Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday that a new terminal will be built at JFK Airport, opening up more international flights and creating a “first-class experience” for flyers.

“We are so interconnected with the rest of the globe. We want people to come from all over to find themselves at the doorstep of New York,” said Hochul. 

The $9.6 billion project will create a new Terminal 1 on the current footprint of terminals 1, 2 and 3. Hochul said the construction on the 2.4 million square foot terminal will begin in 2022. It’ll have 23 international gates and is expected to serve more than 20 million customers each year. The governor said she expects fourteen gates will open by the second quarter of 2026.

“When it is done it’ll be an experience that is worthy of the name New york, and worthy of the name John F. Kennedy.”

Hochul said the project is an important part of the state’s plans to rebuild from the pandemic, comparing the construction to projects that took place in cities after the Spanish Flu more than a century ago.

“I look to the leaders and examples of what happened during the last pandemic, 100 years ago, around the time the Port Authority was just born. And yes it was paralyzing. We lost thousands of New Yorkers, very hard on the economy, very similar to what we’re going through now,” said Hochul. “But afterwards people decided to build and we had the roaring 20’s after that.”