Construction has begun on the new $4.2 billion Terminal 6 at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK), which will serve as the primary home of low-cost airline JetBlue.
The ceremonial groundbreaking last week was attended by New York Governor Kathy Hochul and grandees from JetBlue and funders, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the JFK Millennium Partners consortium.
The 1.2-million-square-foot terminal will be located on the north side of the airport, on the site of the former Terminal 6 and the existing Terminal 7, which will be demolished in 2026 as construction progresses.
When fully complete in 2028, the new Terminal 6 will add ten new gates to JFK, including nine for widebody planes. It will also connect seamlessly with the existing Terminal 5, JetBlue’s current base in the airport, and enable the low-cost carrier to add more flights, destinations, and airline partnerships.
The carrier that brands itself New York’s Hometown Airline said its expansion at JFK reiterated its commitment to the city and region.
“It was 23 years ago that JetBlue launched our first flights from our home at JFK, eventually growing and taking over our modern Terminal 5 and now sending customers to more than 80 destinations, including London and soon Paris,” said JetBlue chief executive Robin Hayes.
“At a time that JetBlue is set to grow significantly, we are excited to once again invest and further the governor’s vision as we build the new Terminal 6,” he added.
That growth Hayes alluded to is the carrier’s proposed $3.8 billion merger with budget competitor Spirit Airlines, currently awaiting approval by anti-trust regulators. If given the go-ahead, the deal would create a national low-cost challenger to the Big Four airlines (American, United, Delta, and Southwest) that control 80% of the market.
Terminal 6 will also be used by the Lufthansa Group, which operates flights from JFK to Germany and Belgium.
The state-of-the-art terminal will improve customers’ experience from the check-in to the gate, with touchless technology throughout. At security, automated lanes and biometric-based access control systems will smooth travelers’ journeys through the scanners. The design will be flexible enough to accommodate future technological or regulatory changes.
While they wait for their flights, travelers will enjoy 100,000 square feet of shopping and dining, including offerings from local restaurants and craft breweries and Taste NY stores.
And after they disembark, passengers will have a streamlined journey through the airport and into the city, with a convenient taxi plaza and designated for-hire (e.g. Uber and Lyft) pick-up area, shared with Terminal 5.
Additionally, the Port Authority has committed $130 million to build new infrastructure for Terminal 6, including airside improvements to reduce congestion on runways and flight delays.
The new Terminal 6 is part of an $18 billion modernization of JFK, which includes the construction of a brand-new Terminal 1 on the airport’s south side. That $9.5 billion project broke ground in September and will finish in 2030. Additionally, Delta Air Line’s home at Terminal 4 is being expanded to the tune of $1.5 billion, and Terminal 8, home to American Airlines and British Airways, will receive a $400 million renovation.