J F Kennedy International Airport Story

J F Kennedy International Airport Story

The John F Kennedy Airport is located in the Queens area of New York City. The airport first opened in 1948. At first, it was known as the New York International Airport or the Idlewild Airport. Plans to construct the airport were conceived and put into operation by 1943. The airport was built where the former Idlewild Beach Gold Course lay. The JFK airport was built in order to ease congestion at the nearby LaGuardia Airport.

At first, the new project was known as Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport in honor of the late Queens resident. Later on ( in 1948), the New York City Council decided to change the project’s name to the (Anderson Field) New York International Airport. The locals also called it the Idlewild Airport. In December 1963, the airport’s official name was changed to JF Kennedy International Airport.

When it first opened, the JFK Airport had 6 runways and 5 terminals to serve the passengers. The opening ceremony took place on 1st July 1948; President Harry S Truman attended the ceremony. By 1950 some 50 flights left and entered the JFK Airport daily. In time most of the air traffic at Newark was redirected to Idlewild. The Newark airport was later closed in 1952. The new airport handled over 1,200 departures each week ( by 1957). In 1958 the first jet flights arrived there; the new flights made Idlewild attain status as New York's busiest airport. By the 1960s, the Idlewild airport was the second busiest airport in the US. In the next few decades, more infrastructural modifications were made to the airport. Later still in 1998, construction started on the Airtran JFK rapid transit system. The project aimed to provide a route that would get more directly to the airport. After some delays, the project was eventually completed in December 2003. Today, the system connects all the terminals leading to the JFK airport with the Long Island Railroad (Jamaica), New York's Howard Beach, and the New York subway.

In time, the JFK International airport attained another first: It became the first airport in the US to flag off an Airbus A380 commercial passenger flight. Essentially Airbus planes operated as a joint venture between Lufthansa Airlines and Airbus. They were designed to accommodate more than 500 passengers. The next few decades saw the introduction of more Airbus flights. There were additional carriers introduced to add the planes to their fleets. In January 2017, the governor of New York City, Andrew Cuomo, announced that the government planned to renovate the JFK Airport. The plans sought to focus on forecasted increases in demand. For example, the authorities estimated that the JFK International Airport would facilitate at least 75 million passengers by 2020. By the year 2050, the JFK International Airport will cater to more than 100 million passengers. By 2017, the JFK International airport occupied position 59 out of the top 100 world-class airports.

In October 2018, the government released more details about the project. The renovation was estimated to cost a whopping $13 billion; there were plans to add two new international terminals. Also, there were plans to replace and upgrade older terminals, add new gates and install new connector ramps. Eventually, the renovations began in earnest in January 2020- the designers planned to complete the project in 2025.

As noted, the JFK International Airport terminals can accommodate Airbus A380 flights. The terminals cover 1.5 million square ft. Since it first opened for business, the airport has undergone numerous renovations and expansions. The airport was initially constructed at about the same time as the new AirTran transit system. The airport’s AirTran station is located in Terminal 4. In 2008 the JFK Airport Terminal 5 was opened. It operates as a hub for JetBlue Airlines. It has also accommodated Aer Lingus, Cape Air, TAP Air Portugal arrivals and departures, and Hawaiian Airlines. The terminal has 29 gates that facilitate continental and international flights.

The JFK Airport's Terminal 8 was later opened in 2007. It is currently the largest terminal in the whole airport. Terminal 8 is about two times as large as the Madison Square Garden. It has 29 gates, more than 80 ticket counters, and 40 self-serve information and ticket kiosks. There are 10 security checkpoint stations serving the terminal. Terminal 8 also hosts the US Customs and Border Protection unit that can process more than 1,500 passengers in a single hour.