Sunday, April 14, 2024

THE JOHN F. KENNEDY AIRPORT IN QUEENS. THE HISTORY OF CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

The modern Queens International Airport receives a large number of passengers. Many airplanes depart from here to different destinations. For more information about the history of its foundation and features, read the article at queens-future.

The history of John F. Kennedy International Airport

John F. Kennedy International Airport, AKA JFK or Kennedy Airport, is located in Queens, New York City. Its original name was Idlewild Airport. Later it was renamed in honor of Major General Alexander E. Anderson, a resident of Queens.

Construction began in 1943 on the territory of the former Idlewild Beach Golf Course. A decision was made to build a new airport in the city as it was necessary to reduce congestion at the neighboring LaGuardia Airport. The official opening of John F. Kennedy Airport took place on July 1, 1948. There was a beautiful opening ceremony with the participation of President Harry S. Truman.

Two years after the airport was opened. It launched six runways and five terminals for passenger service. Moreover, more than 60 flights a day were operated here. A few years later, residents filed a lawsuit to change the airport’s name in honor of John F. Kennedy.

In 1952, New York’s airport ceased operations and most air traffic was diverted to Idlewild Airport. In five years, it handled more than 1000 departures per week. Since then, Idlewild has been considered the busiest airport in New York.

In the 1960s, it was one of the most used airports in the United States. Additional modifications took place over the following decades. In 1962, Terminal 2 was opened to serve airlines that don’t exist today. After one of the companies closed, the terminal was used for Pan American World Airways flights.

In 1970, Terminal 7 was launched. It was created to serve Air Canada and British Overseas Airways Corporation. In 1991, it was expanded. Its reconstruction is still ongoing.

AirTrain JFK, an elevated people mover system. The airport terminals and reconstruction

Construction of the people mover system began in 1998. The project’s purpose was to provide a direct route to the airport and that was when Terminal 1 was opened. It serves many destinations. It was designed by the famous architect William Nicholas Bodouva. It is the only one that has 11 gates to transfer all its passengers.

Terminal 4 was opened in 2001 on the site of the former international flights building. It covers an area of over 1 million square feet.

After several delays, the construction project was completed in 2003. The AirTrain connects all passenger terminals with NYC’s Subway in Howard Beach, Queens, and with the Long Island Rail Road and the subway in Jamaica, Queens.

In 2007, Terminal 8 was opened. It has become the leading global hub. It is considered the largest one at the airport.

In 2008, Terminal 5 was opened and launched as a hub for JetBlue Airlines.

John F. Kennedy International Airport was the first in the country to operate an Airbus A380 commercial passenger aircraft. Aircraft of this class can carry over 400 passengers.

In 2017, the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to reconstruct the facility which was implemented to meet the growing demand. The reconstruction began in October of the following year with 13 billion dollars allocated for it. The project included the delivery of new international terminals plus the replacement and modernization of old terminals. Also, particular attention was paid to the installation of gates and connecting ramps.

By 2020, the airport was expected to handle about 70 million passengers. At that time, the airport was ranked 59th among the top 100 airports in the world. It has become a local landmark that people appreciate and admire every year during their travels.

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