Centerlines - January 2008 - (Page 41)

GR AND OPENING AA Opens New JFK Terminal 8 B Y N IC OL E N E L S ON E N C O M PA S S I N G M O R E T H A N 1.5 million square feet, American Airlines’ Terminal 8 has opened as the newest and largest single-airline terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Since JFK is primarily filled with unit terminals, airlines build and finance the airport’s facilities themselves. American Airlines penned an agreement with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to tear down the previous Terminal 8 and build around the former Terminal 9 to make way for the new, $1.3 billion facility opened in August. American agreed to pay for the terminal’s construction in return for a long-term lease running through 2036. The Port Authority, through the Industrial Development Agency, issued American a special facility debt to pay for the majority of the 36gate terminal that will be paid back as debt service over the life of the bond. “Obviously, the port owns the airport, and there are permitting and commissioning aspects of the project that go through the port,” said Laura Einspanier, American Airlines’ vice president of corporate real estate. “But how we went about doing it was pretty much left to us.” In retaining the architect as well as the general contractors and subcontractors, American was able to fulfill a vision to erect a passenger-friendly and state-ofthe-art new airport terminal that Einspanier describes as “spectacular.” American’s JFK services previously operated from two different terminals that were built in the late 1950s and after years of operation were “dark, dank, dingy, old, tired and worn,” Einspanier said. “We consolidated all of the operations into one terminal so that passengers didn’t have to figure out whether they were departing out of Terminal 8 or Terminal 9 or if they had to walk from one terminal to another,” Einspanier said. “That alone is a huge improvement from the passenger perspective of going through JFK on American.” Ken Bower, American Airlines’ managing director of facilities, has been involved in the project from Day 1. Since the facility was designed in 1999, his goal was to make the terminal “light, bright and airy.” “It is a much more pleasant place for passengers from the minute View of the new AA Terminal 8 at JFK they walk into the door of the terminal or get off the plane to the minute they leave the terminal,” he said, noting the 85-foot ceilings in the main terminal and ample room for passengers to get around. “In the concourses, we have wider corridors for passengers to get through to significantly larger hold rooms and a significantly larger U.S. Federal Inspection Services facility for the purpose of processing more than 1,600 international arriving passengers per hour. Throughout, it is much larger and easier to navigate.” One of the terminal’s notable design changes is apparent in the ticketing area. In addition to 44 selfservice check-in machines with both domestic and international check-in capabilities, 84 ticketing positions with automated baggage transport to the in-line security baggage system are positioned perpendicular to the roadway and parallel to the centralized, 10-lane security checkpoint to make the terminal layout intuitive for passengers. With an emphasis on international travel, a 397-foot-long “Skyline of the World” mural along the east wall in the main terminal underscores the facility’s status as one of the world’s premier domestic international gateways. Concessions were also greatly improved to cater toward the international passenger base with significant duty-free shopping and a nice array of retail and food and beverage offerings. Forty-two concessions locations covering 53,000 square feet encompass space that is 80 percent larger than in the previous facilities. Premium services include two Admirals Club lounges as well as a Flagship Lounge, a 7,000-squarefoot facility designed to seat 107 international and transcontinental first-class passengers. ■ | CENTERLINES 41

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - January 2008

President’s Message
Canadian Airports
Associates’ Corner
Policy Center
Regulatory Front
On the Hill and On the Stump
One on One: Dave Barger
Revenue: The Concessions Awards
Environment: O’Hare Expansion
Passenger Focus: Houston Friendly
Safety and Security: After Comair, What Next?
Air Service Recruiting: Charleston’s Acquisition of AirTran
On Management: Performance Benchmarking at DFW
Now Underway
Grand Opening
Conference Previews and Reviews
New Members
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - January 2008