JFK Airport secures deal for new 346,000-square-foot cargo facility

New York’s JFK International Airport is getting a cargo upgrade, as the New York Port Authority last month approved a lease deal with Aeroterm for a new 346,000-squre-foot cargo handling facility at JFK and upgrades to two taxiways, for an investment of US$132 million.

The lease approves the development of the new cargo facility at the present site of Buildings 260/261, which cover more than 26 acres and are currently vacant. Third-party ground handler Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) will operate from the facility, which will allow for the handling of up to three of the largest freighters at once and include elevated traversing vehicles for cargo handling and storage, as well as a temperature-controlled pharmaceutical handling area.

The lease terms are good for 33 years with a 15-year renewal option, and grants the Port Authority $117 million in rental fees from Aero JFK II, which is managed by Aeroterm. The Port Authority’s investment accounts for about $70 million of its total $132 million investment in this phase of JFK upgrades.

In addition to the new cargo handling facility, the Port Authority approved a $62.2 million project to upgrade JFK’s CA and CB taxiways. The improvements include realigning parts of both taxiways to grant large freighter access to the airport’s north cargo area, as well as improvements to the taxiways’ electrical and drainage systems and upgrades to crossing taxiway areas.

New York’s local government said it is committed to improving cargo operations at the region’s airports, and a recent meeting of the city’s Committee on Economic Development cited the failure to invest in infrastructure upgrades as a major factor in JFK’s cargo volume decline in 2016. According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, this investment is the first step in correcting that oversight. “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.

JFK ranked at No. 22 in Air Cargo World’s Top 50 Cargo Airports for 2016, based on data from Airports Council International (ACI).

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