Gerrard Bushell ’83

Maksymilian Nosevich

On September 8, New York business leaders and politicians gathered in Queens to kick off a massive undertaking: the groundbreaking of a new international terminal for JFK International Airport. “It was just joy, there was excitement,” says Gerrard Bushell ’83. “It was a hard-earned achievement, considering that [when we started the project] we were building an international-only terminal at a time when international borders were shut down.”

As president and CEO of The New Terminal One at JFK, Bushell understands how an airport can shape a city. He has embarked on a journey to bring new jobs to Queens and create an unparalleled welcome to New York City for passengers arriving from international destinations.

Planning for the terminal began in 2019, but the project was delayed by Covid-19. The September ceremony marked not only the beginning of construction, but also what felt like the beginning of a return to normalcy. For Bushell, celebrating and supporting the local community is a major goal, both during construction (which will create roughly 6,000 jobs) and in the longer term. Once the terminal opens, he says, it will create thousands of opportunities, with at least 30 percent of jobs coming from minority- or women-owned business enterprises and with a goal of 40 percent workforce participation from local ZIP codes. “There’s no divide between the terminal and the community,” he says, “as opposed to, ‘Here’s this shiny new object that the community does not benefit from.’”

Bushell is also passionate about what The New Terminal One at JFK will mean for NYC as a whole. “This is the global city,” he says. “When you really think about the history of the United States, coming through New York City has always been the front door. Now here we are coming into Queens, getting this richness, this diversity that is so prevalent. It’s an incredible opportunity.”

The New Terminal One at JFK is scheduled to open in 2026.

— Anne-Ryan Sirju JRN’09