Deal in Place for State-of-the-Art JFK Cargo Facility

Participating organizations have agreed to construct a 346,000-square-foot cargo handling facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport and to upgrade two taxiways and existing warehouses.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Nov. 16 announced a long-term lease between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Aero JFK II, LLC for what he described as a state-of-the-art, 346,000-square-foot cargo handling facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The $132 million combined investment in the facility and taxiway upgrades are the first phase of the modernization of air cargo operations at JFK that will fulfill a major recommendation of the Governor's Aviation Advisory Panel to enhance the airport's position in the international air cargo market.

The airport's cargo operations currently support 50,000 jobs and $8.6 billion in sales, according to the governor's announcement, which said the agreements associated with this project will include the goal of reaching a combined participation rate of 30 percent minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

"We are transforming JFK into a world-class, state-of-the art airport and -- with this new cargo facility -- a major economic engine," Cuomo said. "With this much-needed modernization of JFK's cargo operations, we will help create jobs and support economic growth across the entire New York metropolitan area for years to come."

The Port Authority Board also approved a $62.2 million project to rehabilitate and enhance JFK Taxiways CA and CB, which were last rehabilitated in the 1980s and designed for aircraft that predate today's larger cargo planes. Cargo facilities on the airport's north side will be upgraded and expanded, with existing obsolete and underused warehouses eliminated. More than half of JFK's cargo buildings are more than 40 years old and do not meet current industry standards, including the two that will be demolished on the site of the proposed new facility.

"John F. Kennedy International Airport long has been one of the nation's most important destinations, not only for passengers, but also for the movement of air cargo, and we are taking concrete action to ensure that remains the case throughout the 21st century," said Rick Cotton, the Port Authority's executive director. "The Governor's Vision Plan for JFK recognizes that cargo commerce at our airports is vital to the region's needs for goods and services, as well as a critical component in creating jobs and boosting the economy. Today's authorization is an important first step to transforming JFK's cargo facilities into a best-in-class 21st Century operation, as well as our broader ambitions to transform JFK."

The Port Authority board approved a new lease agreement with Aero JFK II for the development of the new cargo facility. The airport handled approximately 1.3 million tons of cargo last year, ranking it among the top seven airports nationwide.