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John F. Kennedy International Airport

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Title: John F. Kennedy International Airport  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: JetBlue, Timeline of New York City, Pan American World Airways, Los Angeles International Airport, American Airlines
Collection: Airports Established in 1948, Airports in New York, Airports in New York City, Airports on Long Island, Aviation in New York City, Buildings and Monuments Honoring American Presidents, Buildings and Structures in Queens, New York, Foreign Trade Zones of the United States, Jamaica, Queens, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Special Economic Zones of the United States, Transportation in New York City, Transportation in Queens, New York
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

John F. Kennedy International Airport

John F. Kennedy
International Airport
WMO: 74486
Airport type Public
Owner City of New York[1]
Operator Port Authority of New York and New Jersey[1]
Serves New York City
Location Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
Hub for
Focus city for
Time zone EST (UTC−05:00)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−04:00)
Elevation AMSL 13 ft / 4 m
FAA airport diagram as of September 2014.
FAA airport diagram as of September 2014.
JFK is located in New York City
Location within New York City
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4L/22R 12,079 3,682 Concrete
4R/22L 8,400 2,560 Asphalt
13L/31R 9,999 3,048 Asphalt
13R/31L 14,511 4,423 Concrete
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 60 18 Asphalt
H2 60 18 Asphalt
H3 60 18 Asphalt
H4 60 18 Asphalt
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft operations (PANYNJ) 422,509
Passengers (PANYNJ) 53,254,362

John F. Kennedy International Airport (ICAO: KJFKFAA LID: JFK) is a major international airport located in Queens, New York City, United States, 12 miles (20 km) southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway in the United States,[3] handling 53,254,362 passengers in 2014.[4] Over seventy airlines operate out of the airport, with non-stop or direct flights to destinations in all six inhabited continents.[5][6] The airport features six passenger terminals and four runways and serves as a hub for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and is the primary operating base for JetBlue Airways.

Opened as New York International Airport in 1948,[7][8] it was commonly known as Idlewild Airport[9] before being renamed in 1963 in memory of John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, following his assassination.[10][11][12]


  • History 1
    • Construction 1.1
    • Development 1.2
  • Terminals 2
    • Current terminals 2.1
      • Terminal 1 2.1.1
      • Terminal 2 2.1.2
      • Terminal 4 2.1.3
      • Terminal 5 2.1.4
      • Terminal 7 2.1.5
      • Terminal 8 2.1.6
    • Previous terminals 2.2
      • Eastern Air Lines terminal 2.2.1
      • Terminal 3 (Worldport) 2.2.2
      • Terminal 6 (Sundrome) 2.2.3
      • Old Terminal 8 and 9 2.2.4
      • Tower Air terminal 2.2.5
  • Infrastructure 3
    • Runways 3.1
    • Operational facilities 3.2
    • Other facilities 3.3
    • Information services 3.4
    • Airport hotel 3.5
  • Airlines and destinations 4
    • Passenger 4.1
    • Cargo 4.2
      • Scheduled cargo airlines 4.2.1
  • Statistics 5
    • Airline market shares 5.1
    • Top international destinations 5.2
    • Top domestic destinations 5.3
    • Annual traffic 5.4
  • Ground transportation 6
    • Rail 6.1
    • Bus 6.2
    • Taxi 6.3
    • Car 6.4
    • Helicopter 6.5
  • Accidents and incidents 7
  • Notes and references 8
  • External links 9


Map showing New York City and the locations of JFK (1), LaGuardia (2) and Newark (3) airports


John F. Kennedy International Airport was originally Idlewild Airport (ICAO: KIDLFAA LID: IDL) after the Idlewild Golf Course that it displaced. It was built to relieve LaGuardia Airport which was overcrowded soon after opening in 1939. Construction began in 1943,[13] and about $60 million was initially spent of governmental funding, but only 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land on the site of the Idlewild Golf Course were earmarked for use.[14]

The project was renamed Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport in 1943, after a Queens resident who had commanded a Federalized National Guard unit in the southern United States and died in late 1942. In March 1948 the New York City Council changed the name to New York International Airport, Anderson Field, but the common name was "Idlewild" until 1963.[11][15]

The Port Authority leased the JFK property from the City of New York in 1947 and maintains this lease today.[1] The first airline flight from JFK was on July 1, 1948; the opening ceremony was attended by then U.S. President Harry S. Truman.[14] The Port Authority cancelled foreign airlines' permits to use LaGuardia, forcing them to move to JFK during the next couple of years.[16]

JFK opened with six runways and a seventh under construction;[17] runways 1L and 7L were held in reserve and never came into use as runways. Runway 31R (originally 8,000 ft or 2,438 m) is still in use; runway 31L (originally 9,500 ft or 2,896 m) opened soon after the rest of the airport and is still in use; runway 1R closed in 1957 and runway 7R closed around 1966. Runway 4 (originally 8,000 ft, now runway 4L) opened June 1949 and runway 4R was added ten years later. A smaller runway 14/32 was built after runway 7R closed and was used through 1990[18] by general aviation, STOL and smaller commuter flights.

The Avro Jetliner was the first jetliner to land at JFK on April 18, 1950; a Sud Aviation Caravelle prototype was the next jetliner to land at JFK, on May 2, 1957. Later in 1957 the USSR sought approval for two Tupolev Tu-104 flights carrying diplomats to JFK; the Port Authority did not allow them, saying noise tests had to be done first. (The Caravelle had been tested at Paris.) The airport was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24, 1963, a month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.[19] Then-mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. proposed the renaming.[20]


The Port of New York Authority originally planned a single 55-gate terminal, but the major airlines did not agree with this plan, arguing that the terminal would be far too small for future traffic.[21] Architect Wallace Harrison then designed a master plan under which each major airline at the airport would be given its own space to develop its own terminal design.[22] This scheme made construction more practical, made terminals more navigable and introduced incentives for airlines to compete with each other for the best design.[21] The revised plan met airline approval in 1955, with seven terminals initially planned—five for individual airlines, one developed for 3 airlines and an international arrivals building. (National Airlines and British Airways arrived later.)[15]

  • The International Arrivals Building, or IAB, was the first new terminal at the airport, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and opening in December 1957. Stretching nearly 700 meters (2,300 ft) parallel to runway 7R where Terminal 4 is now, it had "finger" piers at right-angles to the main building allowing more aircraft to park, an innovation at the time.[15]
  • United Airlines opened Terminal 7 (later renumbered Terminal 9), a Skidmore design similar to the IAB, in October 1959. Eastern Airlines opened its Chester L. Churchill-designed Terminal 1 a month later; it was demolished in 1995.[15][23]
  • American Airlines opened Terminal 8 in 1960. It was designed by Kahn and Jacobs[15] and had a 317 feet (97 m) stained glass facade designed by Robert Sowers, the largest stained glass installation in the world until 1979. The facade was removed in 2007 as the terminal was demolished to make room for the new Terminal 8; American cited the prohibitive cost of removing the enormous installation.[24]
  • Pan American World Airways opened the Worldport (later Terminal 3) in 1960. It featured a large, elliptical roof suspended by 32 sets of radial posts and cables; the roof extended 114 feet (35 m) beyond the base of the terminal to cover the passenger loading area. It was one of the first airline terminals in the world to feature Jetways that connected to the terminal and that could be moved to provide an easy walkway for passengers from the terminal to a docked aircraft, rather than having to board the plane outside via airstairs, which descend from an aircraft, via truck-mounted mobile stairs or via wheeled stairs.[25]
  • Trans World Airlines opened the TWA Flight Center in 1962, designed by Eero Saarinen with a distinctive winged-bird shape. With the demise of TWA in 2001, the terminal remained vacant until 2005 when JetBlue Airways and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) financed the construction of a new 26-gate terminal partly encircling the Saarinen building. Called now Terminal 5 (or simply T5), the new terminal opened October 22, 2008. T5 is connected to the Saarinen central building through the original passenger departure-arrival tubes which connected the building to the outlying gates; the Port Authority is working on restorations to the remaining original Saarinen terminal, also known as the head house.[26]
  • Northwest Airlines, Braniff International and Northeast Airlines opened a joint terminal in 1962 (now Terminal 2).[25]
  • National Airlines opened the Sundrome (now Terminal 6) in 1970. The terminal was designed by I.M.Pei. It was unique for its use of all-glass mullions dividing the window sections, unprecedented at the time.[27] In 2001, United Airlines planned to redevelop this terminal and the TWA Flight Center as a new United terminal,[28] Terminal 6 was used by JetBlue Airways from 2001 through 2008, and then was vacated and demolished when JetBlue Airways moved to Terminal 5.

The airport was designed for aircraft up to 300,000-pound (140,000 kg) gross weight[29] and had to be modified in the late 1960s to accommodate Boeing 747s.[30]

In 1951, it averaged 73 daily airline operations (takeoffs plus landings); the October 1951 Airline Guide shows nine domestic departures a day, on National and Northwest. (Some of TWA's transatlantic flights had domestic segments but carried no domestic passengers.) When Newark closed in February 1952 much of its traffic moved to Idlewild, which averaged 242 daily airline operations in 1952. L-1049 Constellations and DC-7s appeared in 1951–53 and didn't use LaGuardia for their first several years, bringing more traffic to IDL. The April 1957 OAG shows two departures a week on Aerolineas Argentinas, 24 on Air France, 164 American, 6 Avianca, 42 BOAC and BWIA, 35 Capital, 7 Cubana, 252 Eastern, 2 El Al, 2 Iberia, 7 Icelandic, 17 KLM, 2 LAI, 6 LAV, 9 Lufthansa, 156 National, 75 Northwest, 131 Pan American, 9 Sabena, 26 SAS, 6 Swissair, 95 Trans-Canada, 115 TWA, 90 United and 3 Varig. (For most airlines the counts are for the beginning of April, but some transatlantic airlines only show their expanded schedules starting later in the month.)

Airlines began scheduling jets to IDL in 1958–59; LaGuardia didn't get jets until 1964, so IDL soon became New York's busiest airline airport. In 1962–67 it had more airline takeoffs and landings than LaGuardia and Newark combined and was the second-busiest airline airport in the country, peaking at 403,981 airline operations in 1967. During 1960–66 LaGuardia got a new terminal and longer runways, and by the middle 1970s the two airports had roughly equal passenger airline traffic (by flight count, not passenger count). (Until the 1980s Newark was always third place, except during LGA's reconstruction.) The Concorde, operated by Air France and British Airways, made scheduled trans-Atlantic supersonic flights to JFK from November 22, 1977 until October 24, 2003, when British Airways retired it.[31][32][33] Air France had retired the aircraft in May 2003.

JFK went through a $10.3 billion redevelopment. Construction of the AirTrain JFK rapid transit system began in 1998; completed in December 2003, the rail network links each airport terminal to New York City subways and regional commuter trains at Howard Beach, and Jamaica, Queens. The airport opened a new Terminal 1 on May 28, 1998 and the $1.4 billion replacement for the International Arrivals Building, Terminal 4, opened on May 24, 2001.[34][35] JetBlue Airways's Terminal 5, now incorporates the historic landmark TWA Flight Center terminal, while Terminals 8 and 9 were recently demolished and rebuilt as a unified Terminal 8 for the American Airlines hub. In 2008 the Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved a $20 million planning study for the redevelopment of Terminals 2 and 3, the hub of Delta Air Lines.[36]

On March 19, 2007, JFK became the first airport in the United States to receive the Airbus A380 with passengers aboard. The route, with capacity for more than 500 passengers was operated by Lufthansa and Airbus and arrived at Terminal 1. On August 1, 2008, JFK received the first regularly scheduled commercial A380 flight to the United States, on Emirates' New York–Dubai route using Terminal 4.[37] This service was suspended in 2009, due to poor demand;[38] they re-introduced the aircraft in November 2010. Other airlines that operate the A380 to JFK include Singapore Airlines on the New York–Frankfurt - Singapore route, Air France on the New York – Paris–Charles de Gaulle route, Lufthansa on the New York – Frankfurt route and Korean Air and Asiana Airlines on the New York – Seoul route.[39]


Map of JFK`s Terminals

JFK has six terminals, containing 128 gates, numbered 1–8 but skipping Terminal 6 (demolished in 2011) and Terminal 3 (demolished in 2013).

The terminal buildings, with the exception of the former Tower Air terminal, are arranged in a deformed U-shaped wavy pattern around a central area containing parking, a power plant and other airport facilities. The terminals are connected by the AirTrain system and access roads. Wayfinding signage throughout the terminals was designed by Paul Mijksenaar.[40] A 2006 survey by J.D. Power and Associates in conjunction with Aviation Week found JFK ranked second in overall traveller satisfaction among large airports in the United States, behind McCarran International Airport which serves the Las Vegas metropolitan area.[41]

Until the early 1990s, each terminal was known by the primary airline that served it, except for Terminal 4, which was known as the International Arrivals Building. In the early 1990s, all of the terminals were given numbers except for the Tower Air terminal, which sat outside the Central Terminals area and was not numbered. Like in the other airports controlled by the Port Authority, terminals are sometimes managed and maintained by independent terminal operators. At JFK, all terminals are currently managed by airlines or consortiums of the airlines serving them, with the exception of the Schiphol Group-operated Terminal 4. All terminals except Terminal 2 can handle international arrivals that are not pre-cleared.

Most inter-terminal connections require passengers to exit security, then walk, use a shuttle-bus or using the AirTran JFK to get to the other terminal, then re-clear security.

Current terminals

Terminal 1

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 was opened in 1998, 50 years after the opening of JFK, at the direction of the Terminal One Group, a consortium of four key operating carriers: Air France, Japan Airlines, Korean Air and Lufthansa.[42] This partnership was founded after the four airlines reached agreement that the then-existing international carrier facilities were inadequate for their needs. Mostly European and some Asian carriers land at Terminal 1, such as Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Saudia.[43][44][45] It was designed by William Nicholas Bodouva + Associates.[46] Terminal 1, along with Terminal 4, is one of two terminals at JFK Airport that has the capability to handle the Airbus A380 aircraft, which are flown by Air France on the route from Paris Charles De Gaulle, Lufthansa on the route from Frankfurt Airport and Korean Air on the route from Seoul-Incheon. Air France operated Concorde here until 2003. Terminal 1 has 11 gates.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 opened in 1962 as the home of Northeast Airlines, Braniff and Northwest Airlines, and is now exclusively used and operated by Delta Air Lines. After the demise of Northeast Airlines and Braniff, the building was taken over by Pan American World Airways and subsequently by Delta. Since the opening of the Terminal 4 addition in May 2013, Terminal 2 has been designated as the "C" gates by Delta and has 7 Jetway-equipped gates (C60-C63, C67-C70) and 17 stands for Delta Connection carriers (C64A–H, C64J, C66K–N, C66P–S).

Terminal 4

Terminal 4 replaced the former International Arrivals Building in May 2001

Terminal 4 was developed by LCOR, Inc and is managed by JFK International Air Terminal (IAT) LLC, a subsidiary of the Schiphol Group. This terminal serves as a major international hub for Delta Air Lines and was the first one in the United States to be managed by a foreign airport operator. It also serves as the main terminal for mostly Asian (including all the Middle Eastern carriers except Saudia and Qatar Airways) airlines, and some African and European airlines. Terminal 4 is the major gateway for international arrivals at JFK. Opened in 2001 and designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill,[47] the 1,500,000-square-foot (140,000 m2) building was built at a cost of $1.4 billion and replaced JFK's old International Arrivals Building or simply IAB, which opened in 1957. The terminal was expanded in the late 2000s and early 2010s. The first phase of Delta's $1.4 billion project at the airport[48][49]—which includes nine new international gates, additional baggage space, a centralized security checkpoint (moving two checkpoints into one location just after check-in), and customs and border-security facilities—was completed on May 24, 2013. Terminal 4 also serves many international airlines daily, including few Skyteam airlines and the majority of Star and non-aligned airlines.

Terminal 4 has 38 gates in two concourses: A2–A7, B18, B22–B55 with the exclusion of B40, B50 and B52. As of 2013, Delta and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed[50] to an additional $175 million phase II expansion, which allowed Delta to construct 11 regional jet gates at Terminal 4, as well. The agreement allowed Delta to eliminate a proposed physical connection it has previously planned to build with its existing Terminal 2 and instead close T2 eventually. The work on the Delta hub has completed as of January 2015, with funding primarily from $900 million in special-project bonds.[51] Delta sought funding for the regional jet expansion from the New York City Industrial Development Agency.[50]

As Terminal 4 was built during the construction of the AirTrain, the AirTrain station was built inside the terminal building. Other AirTrain stations are built across from terminal buildings. Delta Air Lines has also moved much of its operations to T4, as it expands operations beyond T2, with T3 now closed. Concourse A serves as the stopping location for Asian and some European airlines, whereas Concourse B is made up of Delta flights, and a number of Asian and some European airlines.

Like terminal 1, it is Airbus A380-compatible and Asiana Airlines (to Seoul),[52] Emirates (to Dubai and Dubai via Milan) and Singapore Airlines (to Singapore via Frankfurt) currently use Terminal 4 for their Airbus A380s; in 2015, Etihad Airways (November 23; to Abu Dhabi)[53] will also operate its A380s at Terminal 4. A variety of other airlines from across the globe as well as Skyteam and Star Alliance utilize the terminal as well.

Terminal 5

Terminal 5

Terminal 5 opened in 2008 for JetBlue Airways, the manager and primary (then only) tenant of the building and serves as the base of their large JFK hub. This particular terminal handles (except for Aer Lingus flights to Ireland) exclusively North American regional flights—American domestic flights, Caribbean flights and Hawaiian Airlines flights to Honolulu, Hawaii. The terminal was re-designed by Gensler and constructed by Turner Construction, and it is known for its many gift shops and gourmet restaurants, including a steak house and a sushi restaurant. It sits behind the preserved Eero Saarinen-designed terminal originally known as the TWA Flight Center, which is now connected to the new structure and is considered part of T5. The Saarinen building is currently closed for refurbishment; it is unclear when the building will reopen or what purpose it will have. Saarinen also designed the terminal at Washington Dulles International Airport. The active T5 building (including the international arrivals section named T5i) has 29 gates (26 until November 2014): 1–12 and 14–30 (with gates 25-30 handling international flights that are not precleared; gates 28-30 opened in November 2014).[54] The terminal is also used by Hawaiian Airlines, which partnered with JetBlue and began service in Terminal 5 in June 2012,[55] and Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus, whose flights arriving into JFK have already been pre-cleared in Ireland. Aer Lingus previously used Terminal 4 prior to the introduction of preclearance in Ireland, moving to T5 on April 3, 2013. On November 12, 2014, JetBlue opened the International Arrivals Concourse (T5i) at the terminal.[56] Airspace Lounge opened an airport lounge near Gate 24 in July 2013[57] and Aer Lingus opened an airport lounge in 2015.[58]

Terminal 7

Terminal 7 - Departure Level

Terminal 7 was designed by GMW Architects[59] and built for BOAC and Air Canada in 1970. Currently operated by British Airways, it is also the only airport terminal operated by a foreign carrier on US soil, although Terminal 1 is operated by a consortium of foreign carriers serving the building. A handful of Oneworld alliance carriers operate out of Terminal 7 at this time, including IAG carriers British Airways and Iberia, Cathay Pacific and Qantas. Other airlines operating out of Terminal 7 include Star Alliance carriers ANA, Air Canada Jazz, as well as Aerolíneas Argentinas, Icelandair and Ukraine International Airlines.

Between 1989 and 1991, the terminal was renovated and expanded at a cost of $120 million.[60] The expansion was designed by William Nicholas Bodouva + Associates, Architects.[46] In 1997, the Port Authority approved British Airways' plans to renovate and expand the terminal. The $251 million project was designed by Corgan Associates[61] and was completed in 2003.[62] The renovated terminal has 12 gates.[63] In 2008, British Airways unveiled a $30 million, 18-month-long project to enhance its premium ground facilities at the terminal.

British Airways is currently evaluating the future of Terminal 7, as its lease with the Port Authority ends in 2015. After the alliance between BA/Iberia and American Airlines was finalized in 2010, American began talks to move BA and Iberia into an expanded Terminal 8.[64] BA temporarily moved one of its flights to Terminal 8 in March 2013 due to ongoing renovation work in Terminal 7.[65]

United Airlines was a major operator out of Terminal 7 until operations from JFK were discontinued on October 24, 2015. UA535, using a p.s. configured 757-200, to LAX was the last United flight to depart from JFK.

Terminal 8

Inside the security checkpoint of the new Terminal 8.

In 1999, American Airlines began an eight-year program to build the largest passenger terminal at JFK, designed by DMJM Aviation to replace both Terminal 8 and Terminal 9. The new terminal was built in four phases, which involved the construction of a new midfield concourse and demolition of old Terminals 8 and 9. It was opened in stages between 2005 and its "official" opening in August 2007.[66] It is a major Oneworld hub and American Airlines is the main Oneworld carrier at Terminal 8. American Airlines is the largest carrier in and manager of the terminal and is the third largest carrier at JFK. Some Oneworld airlines that operate out of Terminal 8 include Air Berlin, Finnair, and LAN Airlines.[67] Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and TAM Airlines also operate out of Terminal 8. Alaska Airlines, another airline partner with American Airlines also operates out of Terminal 8.

The terminal is twice the size of Madison Square Garden. It offers dozens of retail and food outlets, 84 ticket counters, 44 self-service kiosks, 10 security checkpoint lanes and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility that can process more than 1,600 people an hour. Terminal 8 has an annual capacity of 12.8M passengers.[68] It has two American Airlines Admirals Clubs and a Flagship Lounge for premium class passengers.

Terminal 8 has 29 gates: 12 gates in Concourse B (1–8, 10, 12, 14 and 16) and 17 gates in Concourse C (31–47).[69] Gate 31 is further subdivided into 5 regional service gates for small jets, 31A–31E. Gate 32 is subdivided into 4 regional service gates for small jets, 32F–32I. The total number of jetbridges is, therefore, 36. Passenger access to Concourse C is by an underground tunnel which includes moving walkways.

Previous terminals

JFK Airport was originally built with ten terminals, compared to the six it has today. Ten terminals remained until the late 1990s, then nine remained until the early 2000s, followed by eight until 2011 and seven until May 2013.

Eastern Air Lines terminal

This terminal, on the site of today's Terminal 1, opened in 1959 and was demolished in 1995 after the collapse of Eastern Air Lines in 1991.

Terminal 3 (Worldport)

Terminal 3 was built as the Worldport in 1960 for Pan American; it expanded after the introduction of the 747 in 1970. After Pan Am's demise in 1991 Delta Air Lines took over ownership of the terminal and was its only occupant until its closure in 2013, it had a connector to Terminal 2, Delta's other terminal. Terminal 3 had 16 Jetway equipped gates: 1–10, 12, 14–18 with two hardstand gates (Gate 11) and a helipad on Taxiway 'KK'.

A $1.2 billion project was completed in 2013, which Terminal 4 was expanded with Delta moving its T3 operations to T4.

On May 23, 2013 the final departure from the terminal, Delta Air Lines Flight 268, a Boeing 747-400 to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, departed from Gate 6 at 11:25pm local time. The terminal ceased operations on May 24, 2013, 53 years to the day from when it opened on May 24, 1960.[70] Demolition began soon thereafter and was completed by summer 2014. The site where Terminal 3 used to stand is now used for aircraft parking by Delta Air Lines.

There has been large media outcry, particularly in other countries, over the demolition of the Worldport. Several online petitions requesting the restoration of the original 'flying saucer' gained popularity.[71][72][73][74]

Terminal 6 (Sundrome)

Terminal 6 had 14 gates. Designed by I. M. Pei, it was built in 1970 as the National Airlines Sundrome. Later, Trans World Airlines used it. In 2001, JetBlue Airways began service from Terminal 6, later opening a temporary complex in 2006 that increased its capacity by adding seven gates. After JetBlue vacated the terminal, it was demolished.[75] The international arrivals annex of Terminal 5 now uses a portion of the site, and the rest of the site is used for aircraft parking by JetBlue.

Old Terminal 8 and 9

The original Terminal 8 opened in 1960; its stained-glass facade was the largest in existence at the time. It was always used by American Airlines and in later years it was used by other Oneworld airlines that did not use Terminal 7. Terminal 9 opened in 1959 and was used by United Airlines[15] and Delta Air Lines.[76] Delta moved to Terminal 2 when they acquired Northeast Airlines.[77] United continued to use Terminal 9 until it vacated the terminal in 1991 and became a tenant at British Airways' Terminal 7. Terminal 9 then became the home of American Airlines' domestic operations and American Eagle flights for the remainder of its life. The terminals were demolished in the early-to-mid-2000s and replaced with a new Terminal 8.[66]

Tower Air terminal

The Tower Air terminal, unlike other terminals at JFK airport, sat outside the Central Terminals area in Building 213 in Cargo Area A. Originally used by Pan Am until the expansion of the Worldport (later Terminal 3), it was later used by Tower Air and TWA shuttle until the airline was acquired by American Airlines in 2001. Building 213 has not been used since 2000. It is located next to the Delta Air Lines employees parking lot number 7 which was once the Tower Air terminal parking lot.



John F. Kennedy International Airport spans over 21 square kilometres (8.1 sq mi). There are four runways (two pairs of parallel runways) surrounding the airport's central terminal area.[78]

Number Length Width ILS Notes
13R/31L 14,511 feet (4,423 m) 200 feet (61 m) Cat. I (31L) Second-longest commercial runway in North America (the longest is a 16,000 feet (4,900 m) runway at Denver International Airport). Adjacent to Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Handled approximately one half of the airport's scheduled departures. It was a backup runway for space shuttle missions.[79] It was closed on March 1, 2010 for four months. The reconstruction of the runway widened it from 150 to 200 feet (46 to 61 m) with a concrete base instead of asphalt. It reopened on June 29, 2010.[80]
4R/22L 8,400 feet (2,560 m) 200 feet (61 m) Cat. III (both directions) Equipped at both ends with Approach Lighting Systems (ALS) with sequenced flashers, and touchdown zone (TDZ) lighting. The first Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) in North America was installed at the northeast end of the runway in 1996. The bed consists of cellular cement material, which can safely decelerate and stop an aircraft that overruns the runway. The arrestor bed concept was originated and developed by the Port Authority and installed at JFK Airport as a joint research and development project with the FAA and industry.
4L/22R 12,079 feet (3,682 m) 200 feet (61 m) Cat. I (both directions) Adjacent to Terminals 4 and 5. Both ends allow instrument landings down to three-quarters of a mile visibility. Takeoffs can be conducted with one-eighth of a mile visibility. It closed on June 1, 2015 for almost 4 months as part of a major runway modernization project that replaced the asphalt base with a concrete base and widened the runway from 150 feet to 200 feet. It reopened on September 28, 2015.[81]
13L/31R 9,999 feet (3,048 m) 150 feet (46 m) Cat. II (13L); Cat. I (31R) Adjacent to Terminals 5 and 7. Equipped at both ends with ILS and ALS systems. Runway 13L has two additional visual aids for landing aircraft, a Visual Approach Slope Indicator System (VASI) and a Lead-In Lighting System (LDIN). The ILS on 13L, along with TDZ lighting, allows landings down to half a mile visibility. Takeoffs can be made with visibility of one-eighth of a mile.

Operational facilities

Looking at runway 4L/22R and out to sea.

JFK has over 25 miles (40 km) of taxiways to move aircraft in and around the airfield. The standard width of these taxiways is 75 feet (23 m), with 25-foot (7.6 m) heavy-duty shoulders and 25-foot (7.6 m) erosion control pavements on each side. The taxiways have centerline lights and are generally of asphalt concrete composition 15 to 18 inches (460 mm) thick. An illuminated sign system provides directional information for taxiing aircraft.

The Air Traffic Control Tower, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and constructed on the ramp-side of Terminal 4, began full FAA operations in October 1994.[82] An Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE) radar unit sits atop the tower. A gas-fired electric cogeneration plant generates electricity for the airport, with an output of about 90 megawatts. It uses thermal energy from the capture of waste heat to heat and cool all of the passenger terminals and other facilities in the central terminal area.[83] At the time of its completion, the JFK tower, at 320 feet (97.5m), was the world's tallest control tower.[82] It was subsequently displaced from that position by towers at other airports in both the United States and overseas, including those at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, currently the tallest tower at any U.S. airport, at 398 feet (121.3m) and at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, currently the world's tallest control tower at 434 feet (132.2m).[84]

Aircraft service facilities include seven aircraft hangars, an engine overhaul building, a 32-million-US-gallon (120,000 m3) aircraft fuel storage facility and a truck garage.

In the last few years, improvements have been made to terminals, roadways and inter-terminal transportation.[85]

Other facilities

North American Airlines had its headquarters in Building 141 along Federal Circle, on the airport property.[86] North American Airlines was one of the building's tenants; the building does have Servisair and VOA as tenants and Port Authority storage.[87] Building 141 was originally a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) administration building.[88] In the 1990s it served as the PANYNJ police headquarters.[89] In 2000 an $800,000, 5,000 square feet (460 m2) annex of the building opened to serve students of Aviation High School in Long Island City.[88] In 2003 Building 141 was dedicated in honor of Morris Sloane, a PANYNJ aviation employee.[90]

Hangar 17, originally occupied by Pan American and later Tower Air, found a new and important role housing artifacts from 9/11 that eventually made their way to the 9/11 Museum at Ground Zero.

Servisair has its offices in Building 86.[87]

CAL Cargo Airlines has its offices in Building 23.[91]

Currently Nippon Cargo Airlines has its New York City branch in Cargo Building 66.[92] Previously it was in Building 79.[93]

Previously Overseas National Airways (ONA) had its headquarters at the airport.[94] When Tower Air existed, its head offices were in Building 178 and later in Hangar 17 at JFK Airport.[95][96] When Metro International Airways existed, its head office was in Building 178.[97]

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD) provides law enforcement, fire rescue and emergency medical services to the airport. Its JFK Command is based in Building 269.

PANYNJ operations and administrative offices are located in Building 14.

Three chapels, including Our Lady of the Skies Chapel, provide for the religious needs of airline passengers.[98]

Sheltair is the current FBO on the field serving General Aviation traffic. The company became the first privately operated FBO at JFK Airport in its 65 year history when it opened on May 21, 2012.[99]

JFK airport's International Mail Facility.

Information services

In the immediate vicinity of the airport, parking and other information can be obtained by tuning to a highway advisory radio station at 1630 AM.[100] A second station at 1700 AM provides information on traffic concerns for drivers leaving the airport.

Kennedy Airport, along with the other Port Authority airports (LaGuardia and Newark), uses a uniform style of signage throughout the airport properties. Yellow signs direct passengers to airline gates, ticketing and other flight services; green signs direct passengers to ground transportation services and black signs lead to restrooms, telephones and other passenger amenities. In addition, the Port Authority operates "Welcome Centers" and taxi dispatch booths in each airline terminal, where staff provide customers with information on taxis, limousines, other ground transportation and hotels.

New York City traffic reporter Bernie Wagenblast provides the voice for the airport's radio stations and the messages heard on board AirTrain JFK and in its stations.[101]

Airport hotel

There are several hotels adjacent to JFK Airport, including the Courtyard by Marriott and the Crowne Plaza. The former Ramada Plaza JFK Hotel is Building 144,[102][103] and it was the only on-site hotel at JFK Airport.[104] It was previously a part of Forte Hotels and previously the Travelodge New York JFK.[105] Due to its role in housing friends and relatives of aircraft crashes in the 1990s and 2000s, the hotel became known as the "Heartbreak Hotel".[106][107] In 2009 the PANYNJ stated in its preliminary 2010 budget that it was closing the hotel due to "declining aviation activity and a need for substantial renovation" and that it expected to save $1 million per month.[108] The hotel closed on December 1, 2009. Almost 200 employees were to lose their jobs. As of 2009, the Port Authority hoped to build a new hotel on the airport property.[109]

On July 27, 2015, Governor Cuomo announced in a press conference that the TWA Flight Center would become a 505 room hotel with 40,000 square feet of conference, event, or meeting space. The new hotel is estimated to cost $265 million and open in 2018. The public will be able to visit the hotel's 10,000 square foot observation deck.[110]

Airlines and destinations


Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aer Lingus Dublin 5
Aer Lingus
operated by ASL Airlines Ireland
Seasonal: Dublin
Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo 1
Aerolineas Argentinas Buenos Aires–Ezeiza 7
Aeroméxico Cancún, Mexico City 1
Aeroméxico Connect Monterrey 1
Air Berlin Berlin–Tegel, Düsseldorf 8
Air Canada Express Toronto–Pearson 7
Air China Beijing–Capital 1
Air Europa Madrid 4
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle 1
Air India Delhi, Mumbai 4
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma 8
Alitalia Milan–Malpensa, Rome–Fiumicino 1
All Nippon Airways Tokyo–Narita 7
American Airlines Antigua, Austin, Barcelona, Bermuda, Boston, Birmingham (UK), Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Cancún, Caracas (resumes December 17, 2015),[111] Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manchester (UK), Miami, Milan–Malpensa, Orlando, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Phoenix, Port-au-Prince, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, St. Thomas, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Seattle/Tacoma, Washington–National, Zürich
Seasonal: Dublin, Eagle/Vail, Edinburgh, Punta Cana, Rome–Fiumicino, San José (CR), St. Kitts, St. Maarten
Charter: Havana
American Eagle Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Indianapolis, Montréal–Trudeau, Nashville, Norfolk, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Toronto–Pearson, Washington–National 8
Arik Air Lagos 4
Asiana Airlines Seoul–Incheon 4
Austrian Airlines Vienna 1
Avianca Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Medellín–JMC, Pereira 4
Avianca Costa Rica San Salvador 4
Avianca El Salvador San Pedro Sula, San Salvador 4
Azerbaijan Airlines Baku 1
British Airways London–City, London–Gatwick (resumes May 1, 2016),[112] London–Heathrow 7
Brussels Airlines Brussels 1
Caribbean Airlines Grenada, Kingston–Norman Manley, Montego Bay, Port of Spain, Tobago 4
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong, Vancouver 7
Cayman Airways Grand Cayman 1
China Airlines Taipei–Taoyuan 4
China Eastern Airlines Shanghai–Pudong 1
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou 4
Copa Airlines Panama City 4
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago-O'Hare, Charleston (SC), Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham (begins January 5, 2016),[113] Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Juan, St. Thomas, Tampa
Seasonal: Buffalo, Fort Myers, Honolulu, Jackson Hole, Pittsburgh, Sarasota, Washington-National, West Palm Beach
Delta Air Lines Accra, Amsterdam, Aruba, Barbados, Barcelona, Bermuda, Bogotá, Brussels, Dakar, Dublin, Edinburgh (resumes May 26, 2016),[114] Frankfurt, Guatemala City, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manchester (UK), Mexico City, Milan–Malpensa, Montego Bay, Nassau, Nice, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Portland (OR), Punta Cana, Rome–Fiumicino, San Francisco, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Seattle/Tacoma, St. Lucia-Hewanorra, St. Maarten, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tokyo–Narita, Zürich
Seasonal: Athens, Copenhagen, Grand Cayman, Grenada, Istanbul–Atatürk, Kingston–Norman Manley, Liberia (CR), Málaga, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Pisa, Prague, Providenciales, Puerto Vallarta, Reykjavík–Keflavík, San José (CR), San José del Cabo, Shannon, Stockholm–Arlanda, Vancouver, Venice-Marco Polo
Delta Connection Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago–O'Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Halifax, Indianapolis, Jacksonville (FL), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montréal-Trudeau, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Quebec City, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Rochester (NY), Savannah, Syracuse, Toronto–Pearson, Washington–Dulles, Washington-National
Seasonal: Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Sarasota, West Palm Beach
Dynamic Airways Caracas (begins November 14, 2015) 1
EgyptAir Cairo 4
El Al Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion 4
Emirates Dubai–International, Milan–Malpensa 4
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi 4
EVA Air Taipei–Taoyuan 1
Finnair Helsinki 8
Fly Jamaica Airways Kingston 1
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu 5
Iberia Madrid 7
Icelandair Reykjavík–Keflavík 7
Interjet Mexico City 1
Japan Airlines Tokyo–Narita 1
JetBlue Aguadilla, Albuquerque, Antigua (begins November 5, 2015),[115] Aruba, Austin, Barbados, Bermuda, Boston, Buffalo, Burbank, Burlington (VT), Cancún, Cartagena, Charleston (SC), Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Daytona Beach (begins January 7, 2016),[116] Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Grand Cayman, Grenada, Houston–Hobby, Jacksonville (FL), Kingston–Norman Manley, La Romana, Las Vegas, Liberia (CR), Long Beach, Los Angeles, Montego Bay, Nassau, New Orleans, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Ponce, Port-au-Prince, Port of Spain, Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Providenciales, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Raleigh/Durham, Reno/Tahoe, Rochester (NY), Sacramento, St. Lucia–Hewanorra, St. Maarten, Salt Lake City, Samaná, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, Sarasota, Savannah, Seattle/Tacoma, Syracuse, Tampa, Washington–Dulles, West Palm Beach
Seasonal: Curaçao, Hyannis, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Palm Springs (begins January 14, 2016)[117]
Charter: Havana
KLM Amsterdam 4
Korean Air Seoul–Incheon 1
Kuwait Airways Kuwait, London–Heathrow 4
LAN Airlines Lima, Santiago de Chile 8
LAN Ecuador Guayaquil 8
LAN Perú Lima 8
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw–Chopin 1
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich 1
Meridiana Seasonal: Naples, Palermo 1
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Fort-de-France (begins December 3, 2015),[118] Pointe-à-Pitre (begins December 4, 2015)[118] 1
Norwegian Air Shuttle
operated by Norwegian Long Haul
Copenhagen, London–Gatwick, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Seasonal: Bergen
OpenSkies Paris–Orly 7
Pakistan International Airlines Karachi, Lahore 4
Philippine Airlines Manila, Vancouver 1
Qantas Sydney 7
Qatar Airways Doha 8
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca 1
Royal Jordanian Amman–Queen Alia 8
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh 1
Singapore Airlines Frankfurt, Singapore 4
South African Airways Johannesburg–O.R. Tambo 4
Sun Country Airlines Minneapolis/St. Paul
Charter: Havana
Swiss International Air Lines Geneva, Zürich 4
TAM Airlines Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Toronto–Pearson 8
TAME Quito 1
Thomas Cook Airlines Manchester (UK) 4
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk 1
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev-Boryspil 7
Uzbekistan Airways Riga, Tashkent 4
Virgin America Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Seasonal: Palm Springs
Virgin Atlantic London–Heathrow 4
Volaris Guadalajara 4
WestJet Seasonal: Calgary 4
XL Airways France Paris–Charles de Gaulle 4

^1 Pakistan International's flight from JFK to Lahore is nonstop, however the flight from Lahore to JFK makes a stopover in Manchester (UK), where the airline has fifth freedom rights to board passengers to JFK. The flight originates from Karachi, has a stop at Lahore and Manchester before it reaches JFK.

^2 Qantas serves JFK to/from Los Angeles, where passengers can connect with flights to/from other Australian cities, but Qantas cannot transport passengers solely between JFK and Los Angeles.


When ranked by the value of shipments passing through it, JFK is the number three freight gateway in the United States (after the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of New York and New Jersey), and the number one international air freight gateway in the United States.[3] Almost 21% of all U.S. international air freight by value and 9.6% by tonnage moved through JFK in 2008.[119]

The JFK air cargo complex is a Foreign Trade Zone which legally lies outside the customs area of the United States.[120] JFK is a major hub for air cargo between the United States and Europe. London, Brussels and Frankfurt are JFK's three top trade routes.[121] The European airports are mostly a link in a global supply chain, however. The top destination markets for cargo flying out of JFK in 2003 were Tokyo, Seoul and London. Similarly, the top origin markets for imports at JFK were Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei and London.[121]

Nearly 100 cargo air carriers operate out of JFK,[121] among them: Air China Cargo, ABX Air, Asiana, Atlas Air, CAL Cargo Air Lines, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Cargo, China Airlines, EVA Air, Emirates SkyCargo, Nippon Cargo Airlines, FedEx Express, DHL Air UK, Kalitta Air, Korean Air, Lufthansa Cargo, UPS Airlines, Southern Air and World Airways. Top 5 carriers together transported 33.1% of all "revenue" freight in 2005: American Airlines (10.9% of the total), FedEx Express (8.8%), Lufthansa Cargo (5.2%), Korean Air Cargo (4.9%), China Airlines (3.8%).[122]

Most cargo and maintenance facilities at JFK are located north and west of the main terminal area. DHL, FedEx Express, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Nippon Cargo Airlines and United Airlines have cargo facilities at JFK.[121][123] In 2000, Korean Air Cargo opened a new $102 million cargo terminal at JFK with total floor area of 81,124 square feet (7,536.7 m2) and capability of handling 200,000 tons annually. In 2007, American Airlines opened a new priority parcel service facility at their Terminal 8, featuring 30-minute drop-offs and pick-ups for priority parcel shipments within the US.[124]

Scheduled cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
ABX Air Cincinnati
Aerologic Frankfurt
Air China Cargo[125] Anchorage, Beijing–Capital, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Shanghai–Pudong
Asiana Airlines Cargo[126] Anchorage, Brussels, Chicago–O'Hare, Seoul–Incheon
Atlas Air Charleston (SC), Taranto-Grottaglie
CAL Cargo Air Lines Larnaca, Liège, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Cargolux[127] Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Mexico City, Toulouse
Cargolux Italia Milan–Malpensa
Cathay Pacific Cargo[128] Anchorage, Calgary, Chicago–O'Hare, Columbus, Hong Kong, Toronto–Pearson
China Airlines Cargo[129] Anchorage, Seattle/Tacoma, Taipei–Taoyuan
DHL Air UK East Midlands, Liège
El Al Cargo[130] Liège, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion,
Emirates SkyCargo
operated by TNT Airways[131]
Dubai-Al Maktoum[132]
FedEx Express[133] Indianapolis, Memphis
Icelandair Cargo Reykjavík–Keflavík
Kalitta Air[134] Bahrain, Chicago–O'Hare, Cincinnati, Columbus (OH), Kuwait, Leipzig/Halle
Korean Air Cargo[135] Anchorage, Halifax,[136] Miami, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Toronto–Pearson
Lufthansa Cargo[137] Atlanta, Chicago–O'Hare, Frankfurt, Mexico City
Nippon Cargo Airlines[138] Anchorage, Chicago–O'Hare, Tokyo-Narita
Qantas Freight
operated by Atlas Air[139][140]
Anchorage, Chongqing
Royal Jordanian Cargo Amman–Queen Alia, Maastricht/Aachen
Saudia Cargo Jeddah[141]
Silk Way Airlines Baku
SkyLink Express Hamilton (ON)
TNT Airways[142] Liège
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul–Atatürk
UPS Airlines Chicago/Rockford, Louisville, Philadelphia


In 2013, JFK handled 50,423,765 revenue passengers, which was a 2.3% increase over 2012. Additionally, 2013 marked the first time JFK handled more than 50 million passengers in one year.[143]

The airport contributes about $30.1 billion in economic activity to the New York City region, generating 229,000 jobs and about $9.8 billion in wages and salaries. About 35,000 people are employed at the airport.[144]

Airline market shares

Largest Airlines at JFK (Oct. 2013 – Oct. 2014)[145]
Rank Airline Passengers
1 Delta Air Lines 12,764,395
2 JetBlue 11,978,139
3 American Airlines 7,739,044
4 British Airways 1,369,092
5 United Airlines 1,302,780
6 Virgin America 968,420
7 Air France 892,288
8 Emirates 811,603
9 Virgin Atlantic 694,986
10 Cathay Pacific 674,685

Top international destinations

Nearly 100 airlines from over 50 countries operate regularly scheduled flights from JFK. The JFK-London Heathrow route is the leading U.S. international airport pair with over 2.6 million passengers in 2011. Domestic travel also accounts for a large share of airport traffic, particularly transcontinental and Florida service.[146]

Busiest International Routes from JFK (2013)[147]
Rank Airport Passengers Top Carriers
1 London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 2,961,383 American, British Airways, Delta, Kuwait Airways, Virgin Atlantic
2 Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France 1,386,709 Air France, American, Delta, XL Airways France
3 Santiago, Dominican Republic 774,531 Delta, JetBlue
4 Frankfurt, Germany 750,562 Delta, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines
5 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 703,923 Delta, JetBlue
6 São Paulo (Guarulhos), Brazil 685,853 American Airlines, Delta, TAM Airlines
7 Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion), Israel 668,725 Delta, El Al
8 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 645,879 Emirates
9 Madrid (Barajas), Spain 638,604 Air Europa, American, Delta, Iberia
10 Tokyo (Narita), Japan 613,757 ANA, Delta, Japan Airlines

Top domestic destinations

Busiest Domestic Routes from JFK (August 2014 – July 2015)[148]
Rank Airport Passengers Top Carriers
1 Los Angeles, California 1,683,000 American, Delta, JetBlue, United, Virgin America
2 San Francisco, California 1,179,000 American, Delta, JetBlue, United, Virgin America
3 Orlando, Florida 718,000 American, Delta, JetBlue
4 San Juan, Puerto Rico 618,000 American, Delta, JetBlue
5 Boston, Massachusetts 544,000 American, Delta, JetBlue
6 Las Vegas, Nevada 544,000 American, Delta, JetBlue, Virgin America
7 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 531,000 Delta, JetBlue
8 Miami, Florida 531,000 American, Delta
9 Charlotte, North Carolina 362,000 American, Delta, JetBlue, US Airways
10 Phoenix, Arizona 349,000 American, Delta, JetBlue, US Airways

Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at JFK Airport, 1949 thru 2014[2][149][150]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
2010 46,514,154 2000 32,827,864 1990 29,794,350 1980 26,796,066 1970 19,096,705 1960 8,803,665
2009 45,915,069 1999 31,708,431 1989 30,323,077 1949 222,620
2008 47,807,475 1998 31,708,431 1988 31,165,676
2007 47,716,941 1997 31,357,431 1987 30,192,477
2006 42,629,407 1996 31,155,496 1986 27,192,859
2005 40,884,350 1995 31,377,579 1985 28,945,288
2014 53,254,362 2004 37,517,496 1994 28,819,243 1984 29,934,779
2013 50,423,765 2003 31,732,446 1993 26,796,849
2012 49,292,733 2002 29,939,212 1992 27,760,912
2011 47,683,529 2001 29,350,052 1991 26,229,068

Ground transportation


The Howard Beach – JFK Airport subway station in Howard Beach

JFK Airport is connected to New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road by AirTrain JFK. It stops at all terminals, parking lots, hotel shuttle areas, car rental lots, the Jamaica LIRR station, Howard Beach - JFK Airport on the IND Rockaway Line (A trains) and Sutphin Boulevard - Archer Avenue - JFK Airport on the Archer Avenue Line (E J Z trains). A Lower Manhattan – Jamaica/JFK Transportation Project has been proposed to connect the AirTrain to Lower Manhattan.


Several city bus lines link JFK to the New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road, including the Q3, Q6, Q7, Q10, B15, with free transfers provided for subway connections. The B15, Q3 and Q10 buses all serve the Central Terminal Area via a dedicated bus stop at the former Terminal 6 (connection to other terminals via AirTrain JFK, with a direct walkway provided to Terminal 5), while the Q6 serves only eastern Cargo Area D and the USPS Airport Mail facility and the Q7 serves only Cargo Area C. There are also many private bus lines operating express buses to Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Long Island.

The Port Authority provides free shuttle bus service between the Federal Circle AirTrain station and the airport's cargo areas, as well as within the long term and Port Authority-operated employee parking lots. These buses are operated by Servisair under contract.


A taxi at JFK Airport

New York City's yellow cabs, licensed by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, offer a flat rate service of $52 from JFK airport to Manhattan, excluding tips and tolls. Since November 30, 2006, this flat rate fare (excluding tips and tolls) applies to travel from Manhattan to JFK as well. Depending on the time of day, taxi travel from JFK to Midtown Manhattan can be as quick as 35 minutes or as long as 90 minutes. Door-to-door Car Service is another popular transportation option.


JFK Airport is located in southern Queens on the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678), which can be accessed from the Belt Parkway, the Grand Central Parkway and Queens Boulevard. A ring road connects the airport terminals to the Belt Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway. The airport offers customers over 17,000 parking spaces, included in multi-level parking garages, surface spaces in the Central Terminal Area, a long-term parking lot and valet parking.[144] Tesla Motors has a vehicle charging station at the airport.[151] There are also private off-site parking operators near the airport.

Van Wyck Expressway twists through the terminal nucleus and turns into the JFK Expressway. This four-lane expressway allows for more convenient access to the airport for Long Island users via the westbound Belt Parkway. Because it lies almost entirely within Kennedy Airport, the JFK Expressway was constructed and is maintained by the Port Authority. The expressway was built as part of an ongoing, multi-billion dollar overhaul of Kennedy Airport that began in the late 1980s. It was designed to relieve up to 30 percent of the traffic volume from the Van Wyck Expressway.[152] Approximately 6 major rental car companies serve JFK Airport, with rental locations located on and off the airport.


US Helicopter departing from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport

US Helicopter operated regularly scheduled flights every hour between Terminal 3 and the East 34th Street Heliport. Passengers traveling by helicopter to the airport passed through a security checkpoint at the heliport, not at JFK. On May 14, 2007, US Helicopter moved its operations from Terminal 9 to Terminal 3.[153] US Helicopter temporarily suspended operations on September 25, 2009 due to financial difficulties.[154]

New York Airways provided helicopter service from JFK to other area airports and heliports from 1955 to 1979 and Pan American World Airways continued Manhattan helicopter service during the 1980s in order to feed its JFK flights. During the 1970s, New York Helicopter offered JFK flights from the top of the then-Pan Am Building in midtown Manhattan, but this service was cancelled after a major accident in 1977.[155]

Accidents and incidents

Notes and references

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  87. ^ a b "Building 141 – Multi-tenant (North American Airlines / Globe Ground / VOA / Port Authority Storage)"
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  94. ^ Flight International. April 10, 1976. p. 947. "Head Office: Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York 11430, United States."
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External links

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (official site)
  • Terminal4 JFK International Airport (official site)
  • New York State DOT Airport Diagram PDF
  • FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective January 7, 2016
  • FAA Terminal Procedures for JFK, effective January 7, 2016
  • 1959 Port Authority map of Idlewild
  • Resources for this airport:
    • AirNav airport information for KJFK
    • ASN accident history for JFK
    • FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart for KJFK
    • FAA current JFK delay information
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