Monday, February 22, 2021



New recovery effort will boost future tourism  

 Mayor Bill de Blasio, Representative Gregory Meeks and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards today announced key elements of the foundation for the new JFK Airport construction projects that will drive a recovery for all of us by creating over 20,000 jobs, investing $10 to $15 billion in new infrastructure and boosting tourism to New York City.  

“New York City will emerge from this crisis stronger by building our recovery from the grassroots up,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I thank Representative Meeks and Borough President Richards for their partnership to ensure the JFK Airport redevelopment project will not only bring jobs, but benefits to the surrounding communities too.”

“In addition to fighting COVID-19 and addressing our health care challenges, it is critical that policymakers focus on ensuring our economic recovery is both robust and equitable.  In New York, support for the Port Authority and its ongoing redevelopment projects, including at JFK Airport, will be key to a more even economic revitalization after the pandemic. Today’s lease extension announcement will allow for deal restructuring which will ensure the long term sustainability of JFK’s redevelopment and allow us on the federal level to continue our work to address the Port’s 3 billion dollar shortfall with the Biden Administration in the upcoming Covid-19 relief bill , a real threat to job growth in New York.  Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, Borough President Richards, the Port Authority and myself have been working diligently to shore up the Port’s ongoing projects and I thank them for their hard work,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks.  

"Queens is the gateway to the rest of the country and the world because of our airports. Today’s announcement to extend JFK’s lease is a win for our borough and our city. We know this pandemic is not just a public health crisis but also an economic crisis so with the support of JFK, the city Congressman Meeks and our federal partners, I am confident we are one step closer to recovery," said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr.

Today the Mayor will sign an Emergency Executive Order to extend the Port Authority’s lease at JFK Airport from 2050 to 2060 without ULURP. Working with Representative Meeks and Queens Borough President Richards, and building on the work of the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council appointed in October 2018, the leaders helped secure the community benefits package and a commitment that the Port Authority will require the projects be subject to Project Labor Agreements.  

The lease extension announced today by Mayor de Blasio, Representative Meeks and Borough President Richards, includes assurance that the massive new construction project will abide by the community benefits package, which requires at least 30 percent workers of color, ensures at least 30 percent of the contractors are Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses, establishes new apprenticeship and scholarship programs for the surrounding community, and requires the new building meets strict environmental standards.  

The community benefits package includes: 

Workforce Development, including Community Hiring: Requirement for 30 percent minority hires and 7 percent women hires across all construction trades with a higher 40 percent minority hires among Laborers; Best efforts to hire from zip codes around JFK Airport followed by all of Queens; fund new pre-apprenticeship programs prioritizing local residents in coordination with the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater NY; Expand Council for Airport Opportunity in downtown Jamaica and Far Rockaway to facilitate long term local hiring; Commitment to fund an Office of Second Chance Employment to connect formerly incarcerated individuals or those with past involvement in the criminal justice system with jobs at the airport. 

Business Development: Requirement for 30 percent MWBE contracting across financing, construction, design and operations, including prioritization of local MWBE; hiring independent MWBE compliance consultants to focus on meeting, monitoring, and reporting on MWBE goals; develop a Business Development Opportunity Center to facilitate local capacity building and matchmaking focusing on local MWBEs.  

Education Programs: Continue scholarship programs for local high school students; funding for an aviation focused STEM program at York College for local middle school students; continuation and expansion of a summer minicamp in collaboration with the Eastern Queens Alliance to educate middle school students on environmental stewardship and sustainability; participation in multiple high school career fairs annually; continue a local internship program. 

Environmental Sustainability: Minimum LEED Silver at new terminals; new terminals will transition diesel fuel powered ground service equipment with electric; require lowest reasonable emissions use for construction equipment including limiting engine size, requiring electric vehicles when possible, and strict idling restrictions; implement marine-based barging of materials to reduce delivery trucks on roadways; low emissions vehicle shuttle service from Aqueduct to JFK for all construction crews. 

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