About the Port Authority  


Facts and Information

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, under a lease with the City of New York since June 1, 1947. In 2004 the Port Authority and the City of New York concluded an agreement that ensures the agency's continued operation of JFK and LaGuardia airports through 2050.
On Jamaica Bay in the southeastern section of Queens County, New York City - 15 miles by highway from midtown Manhattan.
JFK covers 4,930 acres, including 880 acres in the Central Terminal Area (CTA). The airport has more than 30 miles of roadway.
Construction began in April 1942 under a New York City contract for the placing of hydraulic fill over the marshy tidelands on the site of Idlelwild golf course. Initial plans called for a 1,000-acre airport, but it would eventually grow to five times that size. Commercial flights began July 1948. The airport was rededicated on December 24, 1963 as John F. Kennedy International Airport in memory of the nation's thirty-fifth president.
Kennedy International is the United States' leading international gateway. Over 80 airlines operate out of JFK.
About $150 million was expended by the City of New York on original construction. The Port Authority has invested about $5.5 billion in the airport.
JFK contributes almost $30.1 billion in economic activity to the NY/NJ region, generating some 229,000 jobs and about $9.8 billion in wages and salaries. About 35,000 people are employed at the airport.
The redevelopment program consists of several major projects undertaken by the Port Authority and its airline and airport partners. Completed projects include: Terminals 1, 4, the new American Airlines' Terminal 8; upgrades to Delta's Terminals 2 and 3, JetBlue's Terminal 6 and British Airways' Terminal 7; plus a quadrant roadway system, parking garages, and a light rail network (AirTrain JFK), which opened in December 2003. A 1,940-space parking garage, adjacent to American Airlines' new terminal, opened in November 2006. In December 2005, construction began on a new JetBlue 26-gate terminal behind the landmark TWA Flight Center. A 1,500-space parking garage is being built adjacent to the new terminal. These two facilities will open in 2008.
JFK has seven operating airline terminals, surrounded by a dual ring of peripheral taxiways. The original 655 acres in the CTA was enlarged to 880 acres in the early 1990s by relocating taxiways to provide needed space for expanding the passenger terminals. Over 125 aircraft gates serve the terminals. The CTA also includes a central heating and air-conditioning plant.
  • A consortium of airlines - Air France, Japan Airlines, Korean Air and Lufthansa – spearheaded an era of ultra-modern terminals when it built the 11-gate 684,000 square-foot international Terminal 1 with its dual-level frontage, which opened in May 1998 on the site of the old Eastern Airlines Terminal.
  • Delta Air Lines operates Terminals 2 and 3. Delta invested about $150 million to renovate the terminals by redesigning first and business class lounges, building new ticket counters, installing new lighting and flooring and new baggage facilities. Numerous new concession outlets now offer customers more choices for shopping and eating.
  • Terminal 4 opened in May 2001. The $1.4 billion, 1.5 million square-foot common-use facility vastly improves passenger service through the use of separate levels for departing and arriving passengers, consolidated ticketing and baggage operations, improved customer facilities, and a wide array of retail shops and eateries.
  • The historic landmark Terminal 5, formerly operated by TWA, is currently closed. JetBlue operates out of Terminal 6 and made $12 million in interim improvements. A new passenger terminal is being built by the Port Authority and JetBlue. The joint $875 million construction project also includes a parking garage. Both facilities are opening in 2008.
  • Terminal 7, operated by British Airways, opened in 1970. A $251 million redevelopment included expansion and reconfiguration of the terminal, new ticketing and check-in areas, new retail outlets, lounges and a departure and arrival roadway system. United Airlines also operates out of this terminal.
  • American Airlines created one huge new facility (the new Terminal 8). The 1.58-million-square-foot terminal serves both domestic and international passengers on three concourses and includes numerous shops and services, and expanded check-in areas. The final phase of the $1.3 billion terminal was completed in August 2007. A 1,940 parking-space garage adjacent to the terminal opened in November 2006.
AirTrain JFK
This high-speed, light-rail service links the airport to New York City and beyond. Opened in December 2003, AirTrain connects to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and the New York City subway and bus lines. On airport, AirTrain provides free connections between terminals, rental car facilities, hotel shuttle areas and parking lots.
Air Traffic Control Tower
The 321-foot Air Traffic Control Tower, which opened in 1994, includes state-of-the-art communications, radar and windshear alert systems.
A new roadway system was constructed in the airport’s Central Terminal Area (CTA). The new configuration divides the roadway network into five terminal areas so motorists can make direct connections between terminals, parking lots and the Van Wyck and JFK Expressways – the two main arteries into and out of the airport. The roadway project also is upgrading and expanding the JFK Expressway, increasing the use of the improved Nassau Expressway/Belt Parkway interchange.

The Central Taxi Hold was opened in 1995. The Taxi Hold lot, which makes taxi service more readily available to customers, was expanded and upgraded. A hold lot for limousines was constructed to help facilitate limousine service to customers.
The airport offers customers over 17,000 parking spaces, included in multi-level parking garages, surface spaces in the CTA, a long-term parking lot and valet parking. E-ZPass Plus is available in all parking lots and garages, except for the overflow lot.
JFK is one of the world's leading international air cargo centers. Two cargo facilities totaling 430,000 square feet of warehouse and office space opened in 2003 and offer the latest in cargo-facility design. The airport has more than one million square feet of office and warehouse space dedicated to broker, freight forwarder and container freight station operators who do business within the NY/NJ region.
The runway system consists of two pairs of parallel runways (4L-22R, 4R-22L and 13L-31R, 13R-31L) aligned at right angles. Total runway length is nine miles. All runways have high intensity runway edge lighting, centerline and taxiway exit lighting and are grooved to improve skid resistance and minimize hydroplaning. A 500' by 150' aircraft arrestor bed has been installed at the end of Runway 4R, the first such arrestor bed in the world.
Taxiways total 25 miles in length. Standard width is 75 feet with 25-foot heavy-duty shoulders and 25-foot erosion control pavement on each side. Other features include the taxiway centerline light system and a sign system, illuminated at night to provide directional information for taxiing aircraft.
JFK International Airport Statistics:
Year Plane
Passengers Air Cargo
Air Mail
1949* 81,115 222,620 4,580 1,150
1960 248,686 8,803,665 138,055 44,118
1970 365,848 19,096,705 759,546 143,882
1980 307,527 26,796,066 1,169,815 142,406
1990 303,716 29,794,350 1,331,182 126,871
1995 340,124 31,377,579 1,637,677 117,526
1997 353,171 31,357,431 1,702,285 134,137
1998 343,565 31,708,431 1,626,133 144,622
1999 343,388 31,708,431 1,752,821 153,238
2000 345,311 32,827,864 1,864,571 140,908
2001 294,026 29,350,052 1,521,498 126,934
2002 287,699 29,939,212 1,668,369 84,422
2003 280,302 31,732,446 1,709,457 84,243
2004 320,013 37,517,496 1,790,448 88,738
2005 349,518 40,884,350 1,747,626 83,202
2006 378,410 42,629,407 1,705,911 99,869
2007 443,752 47,716,941 1,656,431 115,363
*First full calendar year of Port Authority operations