Airplanes land and take off leaving the Manhattan skyline behind them. In the distance, Freedom Tower rises to 541 meters high, while the gaze takes in the New Jersey plains. In the middle lies a strategic infrastructure, for years the United States’ largest airport and today part of the New York airport system, the largest in the country and second in the world after London.
It is the Newark Liberty Airport, old and inadequate according to many passengers that crossed its halls. But these opinions belong to the past as a few days ago the new Terminal A was inaugurated, a prodigy of engineering technology and most of all an infrastructure designed for its “inhabitants.”
It took five years and $2.5 billion, the largest investment in New Jersey’s history, to complete this structure that will accelerate the mobility of the entire area. Terminal A alone can handle 13 million passengers a year, 4 million more than the old terminal’s capacity.
Beauty and functionality of the new Terminal in Newark airport
One million square feet, 33 gates, 4 lounges and 13 million passengers a year: these are the most significant numbers of Newark Liberty Airport’s new Terminal A. It was designed not only to be 20% larger than the previous one, but also to be efficiently connected to the main road networks in order to reduce traffic congestion and ease the access to the gates.
Inside, technology rules. There are 60 check-in stations where operations may be concluded autonomously; all the security controls have been upgraded with new technologies to speed things up significantly; and each of the 33 gates is equipped with contactless scanners in order to board without the need of airport personnel.
Overall, the new terminal wants to give a modern and innovative image of the State, as Governor Phil Murphy said.
“This building—and the experience in this building—will literally transform what people think, and how they think, about New Jersey,” Murphy said.
From the restaurants to the works of the 27 artists exhibited in the halls, every corner of the new terminal was designed to give travelers a positive image of New Jersey.
From the New Deal to today, America flies from New Jersey
The new Terminal is the latest phase for an historical infrastructure with roots dating to before World War II. The Newark airport was inaugurated on October 1, 1928 when America was struggling to get out of the Great Depression and infrastructure was the engine powering President Roosevelt’s New Deal program. From the day it opened its doors, Newark airport was the busiest in the world until 1939, when it was surpassed by Fiorello LaGuardia airport. It was not always used merely for civilian purposes: during World War II its runways were used for military operations.
A first important revolution for Newark airport came in 1948 when it fell under the management of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The new shareholder ensured considerable investments that led to the construction of new runways, a terminal, a cargo center and a new control tower. The existing terminals, (A, B and C) were built in 1970 and since then have only seen ordinary maintenance. Hence the bad reputation the airport suffered for years, long considered one of the oldest and least adequate in the country. A bad reputation that endured until a few days ago, when with the inauguration of the new terminal the Newark Liberty Airport put on a new, bright face.