Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey is moving forward with construction on a new Terminal A. Beginning on Thursday, September 30th, one of three passenger gate areas at Terminal A will be shut down to make way for the final construction phases of the new terminal. Things are on track for a spring 2022 opening.
Terminal A reconstruction moves forward
Newark is in the middle of completing a new terminal replacement for the aging Terminal A. Starting on Thursday, the A1 passenger gate area at Newark, which currently houses six gates, will be demolished as part of the airport’s $2.7 billion redevelopment program.
The temporary reduction of six gates will be worth it at the end, when Terminal A gets an overall gate capacity increase. The new Terminal A will open with 21 gates next spring, and another 12 gates will open by the end of 2022, bringing the total new Terminal A complex to 33 gates.
Newark Liberty General Manager, James, Gill, had the following to stay on the project:
“This is a necessary step in delivering a world-class airport able to handle future passenger growth and improve the customer experience. We are working with our airport partners to keep flight operations running smoothly. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we continue to move closer to the unveiling of the new Terminal A.”
The new Terminal A will also help reduce congestion at the airport by offering multiple taxi lanes. This will help deliver more efficient aircraft movements from a terminal structure that is also more conducive to smoother, easier operations. While it will not be a quick improvement, it will be one that will have long-term benefits at Newark, especially as the airport is expected to get some more flights due to increased competition.
Newark expects a shift in flight operations that could result in increased wait times at peak periods for passengers. As a result, the airport is encouraging Terminal A passengers to arrive at least two hours prior to their scheduled departure times amid the six-month reduction in Terminal A gates.
The two airlines directly affected by the closures are Air Canada and JetBlue. Both airlines will shift operations to the other two gate areas of Terminal A. JetBlue will also move flights to Terminal B in response to the closures. American, Alaska, and United’s regional operations will continue out of the other passenger areas, A2 and A3, at Newark’s Terminal A.
Redeveloping the airport
The new Terminal A will open its first gates in spring 2022, with full completion targeted for late 2022. Also as part of the replacement, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is replacing the EWR AirTrain, which has reached the end of its useful life. There will be a new AirTrain that will facilitate the movement of passengers.
The new Terminal A is replacing a nearly 50-year-old complex. It will feature 33 new gates with one million square feet of space. Outside of the terminal, EWR is also targeting roadway and airside improvements, including a new six-level, 3,000-car parking garage and a centralized car rental facility.
The existing Terminal A is an old, outdated layout. There are three circular piers housing gates. Rather than shutting down all of the piers at once, severely limiting the airport’s ability to handle operations, it is moving in a deliberate, organized manner to limit disruptions as much as possible. In addition to the terminal upgrades, the airport is also working on runway maintenance, which is also expected to run through 2022, which is also taking a toll on some operations.