Photo Courtesy of JetBlue
JetBlue’s ground-service equipment at Terminal 5 at JFK Airport is now electric powered.
By Forum Staff
Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport has “flipped the switch” to electric-powered ground service equipment, a major step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the region, Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted as he made the announcement Thursday.
According to the State, the New York Power Authority, in partnership with JetBlue, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has completed the installation of 38 charging hubs—with 118 charging ports—at the terminal, which is operated by JetBlue. The $4 million airside electrification of the JetBlue terminal is the first Federal Aviation Administration Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program grant project of its kind at JFK. The VALE grant accounts for 75 percent of the total $5.3 million cost of the charging hubs. NYPA implemented the project and provided $200,000 in funding, with JetBlue providing an additional $1.1 million.
According to officials, the charging hubs directly support JetBlue in the conversion of its fleet of 118 baggage tugs and belt loaders to electric power. Converting the ground support equipment at Terminal 5 from gasoline to clean electric power will remove four million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere annually, the equivalent of taking about 385 cars off the road. Additionally, it will reduce ground fuel usage by 200,000 gallons of fuel a year, vastly improving energy efficiency and decreasing both air and noise pollution.
“The installation of 38 fast-charging hubs will not only contribute to improved air quality across the region, but it will also bring modern and advanced technological solutions to JFK Airport,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton.
“Electric ground service equipment will significantly reduce our environmental impact and increase operational efficiencies including safer and quieter equipment for our ground operations crewmembers,” added JetBlue President and COO Joanna Geraghty.
As part of Cuomo’s JFK Vision Plan, JetBlue and JFK Millennium Partners are constructing a $3 billion, 1.2 million-square-foot terminal on the airport’s north side that will connect to the airline’s existing Terminal 5. Additionally, a new $7 billion, 2.9 million-square-foot terminal on the airport’s south side will occupy the area where the existing Terminals 1 and 2 are located, in addition to the area left vacant when Terminal 3 was demolished in 2014. The new south side terminal will be developed by the Terminal One Group, a consortium of four international airlines—Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines, and Korean Air Lines—with the Carlyle Group, JLC Infrastructure, and with Ullico as the financing and development partner.
“New York is committed to delivering a new, world-class JFK airport that not only incorporates best-in-class technological advancements and passenger amenities but also reduces our carbon footprint,” Cuomo said. “By electrifying JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK airport we are advancing our nation-leading climate goals and taking a significant step towards solidifying JFK as a modern gateway to the world.”