John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is also the leading freight gateway to the country by value of shipments. The airport was originally known as Idlewild Airport until 1963, when it was renamed after John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.
Over ninety airlines operate out of JFK. It is the base of operations for JetBlue Airways and is a major international gateway hub for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. In the past, it has been a hub for Eastern Air Lines, Gemini Air Cargo, National Airlines, Pan American World Airways and Trans World Airlines. Nearly 100 airlines from over 50 countries operate regularly scheduled flights from JFK. The JFK-London Heathrow route is the leading U.S. international airport pair. Domestic travel also accounts for a large share of airport traffic, particularly transcontinental and Florida service.
North American Airlines has its headquarters in Building 141 along Federal Circle, on the airport property. North American Airlines is one of the building's tenants; the building also has Servisair and VOA as tenants and Port Authority storage, and serves as a storage lot for airport buses. Building 141 was originally a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) administration building. In the 1990s it served as the PANYNJ police headquarters. In 2000 an $800,000, 5,000 square feet (460 sq m) annex of the building opened to serve students of Aviation High School in Long Island City. In 2003 Building 141 was dedicated in honor of Morris Sloane, a PANYNJ aviation employee.
Currently, Nippon Cargo Airlines has its New York City branch in Cargo Building 66. Previously it was in Building 79.
When Tower Air existed, its head offices were in Building 178 and later in Hangar 17 at JFK Airport. When Metro International Airways existed, its head office was in Building 178.
In the immediate vicinity of the airport, parking and other information can be obtained by tuning to a highway advisory radio station at 1630 AM. A second station at 1700 AM provides information on traffic concerns for drivers leaving the airport.
Kennedy Airport, along with the other Port Authority airports (LaGuardia and Newark), uses a uniform style of signage throughout the airport properties. Yellow signs direct passengers to airline Gates, ticketing and other flight services; green signs direct passengers to ground transportation services, and black signs lead to restrooms, telephones and other passenger amenities. New York City traffic reporter Bernie Wagenblast provides the voice for the airport's radio stations and the messages heard on board AirTrain JFK and in its stations.