New York — Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm, announced the opening of the JetBlue Terminal 5 International Arrivals Hall Expansion at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport. A ribbon-cutting celebration was held on Nov. 6 with members of the design and construction team, including JetBlue, Arup, design-architect Gensler, Turner Construction Company, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

Arup provided multi-disciplinary engineering and planning services for this expansion, as well as for the original portion of JetBlue’s Terminal 5 which opened in 2008. The 175,000-square-foot expansion includes an innovative CBP Federal Inspection Services (FIS) facility designed to process 1,400 passengers an hour. The FIS includes unique features such as a Unified Secondary Inspection Area, 40 Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks, plus 10 Global Entry kiosks. The expansion has added three international swing gates and converted three existing gates to have international arrivals capabilities. Arup engineered the space to integrate the customer-friendly design with cutting-edge technology to accommodate JetBlue’s present and future needs.

JetBlue Sterile Corridor. Copyright-Gensler

Arup planned the FIS around the new APC kiosk technology, which approximately 75 percent of all international arriving passengers will use. It is one of the first U.S. FIS facilities to be designed with APC technology from the start, rather than retrofitting it into an existing facility. Unified Secondary is an innovative concept that CBP is embracing for newly constructed FIS facilities. It entails co-locating various CBP departments in a consolidated secondary area.

Leveraging the detailed knowledge of their original Terminal 5 design, Arup comprehensively reviewed the current terminal operations against the proposed expansion to ensure that the MEP, fire protection, security, IT and public address systems in the enlarged terminal would be optimized. This resulted in extending some original Terminal 5 systems when spare capacity existed and upgrading others in order to efficiently serve the expansion while minimizing the cost of a new utility connection and new central equipment. The team also used the feedback received from JetBlue’s operations and maintenance staff based on four years of operation in order to fully tailor the design of the expansion to the day-to-day operation of the building.

Arup’s history of working with JetBlue, its JFK project history, its experience with government agencies, and its understanding of passenger processing best practices converged to allow the firm to design a state-of-the-art facility. Once design was completed, Arup’s Operational Readiness, Activation and Transition (ORAT) team worked with JetBlue and the contractors to ensure that the tightly integrated systems were fully tested and operational prior to opening.

“JetBlue was thrilled to again engage Arup for our expansion project at our home terminal at T5. Their knowledge of JetBlue, JFK, T5, and all key stakeholders made it easy to get the project off the ground and remain on track throughout its duration,” said Richard Smyth, vice president of corporate real estate at JetBlue. “Arup’s ability to bring the entire range of services from planning to operational readiness, made them an invaluable partner on this project. It is comforting to know they can handle all that is required for a project of this magnitude, in order to maintain seamless and consistent progress. As a result, we have one of the most technologically advanced, convenient and customer-friendly terminals at JFK.”

Arup’s total multi-disciplinary engineering spanned the entire project, from development of the original concept plan, to operational readiness and testing. Comprehensive services included airside, landside and terminal planning; mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering; information technology; security; telecommunications engineering; design management; and ORAT coordination.

“We are proud to have supported JetBlue’s growth over the last decade with the delivery of improved facilities at key airports including JFK, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, San Juan, Long Beach and Washington/Reagan.” said Mahadev Raman, chairman of Arup Americas. “On these projects we have provided expertise across a wide range of planning, engineering and strategic advisory disciplines and are particularly pleased with the results at JFK Terminal 5. It is an honor to have been selected for the T5 Expansion on the heels of the original T5 project, and we are delighted to celebrate the opening of the facility with JetBlue and other members of the integrated project team.”

The project team included:

  • Owner/Terminal Operator: JetBlue
  • Airport Operator: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Planner: Arup
  • MEP Engineer of Record: Arup
  • Security and IT: Arup
  • ORAT and Commissioning Management: Arup
  • Architect: Gensler