Albany, N.Y. — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo presented a vision plan to transform JFK International Airport into an airport equipped to meet the demands of the 21st century and worthy of the State of New York. Based on the recommendations of the Governor’s Airport Advisory Panel, the vision plan lays out a comprehensive, airport-wide framework to create a unified, world-class airport. In order to accommodate the dramatic expected growth at the airport in the coming decades and keep New York’s economy moving forward, the governor announced that the vision addresses three key areas:
- Transform JFK into a unified, interconnected, world-class airport
- Improve road access to the airport
- Expand rail mass transit to meet projected passenger growth
“New York never backs down from a challenge, rather we step up to take on the ambitious projects that are often thought to be impossible. That’s exactly what transforming JFK International Airport is all about,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our vision plan calls for the creation of a unified, interconnected airport that changes the passenger experience and makes the airport much easier to access and navigate. We are New York, and we remember the bravado that built this State in the first place, and that is the attitude that will take JFK and turn it into the 21st century airport that we deserve. I want to thank the panel, especially Chairman Dan Tishman, as well as all of our many partners who join us in this effort.”
- By setting a new course at JFK, the airport has the potential to drive up to $7 billion in private investment. The on-airport transformation focuses on six core areas:
- Interconnect terminals by expanding newer terminals and redeveloping/relocating older terminals;
- Redesign the on-airport roadways to evolve into a “ring road” configuration, to allow for easier and quicker access to all of JFK’s terminals, including for taxis, ride-sharing and for-hire vehicles;
- Centralize and expand parking lots within the “ring road” layout with clear short-term and long-term parking options;
- Ensure world-class amenities, including fine dining, duty-free shopping, best-in-class retail, and conference and meeting room facilities, a process that began last month with the groundbreaking of the new TWA Flight Center Hotel;
- Expand taxiways to reduce ground delays and add new flight slots to accommodate the airports relentlessly growing passenger demand; and
- Implement state-of-the-art security technology, including regular reviews with third-party experts to update security to the future global best practices such as facial recognition and video tracking software that are currently being incorporated across New York’s infrastructure developments.
The vision plan also addresses key bottlenecks in road access to and from JFK on the Van Wyck and at the Kew Gardens Interchange. Governor Cuomo endorsed $1.5 billion to $2 billion in spending by the State Department of Transportation to improve the roadways leading to JFK. The Panel also recommended the development of actionable plans to expand rail mass transit access to the airport. The Panel laid out options including doubling the capacity of the AirTrain, improving the MTA’s subway and LIRR connections to the AirTrain at Jamaica Station, and exploring the feasibility of a one-seat rail ride to JFK.
“We are New York, and we remember the bravado that built this State in the first place, and that is the attitude that will take JFK and turn it into the 21st century airport that we deserve,” Governor Cuomo said.
JFK Airport welcomes more international passengers to the United State than any other airport in the country. The airport is a vital regional economic engine that served a record 60 million passengers in 2016 and supported more than 285,000 jobs last year.
The number of passengers at JFK is expected to grow dramatically over the next several decades – to 75 million by 2030 and 100 million passengers by 2050. The current JFK will reach capacity by the mid-2020s. For each million passengers that JFK fails to accommodate, the region loses approximately $140 million in wages, $400 million in sales, and 2,500 jobs.
The need to take action at JFK is the result of the airport’s history of piecemeal, ad-hoc decision making. This legacy has produced the airport’s current condition with disconnected terminals, an inconsistent passenger experience, facilities that are quickly running out of capacity, on-airport roadways that are confusing to navigate, and an airport that is increasingly difficult to access. JFK is currently ranked 59th among the world’s top 100 airports, and falls far short of today’s global standards. Without a well-conceived master plan addressing the comprehensive measures outlined by the Panel, New York will fall even further behind global competitors.
“On behalf of the advisory Panel, I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and support in developing these recommendations to transform JFK Airport,” Dan Tishman, CEO of Tishman Construction Company and Chair of the Governor’s Airport Master Plan Advisory Panel, said, “We worked closely with the Port Authority, New York State Department of Transportation, MTA and airline operators to deliver a plan that will benefit generations to come. It was an honor to serve alongside and in partnership these professionals to reimagine the gateways to our state and region.”
Pat Foye, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said, “John F. Kennedy airport was once a world class transportation hub, envied by the entire nation. Today, it is choked with traffic and burdened with outdated systems and decaying infrastructure. Governor Cuomo’s landmark plan to revitalize JFK will put New York back on the map as a premiere destination by building a new golden gate to this state. Through strategic investments and collaborative efforts of our public and private sectors, the completion of this state-of-the-art transit center we will meet the needs of 21st century travelers for many decades to come.”
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll said, “Getting people to and from the airport is an essential part of the passenger experience and we look forward Governor Cuomo’s vision to improve roadway access to JFK a reality. By eliminating bottlenecks and adding capacity we’ll reduce drive times and vehicle emissions and divert traffic away from local streets – all of which makes JFK a better airport and by extension enhances New York’s global economic competitiveness.”
MTA Chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast said, “Expanding access to mass transit and our capacity to move people efficiently and comfortably is critical to the region’s growth – and we are grateful Governor Cuomo is making rail access a priority in the transformation of JFK Airport,””The easier mass transit is to navigate, the more people will use it. The plan to overhaul of Jamaica Station and improve connections to airport access will encourage people to get out of their cars, helping to reduce traffic congestion and pollution