Construction is taking off on JetBlue's new international arrivals center at John F. Kennedy Airport.
The airline held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning to mark the start of construction for the expansion of Terminal 5.
Once complete, the space, also known as T5, will add three international arrivals gates, and will include U.S. Customs and Border Patrol all in one building.
Company officials say the expansion is designed to take the hassle out of traveling.
"We really started expanding in 2007, 2008. We're now in 12 countries, as far as Colombia and South America, Bermuda. The Dominican Republic as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,' said JetBlue President & CEO Dave Barger. "When you start opening cities like Samana in the DR, Cayman Islands later this year non-stop to Cartagena in Colombia all that's happening here in the fourth quarter so Kennedy is really happening for us."
JetBlue is currently the largest airline at JFK. The company moved to its new headquarters in Long Island City earlier this year, and is the only commercial passenger airline based in the five boroughs.
JetBlue has more than 5,000 crew members and employees at its headquarters and at JFK. Officials say the new terminal solidifies the company's presence in the Big Apple.
"Today Jet Blue and the Port Authority are beginning the next chapter in our history together and the legacy we create will be enjoyed by international travelers for decades to come," said Port Authority of New York and New jersey Aviation Director Susan Baer.
"JetBlue has in recent years been a vital part of our aviation industry, which of course is so important to the economy of Queens, New York City and the entire region," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
The expansion is projected to be complete in early 2015.