The New Terminal 6 at JFK Airport Moves Closer To Completion And More JFK Construction

By | February 2, 2024

Back in 2010, we mourned the loss of the old Terminal 6 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, which was knocked down to allow JetBlue at Terminal 5 to consolidate its operations. I.M. Pei, who died in 2019 at the age of 102, was very unhappy to hear the old Terminal 6, which he designed, was to be demolished. It was also the birthplace of JetBlue…their original terminal.

That got us Terminal 5I, a 150,000 foot expansion of Terminal 5, which included three new gates, three relocated gates, and three new stand gates being relocated. The extension was tied into the SkyWalk which runs from Terminal 5 to a Parking Garage and AirTrain station. It also included a 26 booth international arrivals hall. Terminal 5 itself was 640,000 feet, with 26 gates(3 of which were relocated for 5I).

Construction Site – Terminal 6 JFK – April 2023

In November of 2022, New York Governor Hochul announced the start of construction on the new Terminal 6…which was postponed due to the pandemic. Since Terminal 6’s demise, Terminal 3, the former Pan Am(then Delta) Worldport and Terminal 2 have bitten the dust to make way for the new Terminal 1 and Terminal 4 expansion, which will make Terminal 4 a 54 gate terminal, exceeding American’s Terminal 8, which only has 31. Construction is underway on the new Terminal 1(another 23 gates) , and Terminal 7 will be going soon. The redevelopment at LaGuardia, which was extensive, was an 8 billion dollar project, JFK is undergoing a 19 billion dollar overhaul.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new T6 was in February of 2023.  The new Terminal 6 will be 1.2 million square feet, with 10 gates(including nine wide body gates)) and will be connected to Terminal 5. The design will also include a taxi plaza and rideshare vehicle pickup area shared between Terminal 5 and allow for further JetBlue expansion among other things. The first gates are set to open in 2026, after which Terminal 7 will be demolished for further expansion. Considering Terminal 7 houses Aer Lingus, Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Canada, Alaska, ANA, Condor, Ethiopian Airlines, Icelandair, Kuwait Airways, LOT Polish, Norse Atlantic, SAS, Sun Country and Ukraine International. Terminal 7 was previously operated by British Airways, before they moved to join American in Terminal 8, and was built in 1970. It is where the Concorde departed from.

So, overall, this development will net a total of 137 gates for the airport in 5 terminals. A far cry from when the airport had 10 terminals…if you count Building 213 in the Cargo Area, which Tower Air used for their operations years ago. In December of 2023, according to the Port Authority, 5.2 million passengers passed through JFK on 40,000 flights, concluding the year at around 63 million passengers, which is close to the pre-pandemic 2019 rate. All of this construction has helped support rapid growth- in 2013, JFK airport served 50 million passengers for the first time.