Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
Governor Cuomo noted that cargo is essential to the economic health and vitality of the airport and the region, and a key component of his JFK Vision Plan.
By Michael V. Cusenza
With the signing of a long-term lease with JFK Air Cargo LLC to develop a state-of-the-art handling facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the State has launched the second phase of a multi-tiered cargo modernization plan at the travel hub, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.
According to the administration, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners authorized the 31-year lease agreement Thursday 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 two years.
Cuomo noted that cargo is essential to the economic health and vitality of the airport and the region, and a key component of his JFK Vision Plan. The 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.
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, Cuomo noted.
“New York’s nation-leading infrastructure investments are fundamentally transforming our economy, and the new JFK Airport will continue this unprecedented growth,” the governor added. “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.”
Last October, Cuomo unveiled an historic $13 billion plan promises to JFK and transform it into a modern 21st century hub, with best-in-class passenger amenities, centralized ground transportation options, and improved roadways. The record investment, which includes $12 billion in private funding, builds on the JFK Vision Plan that Cuomo unveiled in 2017. It calls for the overhaul of the patchwork eight disparate terminal sites in favor of two new terminal complexes on the north and south sides of the property. It also pledges to utilize vacant space and modernize on-airport infrastructure, the governor noted.
“We are transforming our state with record investments in infrastructure, and modernizing airports across New York,” said Lt. Gov. 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.”