFK; the new terminal is designed to handle 250 flights daily or up to 20 million passengers annually. The plans unveiled today cover the 635,000-square-foot terminal building, parking facilities, roadways and a connection bridge to the AirTrain station. JetBlue has already begun construction to build a temporary seven gate terminal on the Terminal 5 premises to accommodate JetBlue’s growth at Terminal 6. The Port Authority will finance $795 million of the $875 million project, with JetBlue contributing $80 million. A key element of the new JetBlue terminal is its sensitive design connection with the adjacent TWA terminal, with JetBlue customers being able to connect between the two terminals through the historic building’s famous flight wing tubes. Built in 1962, the Saarinen terminal is an architectural icon and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “As part of our ten-year strategic plan, we will focus our energy and investments on projects that enable us to expand capacity and stimulate new economic growth. The new passenger terminal at JFK is just one of several airport initiatives we are undertaking to enhance our customers’ travel experience, along with the modernization of Terminal B at Newark Liberty International and studies to modernize Terminal A at Newark and the Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia. And the ten-year plan doesn’t stop there, proposing enhancements and efficiencies that will create more capable facilities across all our businesses – airports, seaports, bridges, tunnels, bus terminals, PATH, the World Trade Center and other regional transportation infrastructure.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Investing in our future is paramount to our mission of providing world-class transportation facilities, but we’re also committed to preserving our history, which is why we worked so hard to protect the landmark TWA Flight Center. We’ll be rehabilitating this architectural masterpiece as we move forward on construction of the new terminal, which is critical to our redevelopment program. Since the early 1990s, the Port Authority has led the way in a $14 billion public-private partnership that has delivered new passenger facilities at each of our airports; two new AirTrains at Kennedy and Newark airports; more efficient roadways, runways and taxiways; new cargo facilities; and many other upgrades. These investments directly benefit travelers and consumers alike, and they also have an enormous positive impact on the economy. A recent analysis showed that nearly half a million jobs generating more than $20 billion in wages and $57 billion in annual economic activity in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region are derived from the three major airports.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “We have enjoyed robust growth in air passenger traffic at JFK, Newark and LaGuardia airports in the last several years. At Kennedy Airport, passenger traffic has increased more than 20 percent from 2002 to 2004, to more than 37.5 million travelers last year. For 2005, we are projecting nearly 41 million passengers at JFK – an all-time high. This tremendous growth makes it imperative that we and our partners in government and private industry continue to make improvements such as this new terminal that will give our customers the best possible airport experience and enable our region to enjoy sustained economic growth.”

The building team is led by Arup (planners and design managers) supported by Gensler (terminal architects), DMJM Harris (airside/landside civil engineers), Rockwell Group (interior architects) and Turner Construction (construction management). The Port Authority Master plan was developed by William Bodouva & Associates.

When the new terminal is complete in about three years, JetBlue will operate it under a 30-year lease with the Port Authority. JetBlue is JFK’s busiest carrier, with nearly 10 million annual passengers. The new terminal is part of the $9.4 billion public-private JFK redevelopment program spearheaded by the Port Authority.

JetBlue Airways Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman said, “New York and JFK are the heart of our operation, and with our new terminal, we will be able to offer more flights and low fares. Our new terminal is designed around the great JetBlue experience customers have come to expect from us, especially efficient line-free check-in and friendly service. Our goal from the beginning was to bring humanity back to air travel, and Terminal 5 will showcase the best of JetBlue.”

Concurrent with work on the new terminal, the existing landmark building will be rehabilitated, restored and adapted for a new use under an agreement the Port Authority entered into last year with the Federal Aviation Administration, the New York State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The agreement ensures that the TWA Flight Center, designed by the renowned architect Eero Saarinen and opened in 1962, will remain an airport centerpiece although it is unlikely to be operated as a passenger terminal because of its physical and aeronautical limitations. A recent example of the adaptive reuse process can be found at Newark Liberty International Airport, where the historic Building One – the nation’s first air passenger terminal, operational from 1935 to 1953 – was restored and incorporated into a new airport administration building in 2002.

Today, the building houses the airport’s professional and police staff, aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment, and airport operations equipment, as well as a display of historic photos, artifacts and memorabilia. Although no adaptive reuse has been determined for the landmark building, more than 40 firms expressed interest in 2002 in restoring and redeveloping it for a new use while preserving its visionary architecture. The Port Authority expects to identify an adaptive reuse developer for it next year.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.