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JFK Airport to get US$10b 'world class' upgrade

Thursday, January 5, 2017 - 08:03

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John F Kennedy International Airport, one of the busiest in the United States, will be getting a US$10 billion upgrade, New York's state governor said Wednesday.

[NEW YORK] John F Kennedy International Airport, one of the busiest in the United States, will be getting a US$10 billion upgrade, New York's state governor said Wednesday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the plan calls for creating "a unified, interconnected airport that changes the passenger experience and makes the airport much easier to access and navigate".

In a city that considers itself the centre of the universe, JFK airport is considered a modest 59th in the world in terms of passenger experience behind London Heathrow and Seoul, among many others.

It is famed for overcrowding, flights being late; critics also bemoan the fact that getting to JFK from Manhattan is not fast, smooth or easy.

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"John F Kennedy airport was once a world-class transportation hub, envied by the entire nation. Today, it is choked with traffic and burdened with outdated systems and decaying infrastructure," said Pat Foye, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

With better amenities and security, the goal is for JFK not to lose out to the competition as a source of money, jobs and pride. JFK welcomed 60 million passengers in 2016, and hopes to hit 75 million in 2030, and 100 million by 2050.

"For each million passengers that JFK fails to accommodate, the region loses approximately US$140 million in wages, US$400 million in sales, and 2,500 jobs. JFK is one of the only major airports in the world that does not offer travelers a one seat ride from its city center," Mr Foye stressed.

Of the almost US$10 billion budget, 8 billion is for terminals and 1.5 to 2 billion for road and highway improvements.

AFP

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