Save the Pan Am/Delta Terminal 3 at JFK Airport
  • Petitioned Mr. Richard H. Anderson

This petition was delivered to:

Delta Airlines CEO
Mr. Richard H. Anderson
Port Authority of NY/NJ
Board of Commissioners
President - JFKIAT (owner/operator of T4)
Alain Maca
NYC Mayor's Office
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

Save the Pan Am/Delta Terminal 3 at JFK Airport

    1. Kalev Savi
    2. Petition by

      Kalev Savi

      Little Falls, NJ

On August 8th, 2010, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in conjunction with Delta Air Lines announced a $1.2 Billion redevelopment project at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, which includes:

- Construction of an expanded Terminal 4 (T4) for Delta's International Services

- Extension of the inter-terminal connector/walkway between T4 and Terminal 2 (T2)

- Demolition of the entire Terminal 3 (T3) complex (originally known as the 'Pan Am Worldport')

- Re-use of the reclaimed T3 property for construction of additional aircraft parking space

We the undersigned are wholly opposed to the total destruction of this historically and architecturally significant building, specifically the Terminal 3 'Saucer' or 'Rotunda' structure. Terminal 3's 'rotunda' is an iconic piece of American heritage and aviation history. It ushered in the Jet Age with the Boeing 707. It introduced the world to the magnificent Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet. It launched the British Invasion when the Beatles arrived there. The building has been featured in many feature films, TV shows and magazine shots for its unique elliptical, futuristic design.

We the undersigned accept the fact that growth in air traffic is inevitable, and the resulting demand for modern, efficient and secure airport facilities in a post-9/11 world is essential. We accept that the current facility at Terminal 3 has outlived its usefulness in this regard.

However, we must implore the Respondents to consider that their same objective can be achieved by some creative planning and foresight to alter the redevelopment plan to save at least PART of America's aviation and architectural history by:

a) Allowing the demolition of the1970s Terminal 3 'Worldport' section behind the 'Flying Saucer' structure to allow for the proposed expanded aircraft parking area, while

b) PRESERVING AND RESTORING the iconic 1960's 'Flying Saucer' and rotunda structure to its original condition by performing refurbishments, such as:

1) Removing jetways, passageways and other ancillary equipment that will no longer be needed for aircraft support or passenger boarding

2) Performing any required structural remediation and repairs

3) Repairing and restoring the interior and exterior (fixing roof leaks, replacing tiles, resurfacing and repainting)

4) Restoring the mothballed Milton Hebald 'Zodiac' sculpture that once adorned the screened entrance to the terminal

c) Using this restored 'Flying Saucer' rotunda as part of the connector in the planned walkway between the existing T2 and the new T4 expansion

The result will be a useful and revenue-generating part of the proposed T2 to T4 connector. It will give Delta Air Lines an instantly recognizable identity at JFK. No longer will it be seen as the dilapidated facility it is today, but a revitalized icon that will continue to intrigue and attract the traveling public just as it did at the dawn of the Jet Age. It can be home to upscale restaurants and pubs, duty-free shopping, a unique Delta Skyclub, and a magnificent view of the airfield to aviation enthusiasts.

We respecfully ask the Respondents to reconsider their current plan to demolish the entire Terminal 3 structure and consider implementing the above recommendations. The objectives of providing improved passenger services and improved aircraft flows for Delta Air Lines and JFK can still be achieved if these design changes are utilized.


July 2012 Additional Comment: Subsequent to the original publication of this petition in November 2011, many other ideas for future use of the terminal have been received, the most significant idea being the use of a restored Umbrella Terminal Building as the Delta 'Connection' terminal as jetways are not usually required for Embraer or other smaller commuter aircraft. The currently announced JFK T3/T4 plan will result in the net loss of 7 gates by Delta (from demolition of whole of T3). This loss of gates would be avoided by adopting this suggestion.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 4,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • robert wire COLUMBUS, IN
      • about 1 year ago

      what a beautiful historic design!!! please don't destroy.

    • Bryan Piedramartel DERWOOD, MD
      • about 1 year ago

      I believe that the Pan American World Port is an important icon to the United States of America. As Ellis Island is the symbol from the industrial age, when immigrants rode steam ships across the ocean to live in america. The many newcomers who passed through the gates of the Pan Am world port were yearning to work and grasp the American Dream. The same dream that was shared by the multitude of generations before. The Pan American World Port was not simply an stopover on a journey. It was a living and breathing icon to the many travelers who tread it floors. The people themselves became part of the portrait, for without the people the World Port would have not come into existence. The patrons are also to thank for making Pan Am the airline who they were; iconic, innovative, and legendary. I have personally visited the World Port within the recent past. I can say that my studies have been influenced by the design and majesty of the architecture. Additionally I solidly believe that the Pan American World Port; has the full potential to stir, inspire and arouse the minds of architects, engineers and citizens who will conceive the tomorrow we dream and hope for.

    • Margaret Donovan NEW YORK, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      The presentations that are made each month at the Port Authority Board Meetings are impressive, logical, and moving. It is an offense to all Americans that a body of unelected bureaucrats are so dismissive and willfully blind to what could be done here.

    • Christy Wilson PARK CITY, UT
      • about 1 year ago

      I believe that, in our rush to keep up with this modern, fast-paced age in which we live, too many pieces of important architecture are being lost. Renovations to save the Pan Am Worldp

    • bob ritchie WEBSTER, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      Why take another ICONIC structure away? Penn Station is a prime example!


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