John F. Kennedy International Airport Terminal 4 Expansion Phase I

Queens, NY
Delta Air Lines
STV/Saterfield & Pontikes Joint Venture
$747 million

Delta Air Lines relocated its international and some of its domestic operations at JFK International Airport from Terminal 3 to Terminal 4. Phase I included a 540,000-sf extension of the current concourse B and 110,000 sf expansion to the head house; modifications to bring the newly constructed baggage handling system up to new security screening standards; the expansion of the security area; and other terminal construction. As such, Terminal 4’s expansion was very similar to its original construction, which was described by New York Times reporter David Dunlap as “a process not unlike performing open-heart surgery on a patient who is simultaneously running a marathon.” Scheduling the project and managing construction in an operational terminal posed a major challenge, as was maintaining security.

One of the most complex project elements was the installation of an “in-line” baggage screening system. The new screening machines, computer control system and conveyors were installed so that the luggage from all the airlines would continue to be screened and transported to the correct gates in time for their flight departures. No existing conveyor could be taken out of service until its replacement was installed, tested and assured to be 100 percent operational.


The STV/Saterfield & Pontikes (S&P) joint venture team’s advanced utilization of a fully integrated BIM platform provided real-time cost and schedule reporting and contributed to the team’s collective ability to make informed decisions quickly to keep this complex program on schedule and within the client’s budget. S&P, a BIM innovator, developed proprietary software that allowed the team to integrate the BIM model with the project schedule and budget during construction. The program is a REVIT model that had been conditioned to be more detailed for construction. This allowed the joint venture team to measure progress in the field based on a model that automatically updated the schedule and the budget.

Every time a bulletin or change was issued, the model was updated, allowing the joint venture to compare the construction quantities and costs. This provided a major benefit when negotiating change orders with contractors because all quantities were known and negotiations could be finalized in a more efficient manner.

Using a BIM model during construction also helped all project stakeholders visualize compliance with security regulations, efficiently move materials through buildings, and coordinate construction that was adjacent to the AirTrain JFK light rail system, which allowed a very tight clearance.

The CM's expertise helped Delta Air Lines successfully deliver a complex redevelopment at JFK International Airport that was undertaken to provide the customer experience at JFK.  Due to the high passenger volume at Terminal 4, it was imperative for the facility to remain operational during this massive reconstruction initiative.

The owner’s needs were met thanks to the STV/S&P team’s ability to manage large-scale airport construction and deployment of innovative BIM tools to coordinate two concurrent projects, managing the cost and schedule throughout construction. Additionally, STV/S&P assisted Delta with managing multiple at-risk CMs and general contractors and made sure that all of the contractors were delivering the cost and schedule certainty Delta required for this complicated redevelopment.

Ryan Marzullo


Delta Airlines