JFK International - One of the World's Busiest Airports


John F. Kennedy International Airport is the one of the  busiest  international airports in the world.  Located  in the Queens district of New York City, JFK International Airport  handles  more international passengers than any other airport in the United States. In 2010 over 46 million passengers went through the  terminals  of JFK.  

The airport is a city in itself. About 35,000 people work at the airport. More than 90 airlines fly in and out of New York’s JFK airport. The busiest routes from JFK lead to London, Heathrow, Madrid and Paris, Charles de Gaulle.


The airport opened in 1948.  Originally , it was called Idlewild Airport. It was  renamed  shortly President Kennedy was  assassinated  in 1963. At first the airport could handle planes with a  weight  of 300 tones. In the 1960s JFK underwent changes in order to take on the new generation of jumbo jets that followed.

Currently   there are four  runways  on which planes take off and land. One of them is long enough for a space shuttle to land. Over 40 km of  taxiways  move aircraft from their  holding positions  to the runways.

Terminal 1 of JFK International Airport in New York

Terminal 1 of JFK International Airport in New York - Doug Letterman



JFK airport has eight  terminals  with a total of over 150  gates . The buildings are  arranged  around parking areas, hotels and even a  power plant . All the terminals are connected   with each other through a train system. This train system connects the airport with  downtown  New York. It takes passengers about 30 to 40 minutes to get to Central Manhattan, about 20 km from the airport.

New York’s biggest airport is also an important  freight hub . Most of the  cargo  between Europe and the United States passes through JFK and almost a quarter of all international  goods  to and from the USA are  handled  by the airport.

JFK International Airport has also been the  location  of several  accidents  and tragedies.  Among them a TWA flight exploded shortly after taking off from JFK.  All 230 people were killed. In April 2011 an Airbus A-380 crashed into a smaller plane while still on the ground.   Fortunately nobody was  injured .



Related Topics


  • accident   = event in which people are killed or injured
  • arrange   = put in a certain position
  • assassinate   =  to murder an important person
  • busy   = here: with a lot of traffic; many passengers
  • cargo   = goods
  • connect   = link
  • currently   = right now
  • downtown   = the centre of a city
  • fortunately   = luckily
  • freight hub   = the central part of a system ; goods that move on to other cities have to pass through this location
  • gate   = place where you leave an airport building to get on a plane
  • handle   = deal with, to move passengers
  • holding position   = place where an airplane stands at an airport or shortly before take-off
  • injure   = hurt
  • located   = where something is
  • location   = place, spot
  • originally   = at first
  • power plant   = a building that produces power and electricity
  • renamed   = given a different name
  • runway   = hard surface on which planes can take off and land
  • taxiway   = hard surface on which planes get to the runway
  • terminal   = big building where people wait to get on a plane
  • weight   = how heavy something is