New York – JKF International Airport

My first ever visit to New York Airport was in the summer of 1974, when I visited some friend at Buffalo (up state New York) for a three weeks holiday. This was onboard a Pan American Boeing B707-321 Intercontinental flight direct from Amsterdam. Since then I visited New York many times onboard KLM (1979), Finair (1980), Alia- Jordanian airlines (1982), TWA (1986), Sabena (1987) and Continental (2000). In addition I transited New York many times with local airlines such as Eastern Airlines, National Airlines, Delta-Western Air and America West. On most occasions I used New York as a transit point to onwards destinations. On 2 or 3 occasions I actually got of the plane and visited Manhattan.

John F. Kennedy International airport (JFK) was formally known as Idlewild Airport located in the Queen s district. It is about 12 miles (20 km’s) from downtown Manhattan. New York metropolitan area is also served by two other airports: La Guardia and Newark Liberty Airport. JFK is by far the busiest and served most international destinations. It has 4 runways and 8 terminals. Construction of the airport started back in 1942 on the site of Idlewild golf course. The airport first commercial flight started on the 1st of July 1948, when a Seaboard and Western DC-4 freighter landed at Idlewild. Eight days later on the 9th July the first scheduled flight, a Peruvian International Airlines DC-4 from Santiago Chile landed safely on Idlewild new runway. Since then it has grown to astonishing proportions. The International Arrivals building was completed in 1957. Between 1958 and 1971 eight new terminal buildings were constructed. Each designed by one of the big international airlines such as TWA, Panam and National, which became the hub for their world wide operations. The airport was renamed to John F Kennedy International Airport in 1963, one month after the assassination of President John F Kennedy. The airport official IATA code became KIA. This was soon replaced by JFK, as the letters KIA meant ‘killed in action’. At the time the US was involved in Vietnam and the code did fair well with the population.

Terminal 5, also known as TWA Flight Center was opened in 1962. The terminal designed by Eero Saarinen became a famous landmark at JFK due to its sculptured design. I frequently visited this Art-Deco style terminal and hold special memories for it. Travelling on a shoe string budget during my early days, I had the occasion to spend the night on one of the comfortable benches in the centre arrivals building. On one of my latest visits I visited the TWA terminal as a guest onboard Save-A-Connie crew, coming in from Kansas City. TWA was hosting its 75th anniversary and the SAC Super Constellation crew was invited to JFK. I spend two days with the crew, with the Connie parked in front of the terminal while inside they had a SAC memorabilia sales stall.

World-port was the trade name for Terminal 3 when it was owned and operated by Pan American World Airways (Panam). The terminal was built in 1960 by Panam as a showcase for its International travel. It was famous for its 16.000 square meters Flying Saucer roof. It featured a partial overhang were aircraft could park under, which protected the passengers from the weather. The building also featured a roof-top parking and at the time it was considered one of the largest in the world. At the time it was known as the Panam Terminal. With the introduction of the B747 wide-body Jet it was renamed to Panam World-port. At the time it was well know that the best place to take pictures were on the Panam roof-top building. Most of the pictures taken in this article are from that spot.

Log - 26-03-1986
N93117 B747-131 TWA
N81027 L1011-193B TWA
N31029 L1011-193B TWA
N31013 L1011-193B TWA
N831TW B727-31 TWA
N54349 B727-231 TWA
N603TW B767 TWA
N605TW B767 TWA
N741PA B747-121 Panam
N9670 B747-121 Panam
N726PA B747-212B Panam
N737PA B747-121 Panam
N770PA B747-121 Panam
N748PA B747-121 Panam
N364PA B727-221 Panam
N372PA B727-295 Panam
N367PA B727-221 Panam
N212PA A300B4 Panam
N206PA A300B4 Panam
N4499N Westland 30 Panam
N1297 BAC1-11 US Air
N214SA DHC-6 All Commuter
N133AA DC-10-10 American
N529PA B747SP United
N90190 B737 United
N545NY DC-9 NY air
N209EA A300B Eastern
OO-SGA B747 Sabena