New York City's John F Kennedy International Airport could undergo a major revitalization that will bring it into the 21st century according to a vision announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The $10 billion overhaul of the Queens airport — which accepts more international visitors than any other in the United States — would create a unified terminal layout standing in contrast to the disconnected concourses presented today.
Cuomo criticized the airport's overcrowded halls, confusing roadways, and poor accessibility during the recent announcement. He pointed to JFK's unsatisfactory performance at the Skytrax World Airport Awards, in which the facility placed 59th among the world's top 100 airports. The intertwined terminals would replace the six existing ones, improving transfers for passengers with connecting flights. To ameliorate traffic flow on the roadways linking to the airport, Van Wyck Expressway and Kew Gardens Interchange will be widened. A new ring road configuration would provide enhanced access for taxis and ride-sharing vehicles. More carriages are also planned for the AirTrain light rail system that connects the terminals.
Enrichments to security technologies, including facial recognition and video-tracking software, are among the many planned service improvements aimed at ensuring efficient passenger movement. That's especially important given the latest passenger projections, which suggest the airport will service a steady stream of 75 million passengers every year by 2030. Though no architects have yet been selected, nor has a timeframe for completion been set, Cuomo released a series of concept illustrations showing an organically intuitive complex with a nucleus abundant in greenery.
The revitalization accompanies the conversion of the Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Terminal building into a hotel and conference centre. The proposal also goes down a similar path as New York's LaGuardia Airport, which is undergoing an upgrade to replace its patchwork of terminals with an integrated building.
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