Delta Air Lines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have broken ground on a $1.2 billion project to enhance and...

Delta Air Lines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have broken ground on a $1.2 billion project to enhance and expand Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport to create a state-of-the-art facility for Delta at its key international gateway.

“Delta continues to make substantial investments in New York, and our terminal project at JFK is among the most significant,” says Richard Anderson, Delta Air Lines’ chief executive officer. “Our new facility is designed to meet the needs of the world’s largest and most competitive aviation market with significant benefits to our customers, employees and the city of New York for decades to come. We look forward to our continued partnership with JFKIAT [the operator of Terminal 4], Schiphol [which owns JFKIAT] and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on this ambitious project.”

Currently, Delta Air Lines operates predominantly out of Terminal 2 for its domestic flights and Terminal 3 internationally. The expansion of Terminal 4 – which has been managed by JFKIAT for more than a decade – will replace the outdated Terminal 3 facilities and airline says this will improve the customer experience for the 11 million passengers Delta serves at JFK annually.

Delta expects customers to see an improvement in Delta’s operational performance at New York JFK as a result of the construction of dual taxiways, resulting in reduced taxi times and better on-time performance. Delta’s customers also will experience improved inter-terminal passenger connectors between Terminals 2 and 4, according to the airline.

This is the official logo of Delta Air Lines, which following its merger with Northwest became the biggest airline in the world, at least until the merger of Continental Airlines and United Airlines is completed

The expanded Terminal 4 will have nine new international gates on its B Concourse. Customers also will benefit from expanded baggage claim areas and an expanded Customs and Border Protection area. In addition, the consolidation of two passenger security checkpoints will create a more efficient, passenger-friendly, post-security environment for retail and food and beverage offerings, Delta says.

Terminal 4’s expansion will also allow Delta to continue growing its international network from JFK, which currently includes nonstop service to 96 destinations and more than 1,200 weekly departures. International service includes nonstop flights to Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, with new service to Reykjavik, Iceland beginning in June 2011.

Since making a strategic decision to build New York into a hub earlier this decade, Delta has made major investments across the region, boosting its estimated economic impact to more than $13 billion annually. Delta says its current JFK operation generates 49,000 jobs in the region and adds that the Terminal 4 expansion project will stimulate economic development regionally through direct on-airport jobs and construction related work.

This will create an additional 10,000 jobs in the New York metropolitan region by 2014, according to Delta. The airline says that over the next 60 months, the $1.2 billion project will generate an estimated $500 million of personal income in the region and $1.6 billion of economic output from the purchases of goods and services.

When completed, the total economic impact of Delta’s New York operation will contribute more than $19 billion annually to the state. the carrier estimates.

With construction now underway, completion of phase one of the Terminal 4 expansion and relocation of Delta’s Terminal 3 operations to Terminal 4 is anticipated in May 2013.  Delta’s JFK terminal project includes the expansion of Concourse B at Terminal 4, including nine new international gates; the construction of a passenger connector between Terminal 2 and Terminal 4; expanded areas for baggage claim and Customs and Border Protection; and, ultimately, the demolition of Terminal 3, which will be completed  in May 2015 and will provide additional ramp space for aircraft parking.

JFKIAT LLC, which operates Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Schiphol USA (SUSA), a company within the Amsterdam-based Schiphol Group, which operates Amsterdam Schiphol Airport among others. JFKIAT is the only private, non-airline company to be selected by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to operate a terminal at JFK.

The 1.5-million-square-foot Terminal 4 opened in May 2001 and reached an annual passenger volume of 9.5 million air travelers in 2009. Terminal 4 is one of the largest terminals in the New York area, serving nearly 40 international and domestic airlines.

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