A 33-year lease between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and cargo property developer Aeroterm for a new 346,000 square-foot cargo handling facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) was announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last month.
The $132 million investment will provide JFK with a new facility and taxiway upgrades as the first phase of the modernization of air cargo operations at JFK. It also fulfills a recommendation of the Governor’s Aviation Advisory Panel to enhance the airport’s position in the international air cargo market.
The facility will be home to third-part ground handler Worldwide Flight Services and will have the flexibility to handle three of the largest air cargo freighters at one time, said the governor. Elevated traversing vehicles designed for maximum efficiency in the handling and storage of cargo will be utilized as well a dedicated, temperature-controlled pharmaceutical handling area.
“This project serves as a critical first step in revitalizing JFK’s air cargo sector. We are privileged to be entrusted by the Governor and the Port Authority to fund and develop such an essential piece of JFK’s future,” said Erin Gruver, Aeroterm’s chief development officer. “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.”
In addition, the Port Authority Board also approved a $62.2 million project to rehabilitate and enhance Taxiways CA and CB, including the realignment of portions of both taxiways to allow large cargo planes to access the airport’s north cargo area, along with electrical and drainage improvements and upgrades of crossing taxiway areas. In September, the board also approved a $215 million project for a high-speed taxiway.
“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 lease has a 15-year renewal option and includes provisions for $117 million in rental fees to the Port Authority from Aero JFK II, and $70 million for design and construction costs of the new facility. Additionally, the company will be responsible for demolition of the existing buildings and removal of the debris, with the Port Authority reimbursing up to $24 million of those costs, the governor said.
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