The Evolution of JFK's Terminal 7

The first terminal to be built and operated by a foreign airline on US soil will close next year prior to demolition. Mark Blacklock recaps the twists and turns in the curious history of JFK’s Terminal 7

The master plan for New York International Airport – known as Idlewild until December 1963 when it was renamed John F Kennedy International – was unique, with an unprecedented degree of airline involvement in terminal design and construction. Each of the major US airlines had the opportunity of commissioning its own unit terminal and that privilege was also granted to British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as the largest foreign operator. In 1963, BOAC was offered a lease on a 26-acre site by the Port Authority. The British carrier signed up TCA/Air Canada as a sub-tenant (Trans-Canada Air Lines was using the bilingual ‘Air Canada’ tagline in its marketing and officially changed its name in 1964) and commissioned London-based architects Gollins, Melvin, Ward & Partners (GMW) for the project.

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