New York's JFK Airport: some things you may not have known

New York City's main airport is JFK International Airport, located in the Jamaica district of Queens, about 26 km southeast of downtown Manhattan. It is the busiest of the six commercial airports serving New York City, the 13th busiest in the United States and the main gateway to North America. 

Over 90 airlines operate non-stop flights to all six of the world's inhabited continents. The airport is a hub for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways. 

It was built in 1943 as 'Idlewild Airport,' remaining so until 1948 when it was renamed 'New York International Airport' and later in 1963 to 'John F. Kennedy International Airport' in honour of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. 

The airport had two famous terminals, the TWA Flight Center (Terminal 5) and Pan Am's Worldport (Terminal 3), the latter demolished in 2015, and one of the first terminals ever to have jetways. 

JFK was also the first US airport to receive an Airbus A380 with passengers on board. After the 11 September 2001 attacks, the airport was temporarily closed and later equipped with new security systems.

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How big is New York's JFK airport?
The airport accommodates 84 million passengers a year and covers an area of 14 square kilometres. It is one of United Airlines' main hubs and offers six passenger terminals and four runways. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways also have a major presence at the airport.
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The importance of JFK to the United States.
JFK Airport plays a key role in the international relations of the United States, as it is the main gateway airport for foreign visitors and the gateway to Manhattan for many travellers.
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The original name
The airport, initially named 'Idlewild Airport', was later renamed 'Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport' in honour of the Queens resident general who commanded a National Guard unit in the Southern States. In 1948, the name was changed again to 'New York International Airport'.
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An important record
JFK Airport was the arrival point of the first transatlantic commercial jet flight in history, which took place in 1958 with a Boac Comet 4 airliner.
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Marilyn Monroe and Idlewild Airport
There are numerous photographs of Marilyn at the New York airport. Some have made history and have been sold at major auctions.
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Name change in 1963
The airport was given its current name in 1963 in honour of President J.F. Kennedy. The new IATA code was 'KIA', but was changed in 1968 to 'JFK' due to concerns over the number of American soldiers killed in Vietnam.
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The serious incident of the Flight 800
JFK Airport was affected by one of the most serious aircraft accidents in history: the TWA Flight 800 disaster in 1996. On 17 July 1996, 12 minutes after take-off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Boeing 747-131 operating the flight exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off East Moriches, New York, killing all 230 people on board.
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Set of numerous films
JFK airport has been the set of numerous films, including 'The Terminal'. The story of a fictional Eastern European citizen who lands in New York and discovers that a coup d'état has taken place in his country, preventing him from obtaining a visa to enter the United States. Forced to stay in JFK airport, the protagonist Viktor discovers a fascinating new world with original characters and displays of generosity, fun and romance. Overcoming his predicament, Viktor learns English, gains acceptance and forges relationships with the people at the airport.
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