In August 2010, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Delta Air Lines unveiled a $1.2 Billion redevelopment plan to expand Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport for the construction of a new terminal for Delta Air Lines.
Upon its completion in May 2013, Delta Air Lines will cease operating from Terminal 3, begin operating from Terminal 4 and continue its current operations at Terminal 2. A shuttle bus will assist in transferring passengers between Terminals 2 and 4.
Current plans call for the entire Terminal 3 complex, including the iconic Flying Saucer, to be demolished to make room for additional aircraft staging and parking areas adjacent to Terminals 2 and 4.
We believe the original Pan Am Flying Saucer terminal, like the Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Flight Center, is an important part of JFK, aviation, and architectural history and should not be demolished. Though horribly neglected and left in disrepair over the years, it is absolutely worth saving!
Progress is unavoidable, especially at busy airports where space is at a premium. We understand old buildings sometimes need to make way for more modern buildings that can handle today's volume of traffic and security concerns. But sometimes historic buildings are just too important to lose, especially ones as unique and irreplaceable as the TWA Flight Center and the Flying Saucer. These buildings represent an important era in aviation, architecture, American history, and human progress, and every possible effort should be made to save and integrate them.
Our campaign seeks to save the original Flying Saucer terminal with the intent to responsibly restore, re-purpose and continue operating the building for revenue-generating, charitable or public uses.
We have put forward several proposals to both Delta Air Lines and the Port Authority of NY/NJ. Here are some examples:
- Save the the historic original flying saucer building, but demolish the south concourse (also known as the Worldport expansion, which was completed in 1973) and use the flying saucer as part of the connector between Terminals 2 and 4 (while retaining the existing Terminal 2 connector.)
- Save the historic original flying saucer building, but demolish the south concourse, and use the flying saucer as a dedicated regional terminal or premier terminal for specific routes (i.e. JFK-LAX.)
- Save the historic original flying saucer building, but demolish the south concourse, and make the flying saucer an independent non-passenger-serving building open to the public, containing a museum, restaurants, shops, aircraft observation space, airport employee daycare or other such purpose.
- Save and continue using Terminal 3 in its entirety, leasing gates to Delta and other airlines as needed, and instead demolish Terminal 2 for use as aircraft parking.
- Save the historic original flying saucer building, demolish both the south concourse and Terminal 2 and build a brand a modern terminal behind the saucer in the same way JetBlue built its new Terminal 5 behind the former TWA Flight Center.
- Many combinations of the above ideas or other ideas have also been put forth.
We are also actively pursuing to have the building recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration, the New York State Historic Preservation Office, and subsequently, the National Parks Service, as a historic landmark for consideration into the National Register of Historic Places.
We have also addressed, and continue to address, the Port Authority Board of Directors during their monthly public comment sessions.
We are a non-profit preservation advocacy group with no affiliation to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey or Delta Air Lines or any of its affiliates.