Press Releases

Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki and JetBlue Mark Start of Construction for $875 Million Terminal at JFK Airport

New Terminal Will Create 3,700 Jobs and Preserve Historic TWA Flight Center.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki joined JetBlue Airways Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman and President Dave Barger today to mark the start of construction of the airline’s new 26-gate passenger terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 5. The new terminal will allow JetBlue to double their number of flights daily and add 2,500 jobs to its current New York City workforce of about 5,000, and it will create an additional 1,200 construction jobs. The $875 million project is the largest construction project since the airline’s inception, with completion anticipated for early 2009. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Chairman Anthony R. Coscia and Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano, and Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Andrew M. Alper attended the event at JFK Airport.

“JetBlue’s continued growth is further evidence that New York City is a prime location for airlines to locate and grow,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “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 about 5,000 people in New York City. Diversifying the economy is one of our key economic development strategies, and JetBlue’s expansion is the latest sign that the airline industry is 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.”

“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.”

“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,” said JetBlue CEO David Neeleman. “Our new terminal is designed around the great JetBlue experience customers have come to expect from us, especially efficient online and in-person 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 operates 127 flights daily out of JFK; the new terminal is designed to handle 250 flights daily or up to 20 million passengers annually. Plans include a 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. A key element of the new JetBlue terminal is its sensitive design connection with the adjacent TWA terminal, designed by the renowned architect Eero Saarinen, with JetBlue customers being able to connect between the two through the historic building’s famous flight wing tubes. Built in 1962, the TWA terminal is an architectural icon and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

“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,” said Port Authority Chairman Coscia. “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.”

The building team is lead 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.

In May 2005, Mayor Bloomberg joined JetBlue to open the airline’s new $45 million maintenance hangar and technical support center at JFK Airport. The 100,000-square-foot complex encompasses a maintenance hangar, capable of accommodating three A320 aircraft, and a two-story office facility that accommodates more than 250 employees of the airline’s technical support operations.

In addition to facilitating improvements at JFK Airport, the City is working to support and revitalize the surrounding area. The City is developing a new zoning strategy in Jamaica to take advantage of the AirTrain station and create a mixed-use central business district that will include millions of square feet of commercial space, residential units and retail amenities. The City is also making strategic infrastructure improvements in Jamaica to enhance the quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors.


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Contact Info

Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958  

Joanna Rose (Governor) (212) 681-4640

Michael Sherman/Janel Patterson (NYCEDC) (212) 312-3523

JetBlue Corporate Communications (718) 709-3089