John F. Kennedy International Airport

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John F. Kennedy International Airport
JFK Airport Logo.jpg
JFKNewYorkTerm4 1.jpg
Terminal 4
WMO: 74486
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of New York[1]
OperatorPort Authority of New York and New Jersey[1]
ServesNew York City
LocationJamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
Hub for
Focus city for
Time zoneEST (UTC−05:00)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC−04:00)
Elevation AMSL13 ft / 4 m
Coordinates40°38′23″N 073°46′44″W / 40.63972°N 73.77889°W / 40.63972; -73.77889Coordinates: 40°38′23″N 073°46′44″W / 40.63972°N 73.77889°W / 40.63972; -73.77889
FAA airport diagram as of September 2014.
FAA airport diagram as of September 2014.
JFK is located in New York City
Location within New York City
Statistics (2013)
Aircraft operations (PANYNJ)406,181
Passengers (PANYNJ)50,423,765
Source: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey[2]
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For the regional airport in Wisconsin, see John F. Kennedy Memorial Airport.
John F. Kennedy International Airport
JFK Airport Logo.jpg
JFKNewYorkTerm4 1.jpg
Terminal 4
WMO: 74486
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of New York[1]
OperatorPort Authority of New York and New Jersey[1]
ServesNew York City
LocationJamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
Hub for
Focus city for
Time zoneEST (UTC−05:00)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC−04:00)
Elevation AMSL13 ft / 4 m
Coordinates40°38′23″N 073°46′44″W / 40.63972°N 73.77889°W / 40.63972; -73.77889Coordinates: 40°38′23″N 073°46′44″W / 40.63972°N 73.77889°W / 40.63972; -73.77889
FAA airport diagram as of September 2014.
FAA airport diagram as of September 2014.
JFK is located in New York City
Location within New York City
Statistics (2013)
Aircraft operations (PANYNJ)406,181
Passengers (PANYNJ)50,423,765
Source: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey[2]
Map showing New York City and the locations of JFK (1), LaGuardia (2) and Newark (3) airports
Aerial view of JFK from the northeast.
Looking at runway 4L and out to sea.

John F. Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFKICAO: KJFKFAA LID: JFK) is a major airport in the borough of Queens in New York City, owned by the City of New York and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey under a long-term operating lease. It is about 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway in the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North America.[3] It is also the third-leading freight gateway to the country by value of shipments.[4] In 2013, the airport handled 50,423,765 passengers,[5] making it the 19th-busiest airport in the world and sixth-busiest in the United States by passenger traffic. Together, JFK International, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty airports, all operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, are the largest airport system in the United States, second in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and first in the world by total flight operations.

Dedicated as New York International Airport in 1948,[6] the airport was more commonly known as Idlewild Airport until 1963, when it was renamed in memory of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.[7]

Over 90 airlines operate out of JFK.[8] It is the base of operations for JetBlue Airways and is a major international gateway hub for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. In the past, it has been a hub for Eastern Air Lines, Gemini Air Cargo,[9] National Airlines, Pan American World Airways and Trans World Airlines. It is one of only two airports in North America, the other being Toronto Pearson International Airport, with scheduled direct flights to all six inhabited continents.[8]



John F. Kennedy International Airport was originally Idlewild Airport (IATA: IDLICAO: KIDLFAA LID: IDL) after the Idlewild Golf Course that it displaced. It was built to relieve LaGuardia Airport which was crowded soon after opening in 1939. Construction began in 1943. About $60 million was initially spent, but only 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land on the site of the Idlewild Golf Course were earmarked for use.[10]

The project was renamed Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport in 1943 after a Queens resident who had commanded a Federalized National Guard unit in the southern United States and who had died in late 1942. In March 1948 the New York City Council changed JFK's name to New York International Airport, Anderson Field, but the common name was "Idlewild" until 1963.[11]

The Port Authority leased the JFK property from the City of New York in 1947 and maintains this lease today.[1] The first airline flight from JFK was on July 1, 1948; the opening ceremony was attended by President Harry S. Truman.[10] The Port Authority cancelled foreign airlines' permits to use LaGuardia, forcing them to move to JFK during the next couple of years.[12]

JFK opened with six runways and a seventh under construction;[13] runways 1L and 7L were held in reserve and never came into use as runways. Runway 31R (originally 8,000 ft or 2,438 m) is still in use; runway 31L (originally 9,500 ft or 2,896 m) opened soon after the rest of the airport and is still in use; runway 1R closed in 1957 and runway 7R closed around 1966. Runway 4 (originally 8,000 ft, now runway 4L) opened June 1949 and runway 4R was added ten years later. A smaller runway 14/32 was built after runway 7R closed and was used through 1990[14] by general aviation, STOL, and smaller commuter flights.[citation needed]

The Avro Jetliner landed at JFK on April 18, 1950 and maybe in January 1951; a Sud Aviation Caravelle prototype was the next jetliner to land at JFK, on May 2, 1957. Later in 1957 the USSR sought approval for two Tupolev Tu-104 flights carrying diplomats to JFK; the Port Authority did not allow them, saying noise tests had to be done first. (The Caravelle had been tested at Paris.) The airport was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24, 1963, a month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.[15] Then mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. proposed the renaming.[16]


The Port of New York Authority originally planned a single 55-gate terminal, but the major airlines did not agree with this plan, arguing that the terminal would be far too small for future traffic.[17] Architect Wallace Harrison then designed a master plan under which each major airline at the airport would be given its own space to develop its own terminal design.[18] This scheme made construction more practical, made terminals more navigable and introduced incentives for airlines to compete with each other for the best design.[17] The revised plan met airline approval in 1955, with seven terminals initially planned—five for individual airlines, one developed for 3 airlines, and an international arrivals building. (National Airlines and British Airways arrived later.)[11]

JFK was designed for aircraft up to 300,000-pound (140,000 kg) gross weight[25] and had to be modified in the late 1960s to accommodate Boeing 747s.[26]

In 1951, JFK averaged 73 daily airline operations (takeoffs plus landings); the October 1951 Airline Guide shows nine domestic departures a day, on National and Northwest. (Some of TWA's transatlantic flights had domestic segments but carried no domestic passengers.) When Newark closed in February 1952 much of its traffic moved to JFK, which averaged 242 daily airline operations in 1952. L-1049 Constellations and DC-7s appeared in 1951–53 and didn't use LaGuardia for their first several years, bringing more traffic to JFK. The April 1957 OAG shows two departures a week on Aerolineas Argentinas, 24 on Air France, 164 American, 6 Avianca, 42 BOAC and BWIA, 35 Capital, 7 Cubana, 252 Eastern, 2 El Al, 2 Iberia, 7 Icelandic, 17 KLM, 2 LAI, 6 LAV, 9 Lufthansa, 156 National, 75 Northwest, 131 Pan American, 9 Sabena, 26 SAS, 6 Swissair, 95 Trans-Canada, 115 TWA, 90 United and 3 Varig. (For most airlines the counts are for the beginning of April, but some transatlantic airlines only show their expanded schedules starting later in the month.)[citation needed]

Airlines began scheduling jets into JFK in 1958–59; LaGuardia didn't get jet aircraft until 1964, so JFK soon became New York's busiest airline airport. In 1962–67, JFK had more airline takeoffs and landings than LaGuardia and Newark combined and was the second-busiest airline airport in the country, peaking at 403,981 airline operations in 1967. During 1960–66 LaGuardia got a new terminal and longer runways, and by the middle 1970s the two airports had roughly equal passenger airline traffic (by flight count, not passenger count). (Until the 1980s Newark was always third place, except during LGA's reconstruction.) The supersonic Concorde, operated by Air France and British Airways, provided scheduled trans-Atlantic supersonic service to JFK from November 22, 1977 until October 24, 2003, when Concorde was retired by both carriers.[27][28][29]

JFK went through a $10.3 billion redevelopment. Construction of the AirTrain JFK rapid transit system began in 1998; completed in December 2003, the rail network links each airport terminal to New York City subways and regional commuter trains at Howard Beach and Jamaica, Queens. The airport opened a new Terminal 1 on May 28, 1998, and the $1.4 billion replacement for the International Arrivals Building, Terminal 4, opened on May 24, 2001.[30][31] Construction has been completed on JetBlue Airways's new Terminal 5, which incorporates the historic landmark TWA Flight Center terminal, while Terminals 8 and 9 were recently demolished and rebuilt as a unified Terminal 8 for the American Airlines hub. In 2008 the Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved a $20 million planning study for the redevelopment of Terminals 2 and 3, the hub of Delta Air Lines.[32]

On March 19, 2007 JFK became the first airport in the United States to receive the Airbus A380 with passengers aboard. The route, with capacity for more than 500 passengers was operated by Lufthansa and Airbus and arrived at Terminal 1. On August 1, 2008 JFK received the first regularly scheduled commercial A380 flight to the United States, on Emirates' New York – Dubai route using Terminal 4.[33] This service was suspended in 2009, due to poor demand;[34] they re-introduced the aircraft in November 2010. Other airlines that operate the A380 to JFK include Singapore Airlines on the New York – Frankfurt – Singapore route, Air France on the New York – Paris-Charles de Gaulle route, Lufthansa on the New York – Frankfurt route and Korean Air on the New York – Seoul route.[citation needed][35]


Runways and operational infrastructure[edit]

John F. Kennedy International Airport spans over 31.20 square kilometres (12.05 sq mi). There are four runways (two pairs of parallel runways) surround the airport's central terminal area.[36]

13R–31L14,698 feet (4,480 m)200 feet (61 m)Cat. I (31L)Second-longest commercial runway in North America (the longest is a 16,000 feet (4,900 m) runway at Denver International Airport). Adjacent to Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Handled approximately one half of the airport's scheduled departures. It was a backup runway for space shuttle missions.[37] It was closed on March 1, 2010 for four months. The reconstruction of the runway widened it from 150 to 200 feet (46 to 61 m) with a concrete base instead of asphalt. It reopened on June 29, 2010.[38]
4R–22L8,400 feet (2,560 m)200 feet (61 m)Cat. III (both directions)Equipped at both ends with Approach Lighting Systems (ALS) with sequenced flashers, and touchdown zone (TDZ) lighting. The first Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) in North America was installed at the northeast end of the runway in 1996. The bed consists of cellular cement material, which can safely decelerate and stop an aircraft that overruns the runway. The arrestor bed concept was originated and developed by the Port Authority and installed at JFK Airport as a joint research and development project with the FAA and industry.
4L–22R12,500 feet (3,800 m)150 feet (46 m)Cat. I (both directions)Adjacent to Terminals 4 and 5. Both ends allow instrument landings down to three-quarters of a mile visibility. Takeoffs can be conducted with one-eighth of a mile visibility.
13L–31R11,302 feet (3,445 m)150 feet (46 m)Cat. II (13L); Cat. I (31R)Adjacent to Terminals 5 and 7. Equipped at both ends with ILS and ALS systems. Runway 13L has two additional visual aids for landing aircraft, a Visual Approach Slope Indicator System (VASI) and a Lead-In Lighting System (LDIN). The ILS on 13L, along with TDZ lighting, allows landings down to half a mile visibility. Takeoffs can be made with visibility of one-eighth of a mile.

JFK has over 25 miles (40 km) of taxiways to move aircraft in and around the airfield. The standard width of these taxiways is 75 feet (23 m), with 25-foot (7.6 m) heavy-duty shoulders and 25-foot (7.6 m) erosion control pavements on each side. The taxiways have centerline lights and are generally of asphalt concrete composition 15 to 18 inches (460 mm) thick. An illuminated sign system provides directional information for taxiing aircraft.

The Air Traffic Control Tower, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and constructed on the ramp-side of Terminal 4, began full FAA operations in October 1994.[39] An Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE) radar unit sits atop the tower. A gas-fired electric cogeneration plant generates electricity for the airport, with an output of about 90 megawatts. It uses thermal energy from the capture of waste heat to heat and cool all of the passenger terminals and other facilities in the central terminal area.[40]

Aircraft service facilities include seven aircraft hangars, an engine overhaul building, a 32-million-US-gallon (120,000 m3) aircraft fuel storage facility, and a truck garage.[citation needed]

In the last few years it has made many improvements to terminals, roadways and inter-terminal transportation.[41]


A map of JFK's terminals prior to the demolition of Terminal 3 (in light green).

JFK has six terminals containing 128 gates, numbered 1–8, but skipping Terminal 6 (demolished in 2011) and Terminal 3 (demolished in 2013).

The terminal buildings, with the exception of the former Tower Air terminal, are arranged in a deformed U-shaped wavy pattern around a central area containing parking, a power plant, and other airport facilities. The terminals are connected by the AirTrain system and access roads. Wayfinding signage throughout the terminals was designed by Paul Mijksenaar.[42] A 2006 survey by J.D. Power and Associates in conjunction with Aviation Week found JFK ranked second in overall traveller satisfaction among large airports in the United States, behind McCarran International Airport which serves the Las Vegas metropolitan area.[43]

Until the early 1990s, each terminal was known by the primary airline that served it, except for Terminal 4, which was known as the International Arrivals Building. In the early 1990s, all of the terminals were given numbers except for the Tower Air terminal, which sat outside the Central Terminals area and was not numbered. Like in the other airports controlled by the Port Authority, terminals are sometimes managed and maintained by independent terminal operators. At JFK, all terminals are currently managed by airlines or consortiums of the airlines serving them, with the exception of the Schiphol Group-operated Terminal 4. All terminals except Terminals 2 and 5 (although a new international arrivals hall is under construction for Terminal 5 and it only accepts Pre-Cleared Flights) can handle international arrivals.

Most inter-terminal connections require passengers to exit security, then walk , use a shuttle-bus or using the AirTran JFK to get to the other terminal, then re-clear security.

Current terminals[edit]

Terminal 1[edit]
Terminal 1

Terminal 1 was opened in 1998, 50 years after the opening of JFK, at the direction of the Terminal One Group, a consortium of four key operating carriers: Air France, Japan Airlines, Korean Air and Lufthansa.[44] This partnership was founded after the four airlines reached agreement that existing international carrier facilities were inadequate for their needs.[45][46][47] It was designed by William Nicholas Bodouva + Associates.[48] Terminal 1, along with Terminal 4, has the capability to handle the superjumbo Airbus A380 aircraft, which are flown by Air France on the route from Paris Charles De Gaulle, Lufthansa on the route from Frankfurt Airport and Korean Air on the route from Incheon Airport. Air France operated Concorde here until 2003. Terminal 1 has 11 gates.

Terminal 2[edit]

Terminal 2 opened in 1962 as the home of Northeast Airlines, Braniff and Northwest Airlines, and is now exclusively used and operated by Delta Air Lines. After the demise of Northeast Airlines and Braniff, the building was taken over by Pan American World Airways, and subsequently by Delta. Since the opening of the Terminal 4 addition in May 2013, Terminal 2 has been designated as the "C" gates by Delta, and has 7 Jetway-equipped gates (C60-C63, C67-C70) and 17 stands for Delta Connection carriers (C64A–H, C64J, C66K–N, C66P–S). T2 will be closed once Phase Two of the T4 expansion is completed by 2015.[49]

Terminal 4[edit]
Terminal 4 replaced the former International Arrivals Building in May 2001

Terminal 4 is able to handle the Airbus A380 and was developed by LCOR, Inc and is managed by JFK International Air Terminal (IAT) LLC, a subsidiary of the Schiphol Group. This terminal serves as a major international hub for Delta Air Lines and was the first one in the United States to be managed by a foreign airport operator. Terminal 4 is the major gateway for international arrivals at JFK. Opened in 2001 and designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill,[50] the 1,500,000-square-foot (140,000 m2) building was built at a cost of $1.4 billion and replaced JFK's old International Arrivals Building, or simply IAB, which opened in 1957.

Terminal 4 has 26 gates in two concourses: A2–A7, B20, B22–B41. As of 2013, Delta and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed[51] to an additional $175 million phase II expansion, which will allow Delta to construct 11 regional jet gates at Terminal 4, as well. The agreement allows Delta to eliminate a proposed physical connection it has previously planned to build with its existing Terminal 2 and instead close T2. The work on the Delta hub has commenced, with funding primarily from $900 million in special-project bonds.[52] Delta will seek funding for the regional jet expansion from the New York City Industrial Development Agency.[53]

Concourse A has six gates, numbered A2–A7. Concourse B has twenty gates, numbered B20–B41, with the exclusion of B21. As Terminal 4 was built during the construction of the AirTrain, the AirTrain station was built inside the terminal building. Other AirTrain stations are built across from terminal buildings. Delta Air Lines has also moved much of its operations to T4, as it expands operations beyond T2, with T3 now closed.

The terminal was recently expanded. The first phase of Delta’s $1.4 billion project at the airport[49][54]—which includes nine new international gates, additional baggage space, a centralized security checkpoint (moving two checkpoints into one location just after check-in), and customs and border-security facilities—was completed on May 24, 2013. Terminal 4 also serves many international airlines daily, including few Skyteam airlines and the majority of Star and non-aligned airlines.

Terminal 5[edit]
Main article: TWA Flight Center
Terminal 5

Terminal 5 opened in 2008 for JetBlue Airways, the manager and primary (then only) tenant of the building, and serves as the base of their large JFK hub. The terminal was re-designed by Gensler and constructed by Turner Construction, and it is known for its many gift shops and gourmet restaurants, including a steak house and a sushi restaurant. It sits behind the preserved Eero Saarinen-designed terminal originally known as the TWA Flight Center, which is now connected to the new structure and is considered part of T5. The Saarinen building is currently closed for refurbishment; it is unclear when the building will reopen or what purpose it will have. Saarinen also designed the terminal at Washington Dulles International Airport. The active T5 building has 26 gates: 1–12, 14–27. There is no gate 13 at T5. The terminal is also used by Hawaiian Airlines, which partnered with JetBlue and began service in Terminal 5 in June 2012.[55] Following the introduction of United States border preclearance in Ireland, Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus, with its passengers having already cleared American immigration and customs in Dublin or Shannon, moved from Terminal 4 to Terminal 5 on April 3, 2013.[56] On May 31, 2012, JetBlue announced that the Port Authority had approved an expansion to T5 in order to accommodate international arrivals, whereas now non-cleared international JetBlue flights arrive at Terminal 4. The new area will be known as T5i and is tentatively scheduled for completion in November 2014.[57] T5i will sit on part of the footprint of the demolished T6.

Terminal 7[edit]
Terminal 7 - Departure Level

Terminal 7 was designed by GMW Architects[58] and built for BOAC and Air Canada in 1970. It is currently operated by British Airways. This terminal is the only airport terminal operated by a foreign carrier on US soil, though Terminal 1 is operated by a consortium of foreign carriers serving the building. A variety of Oneworld alliance carriers operate out of Terminal 7 at this time, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia (which is owned by the same parent company as British Airways), and Qantas. Star Alliance carriers United Airlines and ANA also use the terminal. Between 1989 and 1991, the terminal was renovated and expanded at a cost of $120 million.[59] The expansion was designed by William Nicholas Bodouva + Associates, Architects.[48] In 1997, the Port Authority approved British Airways' plans to renovate and expand the terminal. The $251 million project was designed by Corgan Associates[60] and was completed in 2003.[61] The renovated terminal has 12 gates.[62] In 2008, British Airways unveiled a $30 million, 18-month-long project to enhance its premium ground facilities at the terminal.

British Airways is currently evaluating the future of Terminal 7, as its lease with the Port Authority ends in 2015. After the alliance between BA/Iberia and American Airlines was finalized in 2010, American began talks to move BA and Iberia into an expanded Terminal 8.[63] BA temporarily moved one of its flights to Terminal 8 in March 2013 due to ongoing renovation work in Terminal 7.[64]

Terminal 8[edit]
Inside the security checkpoint of the new Terminal 8.

In 1999, American Airlines began an eight-year program to build the largest passenger terminal at JFK, designed by DMJM Aviation to replace both Terminal 8 and Terminal 9. The new terminal was built in four phases, which involved the construction of a new midfield concourse, demolition of the old Terminal 9, and finally demolition of the old Terminal 8. It opened in stages between 2005 and had its "official" opening in August 2007.[65] It is a major Oneworld hub, and American Airlines is the major Oneworld carrier at Terminal 8. American is the largest carrier in and manager of the terminal, and is the third largest carrier at JFK. In addition to operations at Terminal 7, some Oneworld airlines including Finnair, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Air Berlin, Qatar Airways, LAN Airlines (and its affiliates),[66] TAM Airlines and US Airways operate out of Terminal 8.

The terminal is twice the size of Madison Square Garden. It offers dozens of retail and food outlets, 84 ticket counters, 44 self-service kiosks, 10 security checkpoint lanes and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility that can process more than 1,600 people an hour. Terminal 8 has an annual capacity of 12.8M passengers.[67] It has two American Airlines Admirals Clubs and a Flagship Lounge for premium class passengers.

Terminal 8 has 29 gates: 12 gates in Concourse B (1–8, 10, 12, 14, and 16) and 17 gates in Concourse C (31–47).[68] Gate 31 is further subdivided into 5 regional service gates for small jets, 31A–31E. Gate 32 is subdivided into 4 regional service gates for small jets, 32F–32I. The total number of jetbridges is, therefore, 36. Passenger access to Concourse C is by an underground tunnel which includes moving walkways. Of interest are a history of American Airlines logos on display between the security checkpoint and the concourses. Additional 11-21 more gates are planned to be constructed and the regional terminal will be renovated and able to handled 737-800. All regional will be moved to Terminal 4 upon completion.[citation needed]

Previous terminals[edit]

JFK Airport was originally built with ten terminals, rather than the six it has today. It had ten terminals until the late 1990s, then nine until the early 2000s, followed by eight until 2011 and seven until May 2013.

Eastern Air Lines terminal[edit]

This terminal, on the site of today's Terminal 1, opened in 1959 and was demolished in 1995 after the collapse of Eastern Air Lines in 1991.

Terminal 3 (Worldport)[edit]
Main article: Worldport (Pan Am)

Terminal 3 was built as the Worldport in 1960 for Pan American; it expanded after the introduction of the 747 in 1970. After Pan Am's demise in 1991 Delta Air Lines took over ownership of the terminal and was its only occupant until its closure in 2013, and had a connector to Terminal 2, Delta's other terminal. Terminal 3 had 16 Jetway equipped gates: 1–10, 12, 14–18 with two hardstand gates (Gate 11) and a helipad on Taxiway 'KK'.

A $1.2 billion project was completed in 2013, which Terminal 4 was expanded with Delta is moving its T3 operations to T4.

On May 23, 2013 the final departure from the terminal, Delta Air Lines Flight 268, a Boeing 747-400 to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, departed from Gate 6 at 11:25pm local time. The terminal ceased operations on May 24, 2013, 53 years to the day from when it opened on May 24, 1960.[69] Demolition began soon thereafter, with demolition complete by summer 2014.

There has been large media outcry, particularly in other countries, concerning the demolition of the Worldport. Several online petitions requesting the restoration of the original 'flying saucer' have gained popularity.[70][71][72][73]

Terminal 6 (Sundrome)[edit]
Main article: Sundrome

Terminal 6 had 14 gates. Designed by I. M. Pei, it was built in 1970 as the National Airlines Sundrome. Later, Trans World Airlines used it. In 2001, JetBlue Airways began service from Terminal 6, later opening a temporary complex in 2006 that increased its capacity by adding seven gates. After JetBlue vacated the terminal, these were demolished.[74] The original building has been demolished to allow for an extension of Terminal 5 dedicated to JetBlue international service, Terminal 5i.[57][75]

Old Terminal 8 and 9[edit]

The original Terminal 8 opened in 1960; its stained-glass facade was the largest in existence at the time. It was always used by American Airlines, and in later years it was used by other oneworld airlines that did not use Terminal 7. Terminal 9 opened in 1959 and was used by United Airlines[11] until it vacated the terminal in 1991 and became a tenant at British Airways' Terminal 7. Terminal 9 then became the home of American Airlines' domestic operations and American Eagle flights for the remainder of its life. The terminals were demolished in the early-to-mid-2000s and replaced with a new Terminal 8.[65]

Tower Air terminal[edit]

The Tower Air terminal, unlike other terminals at JFK airport, sat outside the Central Terminals area in Building 213 in Cargo Area A. Originally used by Pan Am until the expansion of the Worldport (later Terminal 3), it was later used by Tower Air and TWA shuttle until the airline was acquired by American Airlines in 2001. Building 213 has not been used since 2000. It is located next to the Delta Air Lines employees parking lot number 7 which was once the Tower Air terminal parking lot.[citation needed]

Airport hotel[edit]

As of May 2013, there is no operating hotel on the airport premises. The former Ramada Plaza JFK Hotel is Building 144,[76][77] and it was the only on-site hotel at JFK Airport.[78] It was previously a part of Forte Hotels and previously the Travelodge New York JFK.[79] Due to its role in housing friends and relatives of aircraft crashes in the 1990s and 2000s, the hotel became known as the "Heartbreak Hotel".[80][81] In 2009 the PANYNJ stated in its preliminary 2010 budget that it was closing the hotel due to "declining aviation activity and a need for substantial renovation" and that it expected to save $1 million per month.[82] The hotel was scheduled to close on December 1, 2009. Almost 200 employees were to lose their jobs. As of 2009, the Port Authority hoped to build a new hotel on the airport property.[83]

Other facilities[edit]

North American Airlines has its headquarters in Building 141 along Federal Circle, on the airport property.[84] North American Airlines is one of the building's tenants; the building also has Servisair and VOA as tenants and Port Authority storage,[85] and serves as a storage lot for airport buses.[citation needed] Building 141 was originally a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) administration building.[86] In the 1990s it served as the PANYNJ police headquarters.[87] In 2000 an $800,000, 5,000 square feet (460 m2) annex of the building opened to serve students of Aviation High School in Long Island City.[86] In 2003 Building 141 was dedicated in honor of Morris Sloane, a PANYNJ aviation employee.[88]

Servisair has its offices in Building 86.[85]

CAL Cargo Airlines has its offices in Building 23.[89]

Currently Nippon Cargo Airlines has its New York City branch in Cargo Building 66.[90] Previously it was in Building 79.[91]

Previously Overseas National Airways (ONA) had its headquarters at the airport.[92] When Tower Air existed, its head offices were in Building 178 and later in Hangar 17 at JFK Airport.[93][94] When Metro International Airways existed, its head office was in Building 178.[95]

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD) provides law enforcement, fire rescue and emergency medical services to the airport. Its JFK Command is based in Building 269.

PANYNJ operations and administrative offices are located in Building 14.

Three chapels, including Our Lady of the Skies Chapel, provide for the religious needs of airline passengers.[96]

Sheltair is the current FBO on the field serving General Aviation traffic. The company became the first privately operated FBO at JFK Airport in its 65 year history when it opened on May 21, 2012.[97]

JFK mail facility

Information services[edit]

In the immediate vicinity of the airport, parking and other information can be obtained by tuning to a highway advisory radio station at 1630 AM.[98] A second station at 1700 AM provides information on traffic concerns for drivers leaving the airport.

Kennedy Airport, along with the other Port Authority airports (LaGuardia and Newark), uses a uniform style of signage throughout the airport properties. Yellow signs direct passengers to airline gates, ticketing and other flight services; green signs direct passengers to ground transportation services, and black signs lead to restrooms, telephones and other passenger amenities. In addition, the Port Authority operates "Welcome Centers" and taxi dispatch booths in each airline terminal, where staff provide customers with information on taxis, limousines, other ground transportation and hotels.

New York City traffic reporter Bernie Wagenblast provides the voice for the airport's radio stations and the messages heard on board AirTrain JFK and in its stations.[99]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Aer LingusDublin, Shannon5
Aerolineas ArgentinasBuenos Aires–Ezeiza7
AeroméxicoCancún, Mexico City
Seasonal: Puerto Vallarta,[100][101] San José del Cabo[100]
Aeroméxico ConnectGuadalajara, Monterrey (both resume December 8, 2014)[102]1
Air BerlinBerlin–Tegel, Düsseldorf8
Air Canada ExpressToronto–Pearson7
Air ChinaBeijing–Capital1
Air EuropaMadrid4
Air FranceParis–Charles de Gaulle1
Air IndiaDelhi, Mumbai4
AlitaliaMilan–Malpensa, Rome–Fiumicino1
All Nippon AirwaysTokyo–Narita7
American AirlinesAntigua, Austin, Barcelona, Bermuda, Boston, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Campinas-Viracopos (begins December 1, 2014),[103] Cancún, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manchester (UK), Miami, Milan–Malpensa, Orlando, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Port-au-Prince, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, St. Thomas, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Seattle/Tacoma, Washington–National, Zürich
Charter: Havana
Seasonal: Caracas, Dublin, Eagle/Vail, Fort Lauderdale, Punta Cana, Rome–Fiumicino, San José de Costa Rica, St. Kitts, St. Maarten
American EagleBaltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Indianapolis, Montréal–Trudeau, Nashville, Norfolk, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Toronto–Pearson, Washington–National8
Arik AirLagos4
Asiana AirlinesSeoul–Incheon4
Austrian Airlines operated by Tyrolean AirwaysVienna1
AviancaBogotá, Cali, Cartagena , Medellín–Córdova, Pereira4
Avianca Costa RicaSan Salvador4
Avianca El SalvadorSan Pedro Sula, San Salvador4
Azerbaijan AirlinesBaku1
British AirwaysLondon–Heathrow7
British Airways operated by British Airways LimitedLondon–City7
Brussels AirlinesBrussels1
Caribbean AirlinesGeorgetown-Cheddi Jagan, Grenada, Kingston, Montego Bay, Port of Spain, Tobago4
Cathay PacificHong Kong, Vancouver7
Cayman AirwaysGrand Cayman1
China AirlinesTaipei–Taoyuan4
China Eastern AirlinesShanghai–Pudong1
China Southern AirlinesGuangzhou4
Copa AirlinesPanama City4
Delta Air LinesAccra, Amsterdam, Aruba, Atlanta, Austin, Barbados (begins December 4, 2014),[104] Barcelona, Bermuda, Bogotá, Boston, Brussels, Dakar, Denver, Detroit, Dublin, Fort Lauderdale, Frankfurt, Grand Cayman (resumes December 20, 2014),[105] Kingston (resumes December 20, 2014),[105] Las Vegas, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manchester (UK) (resumes June 2, 2015),[106] Mexico City, Miami, Milan–Malpensa, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montego Bay, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Nassau, New Orleans, Orlando, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Phoenix, Port-au-Prince, Portland (OR), Punta Cana, Rome–Fiumicino, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Seattle/Tacoma, St. Maarten, Tampa, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tokyo–Narita, West Palm Beach (resumes December 20, 2014), Zürich
Seasonal: Athens, Copenhagen, Fort Myers (resumes December 20, 2014), Grenada, Honolulu (begins December 18, 2014), Istanbul–Atatürk, Jackson Hole (resumes December 20, 2014), Liberia (CR), Málaga, Nice, Pittsburgh, Pisa, Prague, Providenciales, Puerto Vallarta, Reykjavík–Keflavík, Shannon, Saint Lucia-Hewanorra (begins December 20, 2014), St. Thomas, Stockholm–Arlanda, Vancouver, Venice
2 a, 4
Delta ConnectionBaltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Charleston (SC), Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville (FL), Kansas City, Louisville (ends December 19, 2014), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montréal–Trudeau, Nashville, New Orleans, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Quebec City, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Rochester (NY), St. Louis, Savannah, Syracuse, Toronto–Pearson, Washington–Dulles, Washington–National
Seasonal: Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Sarasota (begins February 14, 2015)[107]
Dynamic AirwaysGeorgetown-Cheddi Jagan (resumes November 7, 2014)4
El AlTel Aviv–Ben Gurion4
EmiratesDubai-International, Milan–Malpensa4
Etihad AirwaysAbu Dhabi4
EVA AirTaipei–Taoyuan1
Fly Jamaica AirwaysGeorgetown-Cheddi Jagan, Kingston1
Hawaiian AirlinesHonolulu5
InterjetMexico City1
Japan AirlinesTokyo–Narita1
JetBlue AirwaysAguadilla, Albuquerque, Aruba, Austin, Barbados, Bermuda, Boston, Buffalo, Burbank, Burlington (VT), Cancún, Cartagena, Charleston (SC), Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Grand Cayman, Houston–Hobby, Jacksonville (FL), Kingston, La Romana, Las Vegas, Liberia (CR), Long Beach, Los Angeles, Montego Bay, Nassau, New Orleans, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Ponce, Port-au-Prince,[108] Port of Spain, Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Providenciales, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Raleigh/Durham, Rochester (NY), Sacramento, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Salt Lake City, Samaná, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, Sarasota, Savannah, Seattle/Tacoma, Syracuse, Tampa, Washington–Dulles, West Palm Beach
Seasonal: Curaçao (begins December 2, 2014), Hyannis,[109] Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket
4 b, 5
Korean AirSeoul-Incheon1
Kuwait AirwaysKuwait, London-Heathrow4
LAN AirlinesLima, Santiago de Chile8
LAN EcuadorGuayaquil8
LAN PerúLima8
LOT Polish AirlinesWarsaw–Chopin1
LufthansaFrankfurt, Munich1
MeridianaSeasonal: Catania,[110] Naples, Palermo1
Norwegian Air ShuttleBergen, Copenhagen, London-Gatwick, Oslo–Gardermoen,[111] Stockholm-Arlanda[111]1
Pakistan International AirlinesLahore c4
Philippine AirlinesManila, Vancouver (both begin March 16, 2015)[112]1
QantasBrisbane d (begins February 1, 2015),[113] Sydney d (ends January 31, 2015)[113]7
Qatar AirwaysDoha8
Royal Air MarocCasablanca1
Royal JordanianAmman–Queen Alia8
SaudiaJeddah, Riyadh1
Singapore AirlinesFrankfurt, Singapore4
South African AirwaysJohannesburg4
Sun Country AirlinesMinneapolis/St. Paul4
Swiss International Air LinesGeneva, Zürich4
TAM AirlinesRio de Janeiro–Galeão, São Paulo–Guarulhos8
TAMEQuito (begins October 20, 2014)[114]1
Thomas Cook AirlinesManchester (UK) (begins May 3, 2015)[115]TBA
Transaero AirlinesMoscow–Vnukovo[116]4
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul–Atatürk1
Ukraine International AirlinesKiev-Boryspil[117]7
United AirlinesLos Angeles, San Francisco7
United ExpressWashington–Dulles (ends October 25, 2014)7
US AirwaysCharlotte, Phoenix8
Uzbekistan AirwaysRiga, Tashkent4
Virgin AmericaLas Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale (begins December 19, 2014),[118] Palm Springs
Virgin AtlanticLondon–Heathrow4
WestJetSeasonal: Calgary7
XL Airways FranceSeasonal: Marseille, Paris–Charles de Gaulle4


Airports in the United States served by nonstop flights from JFK as of September 2013.
Countries served by flights from JFK International Airport (includes seasonal and future destinations and direct flights with a stop).

Traffic and statistics[edit]

In 2013, JFK handled 50,423,765 revenue passengers, which was a 2.3 percent increase over 2012. Additionally, 2013 marked the first time JFK handled more than 50 million passengers in one year.[120]

The airport contributes about $30.1 billion in economic activity to the New York City region, generating 229,000 jobs and about $9.8 billion in wages and salaries. About 35,000 people are employed at the airport.[121]

In 2013, the ten carriers with the largest percentage of passengers flying into, out of, or through JFK are as follows:

Top Carriers (2013)[120]
Total %
JetBlue Airways9,062,1692,641,22111,703,39023.4%
Delta Air Lines7,244,2494,396,93911,641,18823.2%
American Airlines4,345,1003,208,3717,553,47115.1%
British Airways01,300,8471,300,8472.6%
United Airlines1,142,32501,142,3252.3%
Air France0935,563935,5631.9%
Virgin America918,2260918,2261.8%
US Airways877,0830877,0831.8%
Virgin Atlantic0689,431689,4311.5%
Emirates Airlines0645,373645,3731.3%

Nearly 100 airlines from over 50 countries operate regularly scheduled flights from JFK. The JFK-London Heathrow route is the leading U.S. international airport pair with over 2.6 million passengers in 2011. Domestic travel also accounts for a large share of airport traffic, particularly transcontinental and Florida service.[3]

Busiest Domestic Routes from JFK (June 2013 - May 2014)[123]

Busiest International Routes from JFK (June 2013)[122]
RankAirportPassengers 2013Top Carriers
1United Kingdom London (Heathrow), United Kingdom2,932,530American, British Airways, Delta, Kuwait Airways, Virgin Atlantic
2France Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France1,348,769Air France, American, Delta, XL Airways France
3Dominican Republic Santiago, Dominican Republic766,931Delta, JetBlue
4Germany Frankfurt, Germany751,527Delta, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines
5Dominican Republic Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic749,451Delta, JetBlue
6Spain Madrid (Barajas), Spain663,374Air Europa, American, Delta, Iberia
7Israel Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion), Israel646,501Delta, El Al
8Italy Rome-Fiumicino601,354American, Delta, Alitalia
9Brazil São Paulo (Guarulhos), Brazil599,284American Airlines, Delta, TAM Airlines
10Japan Tokyo (Narita), Japan578,867ANA, Delta, JAL
RankAirportPassengersTop Carriers
1California Los Angeles, California1,550,000American, Delta, JetBlue, United, Virgin America
2California San Francisco, California1,091,000American, Delta, JetBlue, United, Virgin America
3Florida Orlando, Florida706,000American, Delta, JetBlue
4Puerto RicoSan Juan, Puerto Rico629,000American, Delta, JetBlue
5Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada533,000American, Delta, JetBlue, Virgin America
6Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts516,000American, Delta, JetBlue
7Florida Miami, Florida491,000American, Delta
8Florida Fort Lauderdale, Florida478,000American, Delta, JetBlue
9North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina353,000Delta, JetBlue, US Airways
10Florida Tampa, Florida320,000American, Delta, JetBlue


When ranked by the value of shipments passing through it, JFK is the number three freight gateway in the United States (after the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of New York and New Jersey), and the number one international air freight gateway.[4] Almost 21% of all U.S. international air freight by value and 9.6% by tonnage moved through JFK in 2008.[124]

The JFK air cargo complex is a Foreign Trade Zone which legally lies outside the customs area of the United States.[125] JFK is a major hub for air cargo between the United States and Europe. London, Brussels and Frankfurt are JFK's three top trade routes.[126] The European airports are mostly a link in a global supply chain, however. The top destination markets for cargo flying out of JFK in 2003 were Tokyo, Seoul and London. Similarly, the top origin markets for imports at JFK were Seoul, Hong Kong, and Taipei, with London taking the fourth spot.[126]

Nearly 100 cargo air carriers operate out of JFK,[126] among them: Air China Cargo, ABX Air, Asiana, Atlas Air, CAL Cargo Air Lines, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Cargo, China Airlines, EVA Air, Emirates SkyCargo, Evergreen International Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, FedEx Express, DHL Air UK, Kalitta Air, Korean Air, Lufthansa Cargo, Turkish Cargo, United Cargo, UPS, Southern Air, World Airways. Top 5 carriers together transported 33.1% of all “revenue” freight in 2005: American Airlines (10.9% of the total), FedEx Express (8.8%), Lufthansa Cargo (5.2%), Korean Air Cargo (4.9%), China Airlines (3.8%).[127]

Most cargo and maintenance facilities at JFK are located north and west of the main terminal area. DHL, FedEx Express, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Nippon Cargo Airlines and United Airlines have cargo facilities at JFK.[126][128] In 2000, Korean Air Cargo opened a new $102 million cargo terminal at JFK with total floor area of 81,124 square feet (7,536.7 m2) and capability of handling 200,000 tons annually.[129] In 2007, American Airlines opened a new priority parcel service facility at their Terminal 8, featuring 30-minute drop-offs and pick-ups for priority parcel shipments within the US.[130]

Scheduled cargo airlines[edit]

ABX AirCincinnati
Air China Cargo[131]Anchorage, Beijing-Capital, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Shanghai-Pudong
Asiana Airlines Cargo[132]Anchorage, Brussels, Chicago–O'Hare, Seoul-Incheon
Atlas AirCharleston (SC), Taranto-Grottaglie
CAL Cargo Air LinesLiège
Cargolux[133]Chicago–O'Hare, Guadalajara, Houston–Intercontinental, Luxembourg, Mexico City, Toulouse–Blagnac
Cargolux ItaliaMilan–Malpensa
Cathay Pacific Cargo[134]Anchorage, Chicago–O'Hare, Columbus, Hong Kong, Toronto–Pearson
China Airlines Cargo[135]Anchorage, Seattle/Tacoma, Taipei-Taoyuan
DHL Air UKEast Midlands, Liège
El Al Cargo[136]Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Emirates SkyCargo operated by TNT Airways[137]Dubai
EVA Air Cargo[138]Anchorage, Taipei-Taoyuan
FedEx Express[139]Indianapolis, Manchester (NH), Memphis
Finnair Cargo operated by Nordic Global Airlines[140]Seasonal: Helsinki
IAG CargoLondon-Heathrow, Madrid-Barajas
Kalitta Air[141]Bahrain, Chicago–O'Hare, Columbus (OH), Leipzig
Korean Air Cargo[142]Anchorage, Miami, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Toronto–Pearson
Lufthansa Cargo[143]Atlanta, Chicago–O'Hare, Frankfurt. Mexico City
Nippon Cargo Airlines[144]Anchorage, Chicago–O'Hare, Whitehorse
Qantas Freight operated by Atlas Air[145][146]Anchorage, Chicago–O'Hare
Royal Jordanian CargoAmman–Queen Alia, Maastricht/Aachen
SkyLink ExpressHamilton (ON)
TNT Airways[147]Liège
UPS AirlinesChicago/Rockford, Louisville, Philadelphia

Ground transportation[edit]


The Howard Beach – JFK Airport subway station in Howard Beach

JFK Airport is connected to New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road by AirTrain JFK. It stops at all terminals, parking lots, hotel shuttle areas, car rental lots, the Jamaica LIRR station, Howard Beach - JFK Airport on the IND Rockaway Line (A train), and Sutphin Boulevard - Archer Avenue - JFK Airport on the Archer Avenue Line (E J Z trains). A Lower Manhattan – Jamaica/JFK Transportation Project has been proposed to connect the AirTrain to Lower Manhattan.


Several city bus lines link JFK to the New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road, including the Q3, Q6, Q7, Q10, and B15, with free transfers provided for subway connections. The B15, Q3, and Q10 buses all serve the Central Terminal Area via a dedicated bus stop at the former Terminal 6 (connection to other terminals via AirTrain JFK, with a direct walkway provided to Terminal 5), while the Q6 serves only eastern Cargo Area D and the USPS Airport Mail facility, and the Q7 serves only Cargo Area C. There are also many private bus lines operating express buses to Manhattan, the Hudson Valley, and Long Island.

The Port Authority provides free shuttle bus service between the Federal Circle AirTrain station and the airport's cargo areas, as well as within the long term and Port Authoirty-operated employee parking lots. These buses are operated by Servisair under contract.


New York City's yellow cabs, licensed by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, offer a flat rate service of $52 from JFK airport to Manhattan, excluding tips and tolls. Since November 30, 2006, this flat rate fare (excluding tips and tolls) applies to travel from Manhattan to JFK as well. Depending on the time of day, taxi travel from JFK to Midtown Manhattan can be as quick as 35 minutes, or as long as 90 minutes. Door-to-door Car Service is another popular transportation option.


JFK Airport is located in southern Queens on the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678), which can be accessed from the Belt Parkway, the Grand Central Parkway and Queens Boulevard. A ring road connects the airport terminals to the Belt Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway. The airport offers customers over 17,000 parking spaces, included in multi-level parking garages, surface spaces in the Central Terminal Area, a long-term parking lot and valet parking.[148] Tesla Motors has a vehicle charging station at the airport.[149] There are also private off-site parking operators near the airport.

Van Wyck Expressway twists through the terminal nucleus and turns into the JFK Expressway. This four-lane expressway allows for more convenient access to the airport for Long Island users via the westbound Belt Parkway. Because it lies almost entirely within Kennedy Airport, the JFK Expressway was constructed, and is maintained by the Port Authority. The expressway was built as part of an ongoing, multi-billion dollar overhaul of Kennedy Airport that began in the late 1980s. It was designed to relieve up to 30 percent of the traffic volume from the Van Wyck Expressway.[150] Approximately 6 major rental car companies serve JFK Airport, with rental locations located on and off the airport. Each terminal's arrivals level (usually near the baggage carousel) has either a rental car counter or courtesy telephone for each of the car rental companies.


US Helicopter departing from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport

US Helicopter operated regularly scheduled flights every hour between Terminal 3 and the East 34th Street Heliport. Passengers traveling by helicopter to the airport passed through a security checkpoint at the heliport, not at JFK. On May 14, 2007, US Helicopter moved its operations from Terminal 9 to Terminal 3.[151] US Helicopter temporarily suspended operations on September 25, 2009 due to financial difficulties.[152]

New York Airways provided helicopter service from JFK to other area airports and heliports from 1955 to 1979, and Pan American World Airways continued Manhattan helicopter service during the 1980s in order to feed its JFK flights. During the 1970s, New York Helicopter offered JFK flights from the top of the then-Pan Am Building in midtown Manhattan, but this service was cancelled after a major accident in 1977.[153]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


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  2. ^
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  • Dunford, Martin. The Rough Guide to New York City. Penguin Books, January 2, 2009. ISBN 1848360398, 9781848360396.
  • Successful Meetings, Volume 51. Bill Communications, 2002.
  • World Hotel Directory 1998, Pitman Publishing, September 30, 1997 ISBN 0273627635, 9780273627630.

External links[edit]