Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL and CAL.A) today announced that it will start heavy construction on its long awaited $1 billion Global Gateway Program at Newark International Airport next month.
Continental`s four-year Global Gateway Program, scheduled for completion in 2002, will expedite the flow of passenger traffic in and out of the region`s busiest airport. The project is expected to create 5,000 construction jobs and approximately 3,200 permanent new airline jobs.
“We`ve waited a long time for this, and now that we`ve been cleared for takeoff we`re eager to get started,” said Continental Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gordon Bethune at a news conference at Newark today. Bethune commended the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, along with the governors of both states, for their diligent efforts to get the projects approved.
Developed in stages, Global Gateway will add a third concourse onto Terminal C with 12 new widebody aircraft gates, a baggage handling facility and a new Presidents Club, as well as a 150,000 square foot cargo facility, a widebody aircraft maintenance hangar and other support facilities.
Simultaneously, while work is underway on Continental`s facility enhancements, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is taking steps of its own to enhance Newark`s infrastructure. To alleviate traffic congestion, the Port Authority will create additional traffic lanes in front of Terminal C, where most Newark vehicular traffic converges daily. Parking at Terminal C will double with the addition of a new 3,400-space parking garage constructed by the Port Authority.
Continental`s investment will total $800 million, while the Port`s costs associated with Terminal C will be up to $200 million. The Port Authority will recoup its investments through lease and user fees.
“These enhancements, while providing our customers with convenient, modern facilities, represent a substantial investment in Newark and solidify our presence in the world`s No. 1 business market well into the next millennium,” said Bethune.
The Terminal C project will add 600,000 square feet to the existing one million square foot terminal building. The additional 12 widebody aircraft gates will give Continental a total of 56 gates in Terminal C.
To improve efficiency, Terminal C will house its own Customs and Immigration area, processing up to 1,500 arriving international passengers per hour.
This state-of-the-art facility will provide sterile gate-to-gate connections for international passengers transiting through Newark, without having to clear federal inspection services. In addition, the facility will offer numerous concessions and duty- free shops.
New Jobs: When completed in 2002, Global Gateway will create some 3,200 permanent new airport jobs, bringing Continental`s total employment base at Newark to approximately 14,500. Many of these jobs will be in the area of airport services and supporting operations. The 5,000 construction jobs will include carpenters, electricians, plumbers, steel workers and laborers, along with numerous indirect construction jobs.
With the intention of consolidating cargo operations, Continental will build a 150,000 square foot cargo building on the airport`s north side. Additionally, plans are underway to construct a second widebody hangar (adjacent to Hangar 56) and engine shop to maintain large jets such as the Boeing 777.
Continental Airlines operates the only major hub in the New York metropolitan area, surpassing JFK International in 1998 as the busiest airport in the tri-state area. Continental provides more than 300 daily departures at Newark. On average, Continental and its sister carrier, Continental Express, fly 55,000 passengers to and from Newark daily.