Port Authority Board of Commissioners Approves Lease Agreement with JFK Air Cargo LLC for 250,000-Square-Foot Facility
New Facility Will Bring in Initial $70 Million Private Investment, $152 Million in Rentals
Project Will Advance JFK's Position as Major International Cargo Handler
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the second phase of a multi-tiered cargo modernization plan at John F. Kennedy International Airport, with the signing of a long-term lease with JFK Air Cargo LLC to develop a state-of-the-art handling facility at the airport.
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners authorized the 31-year lease agreement this afternoon, a deal expected to bring $152 million in rentals and a $70 million investment by JFK Air Cargo. The Port Authority is contributing up to $13 million toward site preparation work and roadway improvements needed to complete construction, including a new truck "turn-around" that would allow additional traffic to enter and exit the North Cargo Area more easily. Located on 16.2 acres of property in the North Cargo Area, the new facility is expected to be completed in approximately 24 months.
"New York's nation-leading infrastructure investments are fundamentally transforming our economy, and the new JFK Airport will continue this unprecedented growth," Governor Cuomo said. "This new facility will generate significant economic output for the region, support thousands of good paying jobs and cement JFK Airport's place as a national leader in air cargo operations."
"We are transforming our state with record investments in infrastructure, and modernizing airports across New York,"said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This new cargo facility will spur additional private investments and position JFK Airport as a major cargo handler. The upgrades to JFK Airport build on our efforts to improve the transportation network of this world-class facility, enhancing the traveler experience, increasing tourism, and growing the economy."
Cargo is essential to the economic health and vitality of the airport and the region, and a key component of Governor Cuomo's JFK Vision Plan. JFK Airport handled about 1.4 million tons of cargo in 2018, making it one of the top seven airports in the United States in terms of cargo volume. Across the region, the overall cargo business at the airport currently supports a total of nearly 78,000 jobs, $13.1 billion in sales and an estimated $6 billion in wages. The new facility is expected to yield an estimated 200,000 tons of additional cargo, 5,400 regional jobs, more than $1.8 billion in sales and an estimated $660 million in wages.
Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole said, "The Port Authority strives to provide world-class facilities for our customers. On-airport cargo facilities provide a competitive advantage over off-airport locations, and this new cargo facility is vital to the redevelopment of JFK."
Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeffrey Lynford said, "As part of our transformation of Kennedy Airport, the Port Authority is moving ahead with a significant upgrade to our air cargo facilities. This project will ease truck congestion while making the airport more competitive and generating revenue to be reinvested in the region."
Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said, "The improvements the Port Authority is making to JFK's air cargo facilities are just one part of Governor Cuomo's bold vision for the future of the airport. JFK has long been one of most important destinations in the nation, for cargo as well as passengers. Today's action continues to send a powerful message that JFK is committed to becoming a world-class operation."
The plan outlined by Governor Cuomo to transform Kennedy Airport calls for a $13 billion redevelopment, with two new terminals that will help create an interconnected, unified facility adding a total of four million square feet to the airport's North and South sides. The modernized JFK Airport will feature premier passenger amenities, superior security technology and improved customer service. Private funding is being used for $12 billion of the cost.
In February of this year, Governor Cuomo announced that American Airlines and British Airways would invest an additional $344 million to expand Terminal 8 as part of the airport's transformation. Next month, the widely anticipated TWA Hotel, restoring the grandeur of Eero Saarinen's landmark 1962 TWA Flight Center, will open its doors just outside of JetBlue's Terminal 5.
In addition to transforming JFK Airport into a world-class aviation center, the redevelopment is designed to meet an expected growth in customer demand in the coming years. These investments will enable the airport to handle an additional 15 million passengers per year, as airport volumes continue to set new records.
Phase one of the cargo modernization effort was authorized by the Port Authority board in 2017, with a long-term lease with Aero JFK II LLC for a 346,000-square-foot handling facility. The Aero JFK facility and the reconstruction of Taxiways CA and CB authorized by the 2017 vote are already in progress.