First step towards $10bn redevelopment of JFK airport

Requests for proposals launched for New York’s busiest airport as Governor Cuomo targets private investment to create ‘centre of economic activity’.

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport took its first step towards a planned $10 billion redevelopment, with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey launching requests for proposals for the preliminary engineering and design work.

State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans for the airport modernisation in January, saying that the programme has potential to drive up to $7 billion in private investment.
The project would see the airport’s six standalone terminals unified, with the surrounding roadways restructured to reduce bottlenecks. Cuomo also called for $1.5 billion in improvements to the Van Wyck Expressway and Kew Gardens Interchange, an effort to ease access to one of the country’s busiest international airports, and for improved access through public transportation.

“The new JFK Airport will be a centre of economic activity and a world-class airport of the calibre that New York deserves,” Cuomo said.

The RFP comes just over a year after LaGuardia, one of the other major airports serving the city, reached financial close on a $4 billion PPP, the largest such deal in the US. While funding sources for the JFK plan have not been specified, the private sector is expected to play a large role.

For the LaGuardia project, which is expected to be completed by 2022, a private consortium including Paris-based fund manager Meridiam assumed $2.8 billion of combined debt and equity. A report issued in January by Cuomo’s Airport Advisory Panel cited the LaGuardia PPP as an example of the “key role” private financing should play in the JFK project.

“Tapping this heritage of innovation and utilising creative partnerships can yield both capital and expertise from world-class operators to modernise JFK for the 21st century,” the report concludes, also pointing to Denver Airport’s use of PPP for improvements.

Responses to the RFP are due by 14 August.