JFKIAT T4 adapts operations
Passenger-cargo flights abound
AIRPORT VOICE, MAY 2020 5
Roel Huinink is the CEO of
JFKIAT T4. Almost two years ago
he came to JFK to run Terminal 4.
It was one of the busiest terminals in
the country moving hundreds of thousands
of passengers a month arriving
and departing from all over the world.
With Delta as its main tenant and several
large international carriers, the
passenger concourses were buzzing
with travelers, retail shops, and restaurants,
with all thriving. The future
couldn’t have looked brighter.
Then Corona Virus hit the U.S.
Within a month, passenger travel
dropped 90%, concessions closed,
thousands of workers were laid off or
furloughed. It was unprecedented to
all who worked at the airport for decades.
While the entire airport scrambling
to deal with the severe change,
there was a silver lining of sorts. The
U.S. need for medical supplies to fight
the virus became evident and overseas
manufacturers began supplying
millions of medical goods a day
in passenger planes in addition to
huge cargo freighters. According to
Huinink approximately 25% of the
passenger planes have cargo in the
cabin and belly, and almost 50% is
medical. Huinink said “We see the
demand for cargo-only movements
for T4 steadily increasing. In fact,
JFKIAT has been fielding requests
fro cargo only carriers to operate
freighters at T4, some as large as the
enormous Antonov-AN124.” He said
that the first passenger-cargo only
aircraft used the facility on March 21.
Since then he has seen as many as 19
cargo movements on one day with the
average being 7 flights a day through
April 2020. In April and May, T4 is
more of a cargo depot than passenger
terminal with the movement of hundreds
of vehicles moving cargo all
around the terminal.
Huinink added, “We expect these
flights to continue until scheduled
passenger flying returns to some type
of normal. Based on the current insights
it will take well into May and
probably June 2020 for normal passenger
operations to start. We are constantly
evaluating with our airline
customers to understand their plans
and prepare ourselves accordingly.”
Asked how this change in business
has impacted his tenants, he said
that this is the only regular significant
business taking palace in T4 and
is welcomed. “The cargo only flights
do help to increase our partners business
– such as our ground handlers
and airline staff - and increase manpower
needs.” He feels that the passenger
cargo service is a way to keep
workers employed and companies in
business which is paramount in these
AGI works ground handling for Virgin Atlantic Passenger-cargo flights.
FEMA shipment arrived via Emirates. Great ops collaboration of three flights from Emirates,
Swissport JFKIAT, Global Elite, and Worldwide Flight Services. Three Emirates aircraft
carried a total of 45+ skids of PPE to JFK Airport. The cargo was off loaded by
Swissport then moved to the WFS warehouse where it was picked up by Guthrie Trucking
and expedited to Maryland for FEMA distribution.
Swissport doing ground handling for Emirates with JFK Air Traffic Control tower overJFKIAT
CEO Roel Huinink and VP OPS Susana Desa safely viewing a busy freight day. seeing.
A busy day for Emirates with 5
passenger-cargo flights at JFKIAT