Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a long-term lease between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Aero JFK II, LLC for a 21st century, state-of-the-art 346,000 square-foot cargo handling facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The $132 million combined investment in the facility and taxiway upgrades represent the first phase of the modernization of air cargo operations at JFK, fulfilling a major recommendation of the Governor’s Aviation Advisory Panel to enhance the airport’s position in the international air cargo market, and is a key first step in the ambitious plan to transform and modernize JFK into a world-class airport. The JFK cargo industry currently supports 50,000 jobs, $8.6 billion in sales and almost $3 billion in wages, and these investments will help grow the industry and create additional jobs. Agreements associated with this project will include the goal of reaching a combined participation rate of 30 percent Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises or MWBE.
“We are transforming JFK into a world-class, state-of-the art airport and — with this new cargo facility — a major economic engine,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this much-needed modernization of JFK’s cargo operations, we will help create jobs and support economic growth across the entire New York metropolitan area for years to come.”
The new state-of-the-art facility will be home at JFK to Worldwide Flight Services- a major third party ground handler that operates around the world. The facility will have the flexibility to handle three of the largest air cargo freighters (’Group VI”) at one time, and feature elevated traversing vehicles designed for maximum efficiency in the handling and storage of cargo, plus a dedicated, temperature-controlled pharmaceutical handling area.
Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said, “John F. Kennedy International Airport long has been one of the nation’s most important destinations, not only for passengers, but also for the movement of air cargo and we are taking concrete action to ensure that remains the case throughout the 21st century. This authorization is an important first step to transforming JFK’s cargo facilities into a best-in-class 21st Century operation as well as our broader ambitions to transform JFK.”
Erin Gruver, Aeroterm’s Chief Development Officer, said, “This project serves as a critical first step in revitalizing JFK’s air cargo sector. We look forward to delivering this state-of-the-art and high profile project to Worldwide Flight Services who, along with their airline partners will occupy and operate long term in the facility.
Adding this new project to our existing facilities at JFK brings our total investment in the airport to more than $200 million highlighting the value we place on JFK and New York.”
JFK airport remains a leading international air cargo center, with the backdrop of a strong and growing air cargo industry.
Air cargo numbers at Kennedy are up 6.7 percent in the first half of 2017 compared to the first six months of 2016. JFK’s international air cargo — which represents more than three-quarters of the airport’s total — jumped 8 percent in the year’s first six months, compared with the same period a year earlier, while domestic freight increased about 1 percent. JFK handled roughly 1.3 million tons of cargo last year, putting the airport in the top seven airports nationwide.
The cargo industry at JFK directly employs over 15,000 people and supports 50,000 total jobs, $8.6 billion in sales, and almost $3 billion in wages.
In the area of Queens directly adjacent to JFK, transportation and warehousing jobs account for over one in every ten jobs, four times higher than the citywide average.