JetBlue breaks ground on new international arrivals terminal at JFK airport

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – New York’s Hometown Airline JetBlue today breaks ground on the extension to its world class home at John F.

NEW YORK, N.Y. – New York’s Hometown Airline JetBlue today breaks ground on the extension to its world class home at John F. Kennedy’s Terminal 5 to pave the way for an international arrivals facility. Set to open in early 2015, the thoughtfully-designed space includes six international arrivals gates – three new and three converted from Terminal 5 – and an International Arrivals Hall with full U.S. Custom and Federal Inspection Services (FIS) to deliver a seamless travel experience for customers arriving from international flights on JetBlue and select partner airlines.

JetBlue’s President and CEO Dave Barger along with the airline’s executives and crewmembers joined Homeland Security Chairman Peter King; Queens Borough President Helen Marshall; City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer; U.S. Custom and Border Protection JFK Port Director Susan Mitchell; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Aviation Director Susan Baer; and representatives from the JFK airport community to commemorate the announcement. Business partners working jointly with JetBlue on the project, including Gensler, Ammann & Whitney, Arup, AECOM, Gleeds USA, Turner Construction, were also on hand.

Event attendees enjoyed New York centric treats including fresh waffles courtesy of Wafels & Dinges famed local food cart and I HEART NEW YORK co-branded cookies from the airline’s neighbor in Long Island City, Baking For Good, which donates 15 percent of all net proceeds to charitable causes. Guests also enjoyed a first look at renderings of the new international arrivals terminal procured by the airline’s design architect partner Gensler.

“Today is truly a groundbreaking day for JetBlue as we begin work on our international arrivals terminal at T5,” said JetBlue President and CEO, Dave Barger. “We’re excited to work with all of our partners at JFK and beyond to move forward with this project which, when completed, will make all domestic and international operations seamless and convenient for our customers and consolidate our flight operations under one roof.”
Some highlights of the international arrivals terminal extension include:

• A design created by Gensler that mirrors the existing Terminal 5’s bright and friendly look and feel, supportive of JetBlue’s brand aesthetic and the company’s commitment to bringing humanity back to air travel

• An overall constructed area of approximately 150,000 square feet

• Two additional baggage claim belts and a U.S. Custom and Border Protection, Federal Inspection Service (FIS) facility designed to accommodate up to 1,200 customers per hour

• International Arrivals hall space featuring glass walls that allow for abundant natural daylight and a design that is modern, timeless, and clean

• Sustainable sensibilities, making the most of current building technologies to reduce T5i’s environmental impact throughout its lifespan

• Circulation paths designed to move customers through gates and Customs in the most efficient way possible with walking time and travel minimized

Environmentally-friend design elements include:

• Abundant natural daylight, notable in areas where that is not typically experienced—such as in the Immigration Hall and in the corridor connecting the aircraft to the hall

• Concrete reclaimed from the aircraft apron is recycled and reused as a base for the concrete within the building

• Low VOC materials inside of the terminal

• Efficient HVAC system to optimize performance

• Low flow water fixtures

• Overall focus on indoor air quality and emphasis on health and wellness

“Very simply, this new terminal will not only provide a better travel experience for domestic and international flights but provide needed jobs to help stimulate our economy. It is a tremendous development all around,” said Homeland Security Chairman Peter King.

“The Port Authority’s partnership with JetBlue dates back to the airline’s very first flight, and just as JetBlue has helped transform air travel in our region, we’re transforming JFK and the rest of our airport system into thriving, modern aviation facilities,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “This robust investment is part of a multi-billion dollar redevelopment program that will help us continue to deliver efficient, customer friendly terminals and services for the 107 million-plus annual travelers who use our airport system.”

“We designed this addition to T5 to welcome people to New York, greeting them with natural daylight and a view outside. Our goal is to put passengers first, and make it easy and fast for people to get where they want to be,” said Gensler Principal Bill Hooper.
“We share JetBlue’s commitment to deliver an environmentally friendly terminal with a clear focus on passenger comfort and well-being. Our focus on sustainability during construction is to apply innovative processes and technologies such as 3D software applications to improve efficiency and reduce waste,” said Charlie Murphy, Senior Vice President of Turner Construction Company.

JetBlue’s Presence in New York

JetBlue is the largest domestic airline at JFK, operating more than 150 nonstop flights daily to 56 destinations throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. The customer service friendly airline carried more than two million travelers from the airport last year to its many international destinations including Barbados; Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; Jamaica; Mexico; Saint Lucia; St. Maarten; and Turks and Caicos – all of which will soon enjoy the seamless experience of arriving into the new international arrivals terminal extension. Later this year, JetBlue plans to add to the growing list of international destinations with flights direct from New York’s JFK to Cartagena, Colombia, Grand Cayman, and its sixth city in the Dominican Republic, Samana, subject to receipt of government approval. Flights to Charleston, South Carolina from JFK and Boston will take to the skies in early 2013.

JetBlue’s current home base of operations at Terminal 5 – the newest terminal at JFK – focuses on efficiency and customer comfort. The 635,000-square-foot terminal currently boasts 26 gates distributed throughout three concourses and includes a 55,000-square-foot central retail and concession Marketplace.

In addition to its main base of operations at JFK, JetBlue offers service from six other Empire State airports: Buffalo, New York/LaGuardia, Newburgh, Rochester, Syracuse, and Westchester County. With its strong position at JFK and in New York and its headquarters based in Long Island City, JetBlue employs 5,000 crewmembers in the New York area, and brings millions of people to New York each year. The airline will produce 1,000 jobs during the construction phase of the terminal extension project.
JetBlue is the only commercial passenger airline with its headquarters in New York City and New York State

About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.