Aircraft Wiki

JFK Airport Tower and Terminal

The JFK control tower and Terminal 4.

John F. Kennedy International Airport (ICAO: KJFK) is a large airport located in New York City, specifically the borough of Queens. It is commonly referred to as New York-JFK, Kennedy Airport, or simply by its IATA Code, JFK. It is one of the busiest airports in the United States, and a member of the largest airport system in the country, along with the LaGuardia and Newark airports. The airport was originally named Idlewild Airport, however, in December 1963, it was renamed after U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated that November. JFK is the base of operations for JetBlue and a major hub for many American passenger and cargo airlines, including American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. United Airlines is the only flag carrier airline that does not have a hub at JFK. Instead, it has its hub in Newark which was acquired through their merger with Continental Airlines.

The airport was originally called Idlewild Airport. It was intended to relieve the overcrowded nearby LaGuardia Airport. The first flight from the airport was on July 1, 1948.

The airport is unique because each terminal is operated by either an airline or a group of airlines. The airport was originally built with nine terminals (for Eastern Airlines; Northeast, Braniff, and Northwest; Pan Am (the Worldport and later Terminal 3); international carriers (the International Arrivals Building); TWA (the TWA Flight Center); National Airlines (the Sundrome and later Terminal 6); BOAC; American; and United respectively), however now there are only six, as the American and former United terminals were replaced by today's Terminal 8 in 2007, Terminal 6 was demolished in 2011, and Terminal 3 was demolished in 2013.

  • Terminal 1 is used by Air France, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, and Lufthansa, as well as some other international carriers including Austrian and Brussels. It was built in 1998.
  • Terminal 2 is used exclusively by Delta. It was built in 1962, making it the oldest terminal. It was originally built for Northeast, Braniff, and Northwest. It is planned to be replaced by an expanded Terminal 1.
  • Terminal 4 was built in 2001 and expanded in 2013. It is used by Delta and most international carriers.
  • Terminal 5 was built in 2008. It is used primarily by JetBlue, but also by Hawaiian Airlines, Aer Lingus and TAP Air Portugal. It was built on the site of the iconic Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Flight Center, whose headhouse has been converted into the TWA hotel.
  • Terminal 7 is the only terminal on US soil to be operated by an international carrier, that carrier being British Airways. It is also used by ANA and Alaska Airlines. It was built in 1970. It is planned to be replaced by a new Terminal 6, after which British Airways will move into an expanded Terminal 8.
  • Terminal 8 is used primarily by American Airlines and some of its OneWorld partners. It was built in 2007.


John F. Kennedy International Airport spans 8.1 square miles (21 sq km). Two pairs of parallel runways surround the airport's central terminal area.

Number Length Width ILS Surface
4L/22R 12,079 ft (3,682 m) 200 ft (61 m) Cat. I (both directions) Concrete
4R/22L 8,400 ft (2,560 m) 200 ft (61 m) Cat. III (both directions) Asphalt
13L/31R 10,000 ft (3,048 m) 150 ft (46 m) Cat. II (13L); Cat. I (31R) Asphalt
13R/31L 14,511 ft (4,423 m) 200 ft (61 m) Cat. I (31 L) Concrete