Another pandemic-delayed component of John F. Kennedy International Airport’s multibillion-dollar redevelopment program is underway with the recent groundbreaking of the $1.5-billion Terminal 4 expansion and renovation project.

Originally imagined as a $3.8-billion, 16-gate modernization project in 2020, the privately financed makeover was sidelined as a result of COVID-19’s prolonged impact on air travel. Earlier this year, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reached a revised financing and leasing agreement with Delta Air Lines and JFK International Air Terminal (JFKIAT), the operator of Terminal 4, on a scaled-back plan that adds more than 150,000 sq ft and 10 new gates, serving primarily regional and domestic flights. 

The project will also expand and renovate Terminal 4’s arrivals and departures hall to incorporate new ticketing and baggage check technology; upgrade restrooms, baggage claim and arrival areas; and install new retail finishes and public art. Energy-saving equipment and lighting will be used throughout the terminal, with charging stations for electric ground service equipment located at the new gates.

According to the Port Authority, Delta will serve as the project’s general contractor, managing all facets of construction with support from a team of firms that includes STV, Turner Construction, Group PMX, McKissack and NYCO. In addition, the Port Authority’s agreement with Delta and JFKIAT calls for the Terminal 4 expansion and renovation project to be built by union labor under a full project labor agreement, with 30% MWBE participation.

Upon the project's completion in 2023, Delta will consolidate its operations in Terminal 4, allowing the Port Authority to demolish the 60-year-old Terminal 2. Construction of Terminal 4 is part of a four-project program totaling approximately $15 billion in private financing. The new 1.2-million-sq-ft Terminal 6 for JetBlue and 2.4-million-sq-ft Terminal One for international service are both scheduled to break ground in 2022. Capacity enhancements to American Airlines’ Terminal 8 are set to be complete in 2023.