Saturday, October 6, 2012

JetBlue Breaks Ground on Expansion at JFK

JetBlue Airways broke ground Monday on an extension project to its terminal at JFK Airport. The project, expected to be completed in early 2015, will add 150,000 square feet of space and three additional gates to the airline’s Terminal 5. The $200 million expansion will be known as "T5i”, and will stand on the former site of TWA's Terminal 6, where JetBlue operated until moving in 2008.

With the conversion of three existing gates, JetBlue’s new terminal will have six international arrival gates as well as an International Arrivals Hall with facilities for U.S. Customs, Border Protection and Federal Inspection services.

“Today is truly a groundbreaking day for JetBlue as we begin work on our international arrivals terminal at T5,” JetBlue President and CEO Dave Barger said. “We’re excited to work with all of our partners at JFK and beyond to move forward with this project which, when completed, will make all domestic and international operations seamless and convenient for our customers and consolidate our flight operations under one roof.”

The airline opened Terminal 5 in 2008, amid an international expansion to countries such as Colombia and Bermuda. The company plans to add more international destinations later this year.

He said the design of the expansion would mirror that created by Gensler Architects for the existing terminal in order to create a “seamless ground experience” for passengers. The design attributes include an abundance of natural light, low-flow water fixtures, an efficient heating and cooling system and circulation paths designed to get customers through gates and customs with ease.

Berger said the building would even use concrete reclaimed from JFK’s aircraft apron as the base for the concrete within the new building.

“We designed this addition to T5 to welcome people to New York, greeting them with natural daylight and a view outside,” Gensler Principal Bill Hooper said. “Our goal is to put passengers first and make it easy and fast for people to get where they want to be.”

After the ceremony, Mr. Barger said the $200 million project will be "the next but not last" phase of JetBlue's expansion at JFK, pointing to the airport's expansive acreage and advantageous location as an international hub.

"This is the best gateway in the world," he said. "The brand is a New York brand. We bring the footprint of New York wherever we fly."