New York John F Kennedy Airport Guide
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Your Complete Guide to New York John F Kennedy Airport

Located in New York City, John F. Kennedy International Airport is the busiest in the borough of Queens. This air getaway lies in the southeast of Lower Manhattan about 19kms away. Every year it services around 60 million domestic as well as international travelers. In the year 2011, JFK became the busiest air passenger gateway to the US in North America. It handled around 47,809,910 passengers, which made it 17th busiest airport across the world. Also, for any other information, you can check out the Ground Transportation Desk in one of the terminals.

History

Until 1963, JFK was called as Idlewild Airport. But later was renamed to John F. Kennedy International after the 35th President of the US on December 24, 1963. Opened in 1940, approximately ninety airlines operate from this location. The site boasts of 8 terminals, over 150 gates, and four runaways. Also, JFK employs around 35,000 people, thus contributing as much as $30.1 billion dollars towards New Jersey’s economy every year. With a one mile long “international zone”, JFK was once a hub for Pan American World Airways, Eastern Air Lines, Trans World Airlines, and National Airlines.

A lot of delays are not frequent with John F. Kennedy; however they can be influenced majorly by climatic conditions.

Construction & Development

The construction of JFK started in the year 1943 by Edenwald Group that is a local company. The firm was headed by the late Charles Follini Sr. The airport initially began with six runways with the seventh that was still under construction. In the year 1956, a major development took place and the first strobe visual runway identifier light system was set up. This was done to guide the aircrafts in night especially during the heavy fog. There were total 20 rows of strobe lights that were high powered and fixed at 2000 feet at the end of the runway.

Initially the Airport was envisioned as 55-gate terminal, however, most of the international airlines didn’t give their nod to the plan as they thought that the terminal would not be that big for future traffic. Nevertheless, Architect Wallace Harrison came out with a plan in which each airline at JFK would be allotted its own space so as to create its own terminal design. With this, the construction of the airport seemed practical and the terminals become quite navigable. The master plan after the revision was given approval in the year 1955. It was also designed to house aircraft of up to 300,000 pound; however in 1960 it was slightly modified to house Boeing 747s.

In December 1957, The International Arrivals Building was opened at JFK. It was the first terminal that was 700 meters long. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, this terminal allowed the accommodation of a large number of aircrafts. After that another terminal 7 was opened by United Airlines that was a Skidmore design, which was quite similar to IAB. In 1960, Terminal 8 was opened by American Airlines. Pan American World Airways opened Terminal 3 in the same year. A joint terminal in 1962 was opened by Northwest Airlines, Braniff International as well as Northeast Airlines. Terminal 7 and 8 were demolished to construct Terminal 8 for American Airlines. In the year 1958-59, major airlines started scheduling jets into the Kennedy Airport that was then called as Idlewild. Later in 1998, on May May 28, a new Terminal 1 opened. And over the period of time, this airport became one of the most active ones in NYC.

Baggage Counter

At JFK New York, luggage can be stored at two places. One is at Terminal 1 and other is at Terminal 4. Terminal 4 is near the Arrivals area where luggage can be stored for 24-hours. The call information of the terminal is as 718.751.2947. As per the size of bag, the luggage rates can be anywhere in between $4-$16. Similarly at the Terminal 1, the baggage can be stored. The service is set near Arrivals area only and it is open for restricted time only that is from 7am-11pm. The storage rates at this terminal are also the same which is $4-$16, as per amount of luggage.

AirTrain at JFK International Airport NYC

A convenient AirTrain is available at the JFK Airport in NYC for the commuters arriving to and departing from New York. The development of AirTrain in JFK began in the year 1998 which was completed in the year 2003. The rail links the terminals to subways of New York City. This AirTrain services all the eight terminals of JFK and doesn’t even cost much. You can avail the services at $5 per ticket. Apart from this, the tickets can be bought from the AirTrain Metrocard vending machines, which are set at the terminals. Services of the AirTrain are offered to PENN Station in Manhattan, besides connecting the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). The commuters of NYC who wish to travel to Manhattan are required to pay $2.225 extra for accessing the subway. Also, the journey from the airport to Manhattan through this AirTrain takes around 35 minutes.

On an average, NYC passengers can expect the AirTrain to pick them up at an interval of every seven minutes from 4am to 8pm. And during slower hours (8pm-4am), the AirTrain picks up at an interval of 15 minutes. The AirTrain makes the most convenient and cheapest way to commute from JFK International. This facility doesn’t cost you a penny when you are traveling within the Airport. Besides, it also takes approximately 2 minutes to commute amid terminals.

Near about 100 airlines from different 50 countries operate scheduled air flights from John F. Kennedy International Airport. The JFK - London Heathrow route makes the prime U.S. international airport combination that carried around 2.6 million travelers in the year 2011. Large share of the traffic is accounted towards the domestic travel, majorly transcontinental.