New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday unveiled the vision
for a $7 billion renovation of John F. Kennedy Airport, plus up to $2 billion in
upgrades to roadways and mass transit to the airport.
"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,” Cuomo said.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages
the airport, would seek to finance the renovation with the help of $7 billion
in private investment. The project does not yet have a timeline.
Under the proposal, Kennedy’s six disparate terminals would
be connected via an expansion of the newer terminals and the relocation of the
older terminals. In-terminal dining, meeting facilities, retail and duty-free
shopping would be improved. Lodging will be upgraded with construction of the
TWA Flight Center Hotel, on which ground was broken in December.
The vision also calls for simplification of the 30 miles of
twisted roads that currently wind through Kennedy. In their place would be a
simple ring roadway offering direct access to terminals and encircling
centralized parking garages.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would seek to finance the renovation with the help of $7 billion in private investment.
In addition, the vision calls for the expansion of Kennedy’s
taxiways, a move that is designed to reduce flight delays and create the
possibility that the FAA will allow more daily flights in and out of the
Finally, the vision calls for security upgrades, including
the integration of facial-recognition technology.
Under the plan, which was devised with the help of a five-person
Airport Advisory Panel established in 2014, an additional $1.5 billion to $2
billion would be spent on improving roadway and train access to JFK, which sits
15 miles from midtown Manhattan but can sometimes take two hours to reach.
Key roadways would be widened, including the Van Wyck Expressway,
which would be increased from three to four lanes. Meanwhile, the vision
includes two options to improve the AirTrain.
The less comprehensive option would involve increasing the
frequency and capacity of the existing AirTrain along with improving the
Jamaica station, where riders transfer to and from the New York City Subway.
Under the more thorough option, the AirTrain would connect
seamlessly into the subway, so passengers wouldn’t have to transfer.
Cuomo unveiled the vision for a revitalized JFK as work is
underway on an $8 billion, 5-year rebuild of LaGuardia Airport.
In a statement Wednesday, Joe Sitt, chairman of Global
Gateway Alliance, an advocacy group for users of the New York-area airports,
praised the vision for the remake of Kennedy. But he also called for direct
train access from the airport to the city as well as for improved air traffic
control infrastructure in order to deal with delays.
"Otherwise, better airports will just be nicer places
to be stuck waiting,” Sitt said.
JFK served 60 million passengers in 2016 and is expected to
serve 75 million passengers by 2030, according to Cuomo’s office.