By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted final environmental approval for construction of a new $4.2 billion terminal at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, the state said on Thursday.
New York state Governor Kathy Hochul said construction will begin early next year on a 1.2 million-square foot (111,480-square-meter), 10-gate terminal at JFK.
The new Terminal 6 will be built in two phases, with the first new gates opening in 2026. The new terminal will be used by JetBlue and Lufthansa Group.
JetBlue Chief Executive Robin Hayes said the announcement would help “modernize JFK and bring our unique brand and culture to even more New Yorkers in a brand-new terminal.”
Hochul also said financial arrangements for the public-private partnership to build the new terminal had been finalized. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will commit $130 million in capital funding to build enabling infrastructure for the new Terminal 6, including airside improvements and utility enhancements.
The United States is in the middle of a massive overhaul and rebuilding of many airport terminals. A $1 trillion infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden in 2021 includes $15 billion for airport project grants.
The FAA is expected to soon issue a similar environmental approval to a massive $8.5 billion project at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport that includes a new Terminal 2.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will be at O’Hare for an event on Monday.
In June, New York celebrated the six-year $8 billion reconstruction of the city’s long-derided LaGuardia airport with a brand new Delta Air Lines terminal.
Delta’s glittering 1.3 million-square foot, $4 billion Terminal C began flights this summer.
New York and airlines spent $8 billion to reconstruct the airport that then-Vice President Biden in 2014 dubbed “some third-world country.”
(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot)