Grounded: JFK’s $15B overhaul could be delayed years

Passenger volume at the airport is down by 85%, and may not recover until 2023

TRD New York /
Aug.August 10, 2020 12:00 PM
JFK Airport’s $15 billion planned overhaul could be delayed for years, as passenger volume continues to plummet. (Rendering via Governor Cuomo's office)

JFK Airport’s $15 billion planned overhaul could be delayed for years, as passenger volume continues to plummet. (Rendering via Governor Cuomo’s office)

The timeline for the massive overhaul of John F. Kennedy International Airport will likely be pushed back years because of plummeting passenger demand.

The project, whose cost has soared to an estimated $15 billion, aims to unify the terminal layout, modernize operations and provide added gates to accommodate an expected one million more passengers a year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But the pandemic has changed all that, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey may now have to push back the 2025 projected completion date, the Journal reported.

Passenger volume is down about 85 percent, and officials warn that passenger numbers might not match last year’s level of nearly 62 million passengers until 2023, the report noted.

The International Air Transport Association recently estimated that airline traffic won’t return to last year’s level until 2024, according to Bloomberg.

The Port Authority had planned to replace JFK’s six terminals, each managed by separate airlines or terminal operators, with four larger buildings. The agency had pledged several billion dollars for the project, and private investors and airlines were supposed to foot the rest of the bill.

The redevelopment plan may be forced to scale back if the Port Authority and airlines don’t receive the $3 billion bailout from the federal government, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said recently. [WSJ] — Akiko Matsuda


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