Destinations

First look: Newark’s gorgeous new terminal is sufficient to change the airport’s fame

“Newark Airport” and “gorgeous” don’t normally go collectively in the identical sentence.

However with the opening of the airport’s new Terminal A, you could not consider your eyes.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport (EWR), unveiled the airport’s a lot anticipated new Terminal A on Tuesday.

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At $2.7 billion, the brand new facility represents the most important single funding in New Jersey by the Port Authority within the company’s 101-year historical past. The terminal has been within the works since 2018, and it ushers in a brand new period for the airport that’s traditionally been ranked one of many worst within the nation.

It spells maybe the most important passenger-facing improve but for Newark, and it’ll be a large enchancment in comparison with the outdated Terminal A, which is able to shut along with the opening of the brand new facility.

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Whereas the terminal isn’t opening till Thursday, Dec. 8, elected officers, executives and members of the media have been invited to attend the grand opening occasion on Tuesday.

Phrases alone might not seize how a lot of an enchancment this new terminal is, however New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy maybe mentioned it greatest, “we’re right here at this time to bury the outdated Terminal A… We are going to save our reward for this new, fashionable, vivid, comfy, expressive, frankly extraordinary Terminal A.”

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, it was time to tour the greater than 1 million-square-foot facility — right here’s what you may count on when the power opens on Dec. 8.

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A centralized check-in corridor

Whereas the brand new terminal brings a slew of upgrades, the primary is a centralized check-in corridor that is designed to deal with almost 14 million passengers every year.

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The four-lane drop-off roadway leads immediately into the expansive new facility. There are a handful of curbside check-in desks at both finish of the roadway, however most flyers will probably drop their baggage and examine in contained in the terminal.

As soon as inside, there are six particular person check-in piers, break up up for every of the terminal’s 4 airline operators: Air Canada, American Airways, JetBlue Airways and United Airways.

United will proceed to function nearly all of its Newark flights from its hub at Terminal C, however it should occupy some gates within the new terminal as effectively.

Delta Air Strains may even transfer into the brand new terminal throughout the second section of building — extra on that quickly.

It takes simply seconds to comprehend how a lot of an improve the brand new check-in corridor is. From the hovering ceilings to the plethora of pure gentle to the eye-catching art work, the brand new Terminal A is just gorgeous.

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There are many check-in kiosks scattered across the departures corridor, all of which assist facial recognition expertise.

Whereas most passengers will examine in at a kiosk or desk, there are two devoted premium check-in areas within the new terminal.

One is already branded for JetBlue’s Mosaic elites and Mint business-class flyers, and the opposite isn’t but devoted to a selected airline.

The previous is JetBlue’s most unique check-in space I’ve seen so far — it’s separated from the terminal and contains a baggage repacking space and a devoted passageway to TSA PreCheck safety.

The latter is outfitted with two fish tanks, and it’ll be a swanky house for whichever airline chooses to lease this space.

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The outdated Terminal A featured particular person safety checkpoints at every pier of gates. This made connections a lot more durable and precipitated backups throughout the busiest departure banks.

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Fortunately, the brand new terminal options about 30 TSA safety checkpoints which can be all accessible from the departures space. When you clear safety (or after you’ve landed in Terminal A), you’ll have entry to any gate while not having to be screened once more.

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The digital signage wall hanging above the safety checkpoint will show reside safety wait instances for the entire safety channels on provide — Clear, Precheck, precedence and basic safety might be out there from day one.

Be aware that the safety lanes function the brand new computed tomography, or CT, scanners, which appear to all the time take longer than the older machines.

When you clear safety, you’ll be on the higher degree of the departures corridor with expansive views of the terminal.

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There’s a repacking space simply previous safety. When you acquire your belongings, you’ll descend a set of escalators (or stairs or elevators) to the principle departures degree.

33 wonderful gates

When you enter the principle departures degree, you’ll be within the central plaza space, which is residence to Gates A7, A8, A27 and A28.

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Turning left will deliver you to the North Concourse (residence to Gates A29 by means of A34), whereas turning proper will take you to the South Concourse (residence to Gates A1 by means of A6).

Heading straight will deliver you to the East Concourse, which compromises gates A9 by means of A26.

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Terminal A might be related post-security to Terminals B and C by way of an airside shuttle bus, which is able to depart from a floor stand close to Gate A28.

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Whereas the bodily facility is a night-and-day enchancment in comparison with the present Terminal A, maybe the most important improve is the quantity of pure gentle that makes the house a lot extra inviting.

There are even some bushes and small gardens unfold all through the terminal.

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One other large enchancment is the signage, which is color-coded in an up to date, extra readable font.

On the middle of the three piers is what’s known as the “Central Plaza,” which is the place you’ll discover a mixture of concessionaires, eating places and retail shops.

Lots of the retailers are native to the Newark and New Jersey neighborhood and embody in style names corresponding to Playa Bowls and Jersey & Co. gelato.

You’ll discover nationwide fan favorites like Dunkin’ and Starbucks, in addition to further eating and retail choices, all through the terminal as effectively.

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One other large focus for the Port Authority is the introduction of native art work all through the terminal — a complete of 29 native artists labored on the brand new items.

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Maybe essentially the most iconic would be the “Forest of Firsts,” that are digital pylons positioned in the course of the Central Rotunda that commemorate New Jersey’s “firsts” throughout a number of human endeavors, together with science, literature, power and movie.

You may additionally discover different art work all through the terminal starting from murals above the restrooms to work close to most gates to 2 units of round capsules hanging in the principle departures and arrivals corridor.

The Central Plaza may even be residence to a few airline lounges positioned on the mezzanine degree above the concessions.

The south facet of the lounge space might be residence to an American Admirals Membership and Delta Sky Membership, whereas the north facet of this house might be devoted to a brand new United Membership that’ll additionally welcome eligible Air Canada and different Star Alliance flyers.

These lounges gained’t be prepared when the terminal opens on Dec. 8, so we’ll you should definitely comply with up with further particulars as soon as these areas open.

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The terminal may even be residence to a signature American Categorical Centurion Lounge that includes views of the Port of Newark, New York and Newark Harbor and the Manhattan skyline, a piano lounge, a Jersey jazz-themed bar and a speakeasy-themed cocktail lounge. Amex can be planning wellness rooms, workstations and a number of meals buffets.

The Amex lounge might be positioned within the North Concourse, which is opening in the summertime of 2023 as a part of the second section of building.

On the outset, 21 of the terminal’s 33 gates might be operational. Every of the gates is designated as “frequent use,” which implies that any airline can theoretically use any given gate throughout the terminal.

All through the terminal and at every particular person gate, you’ll discover loads of comfy seating.

There are co-working tables, particular person chairs, recliners and benches unfold all through the power. Every seat is inside arm’s attain of an influence outlet, USB-A and USB-C port.

There’s even a devoted youngsters’ play space positioned on the finish of the Japanese Concourse, close to Gates A18 and A19.

Moreover, quick and free Wi-Fi is accessible all through the power with no particular credentials required. Obtain and add speeds measured round 20 Mbps throughout TPG’s tour.

The gates function loads of digital signage, which could be up to date in real-time to replicate present flight standing and different essential info. This may even make it simpler for airways to shift between gates as mandatory.

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The restrooms additionally bought a serious improve within the new terminal. Every is designed in a singular theme, starting from the seaside to the mountains to the town of Newark itself.

You’ll discover loads of stalls, (functioning) sinks and tall ceilings in the entire terminal’s restrooms. Higher but, there appears to be a restroom almost all over the place you flip — a large enchancment in comparison with the present scenario within the outdated Terminal A.

Aviation lovers will undoubtedly admire the floor-to-ceiling home windows all through the terminal, which all function nice tarmac views.

In case you’re seeking to get as near “the motion” as attainable, head to Gate A18 for unbelievable views of the airport’s south runways with the Manhattan skyline within the distance.

Welcome to Newark

Arriving passengers are additionally in for a giant improve with the brand new terminal.

After deplaning, you’ll make your technique to the luggage declare space, which is accessible from two exits within the Central Plaza — one close to the North and one other close to South Concourse.

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You’ll descend all the way down to the bottom degree the place you’ll discover six baggage claims. There’s loads of house to maneuver and sit round as you wait in your baggage.

When you’re ready, you may additionally catch a glimpse of the yellow, blue and purple “NJ” letters welcoming you to New Jersey.

Every airline will function a baggage companies workplace within the arrivals space in case you have any points together with your checked baggage.

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When you’ve been reunited together with your belongings, you’ll make your method outdoors to the pick-up curb, which is break up throughout six lanes.

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There are devoted pickup factors for Uber, Lyft, resort shuttles and personal vehicles.

Alternatively, should you’re renting a automotive otherwise you parked your automotive on the airport, you’ll quickly be capable to take a coated passageway from the terminal on to the brand new consolidated rental automotive (ConRac) and parking storage facility, which is able to open subsequent 12 months.

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What’s subsequent for Newark

Now that the brand new Terminal A at Newark has been unveiled, the following stage is the grand opening, which is about to happen on Thursday, Dec. 8.

The final flight from the present Terminal A will depart on Dec. 7, after which the power might be completely decommissioned and demolished.

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On Dec. 8, the primary (and first) section of the brand new Terminal A will open. The Port Authority remains to be engaged on the second section of building, which incorporates 12 new gates that’ll deliver the grand whole to 33.

The second section, together with some remaining touches within the first section (such because the three airline lounges and a few concessionaires), will open at factors all through 2023.

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As soon as the second section is full, Terminal A will function 33 gates, which might be sufficient room for Delta Air Strains to maneuver into the terminal from its current house in Terminal B.

Whereas Terminal A might be operational in just some weeks, there’s much more excellent news for Newark airport.

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The Port Authority lately shared that it chosen a grasp planner accountable for growing a plan to modernize the airport.

Particulars are gentle in the meanwhile, however the Port Authority is severe about making main infrastructure adjustments at Newark, which, based mostly on the remarks at Tuesday’s unveiling, appear to incorporate an upcoming overhaul of the present Terminal B and presumably Terminal C, too.

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