- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners approved an agreement on key terms last week with Delta Air Lines and JFK International Air Terminal to expand Terminal 4 and consolidate Delta operations at the airport, according to a press release.
- The plan was initially authorized as a $3.8 billion expansion and modernization in February 2020. The revised plan will cost $1.5 billion and will break ground later this year. No information has been released about a contractor for the project.
- Founded in 1997, JFKIAT is the first private operator of a U.S. airport terminal and is owned by Schiphol USA, a U.S. affiliate of Amsterdam-based Royal Schiphol Group. Delta will consolidate its operations in the terminal in late 2022, with the full project completion date in late 2023.
The severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel — which caused huge drops in passenger volumes and impacted airports' and airlines' bottom lines — prompted the revision to the February 2020 plan.
Uncertainty has dominated airport construction plans during the pandemic, as airports are reliant on the revenue from travel for the funding of the major construction projects and plans. Decreased demand leads to lower ticket prices, but as fewer passengers move through airports, that also impacts revenue from concessions, parking and more.
Massive airport construction and expansion projects will likely be limited or paused until passenger traffic gets back to pre-COVID-19 levels, industry experts say. That recovery will take several years, according to the Airports Council International, which says that domestic travel could be back to normal in 2023 and international travel in 2024.
The JFK project will include new Delta gates in Terminal 4, and consolidate its operations by moving out of Terminal 2 into the newly expanded terminal. Other aspects of the project include:
- The addition of more than 150,000 square feet of space and 10 new gates.
- An expansion of the arrival and departures hall to improve the ticketing areas, security checkpoints, baggage claim and arrival areas.
- Expanded seating areas, concessions, modern wayfinding and upgraded restrooms, in addition to a new Delta lounge in Terminal 4's Concourse A.
Delta's move into Terminal 4 will also pave the way for the demolition of the 58-year-old Terminal 2, the release said.