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airporthistory
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IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 11:52 am

Hi folks,

Not much to celebrate in aviation these days. Nevertheless, today marks an important early Jet Age milestone. Exactly 60 years ago today, on May 24, 1960, the Pan Am terminal at New York's Idlewild Airport opened for operations. I completely revamped the article I did a year ago on its design with new text and photos.

You can find it here: https://www.airporthistory.org/kennedy-pa.html.

The Worldport expansion will be dealt with in a later chapter.

I would love to hear from people who remember flying through or visiting the terminal throughout the years. What was it like? Also, as an airport planner I would love to hear about the bottlenecks and deficiencies the terminal had in different stages of its life.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 12:06 pm

What a great article. Thank you for posting.

I flew Pan Am in the late 1970's and early 1980's to Europe a few times (as a very young kid) and remember a few things distinctly. There was a unique ramp to an underground (or semi-underground) check in area below the rotunda, which continued to be used well into the mid-1990s by Delta (flew DL JFK-FCO in 1996 and was checked in for my flight there). I continued to fly out of the Worldport in 2008-2010 on Delta, both domestic and international flights. DL did what it could with it but it was not a pleasant experience. There were often pigeons nestled in the roof, which leaked, to a point where netting was strewn across the main rotunda lobby. When flying Pan Am in the 1970s and 1980s I remember the 747 noses pressed almost up against the glass paneling particularly at the furthest gates from the rotunda. The building itself was unique, but it never quite achieved the level of admiration (or sophistication) that was afforded to the Saarinen Terminal used by TWA. The Worldport never quite evoked the glamour of travel. It almost from the start appeared too small and outdated, even when 707s and DC8s were parked there. The Clipper Club was repurposed as a Delta Sky Club and was small. Flying through the terminal in the late 2000s I remember you could still find Pan Am logos behind empty gate kioks and other areas, if you looked closely. Anyway, great article.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 12:16 pm

I remember coming to JFK atop World Port's parking lot to view planes in the early 80's (with my parents). Arrival to this terminal and going up the ramp to parking felt like arrival to something larger than life. Truly a memory to behold and never again to experience. Miss those L-1011-500's!!
 
TonyBurr
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 12:28 pm

I cannot believe it has been 60 years. As a chid I remember watching it being built and what an incredible sight it was. I also flew out of it many, many times to Europe and the Caribbean. It was an incredible experience to walk in the building and check in compared to other terminals. There was so much for a young mind to learn and see there. It was certainly part of the total travel experience. I always picked up the latest printed (no internet) Pan Am tImetable. Since it was before deregulation the set price for each destination was printed in the back. I recall correctly, when you came back from international flights, the plane parked at the International Terminal for immigration and customs, and then was towed to the worldport.

Later in life I often spent an evening parked on the rooftop parking watching a host of international airliners lining up to depart to the world, letting my imagination wander to those distant countries. Great memories! Thanks for letting us know this was the big day.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 2:01 pm

Really enjoyed the article - all your material is pretty excellent as far as I am concerned. Great picture selection as well - I particularly liked the image with the hot spots, to really see what you were talking about. Thanks for sharing it!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
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cathay747
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 3:40 pm

What a fantastic article. Thanks for posting. The pictures are wonderful. One question for anyone who knows: those "boarding planks" look stationary, but they had to have been able to move ("swing"), no? Otherwise how could they manage to park an airplane so close to it without a severe risk of damage to said airplane??
Try a Little VC-10derness
 
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airporthistory
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 3:47 pm

cathay747 wrote:
One question for anyone who knows: those "boarding planks" look stationary, but they had to have been able to move ("swing"), no? Otherwise how could they manage to park an airplane so close to it without a severe risk of damage to said airplane??


One of the layout plans explains it actually. The planks were able to swing sideways away from the aircraft.
 
Jet-lagged
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 4:27 pm

The front of the airplanes were covered from the sky? I never realized that. How interesting.

In the early 90s I flew out of JFK regularly but hardly ever PanAm. For some reason on a return from Dehli one trip I switched to PanAm. The landing at JFK was maybe the smoothest I ever experienced.

The photos of the interior are a real throwback. The architecture, finishings, and materials evoke that time period just wonderfully. No mobile phone to ears or hunching over laptops either.

airporthistory - Thanks for the interesting article!
 
PANAMsterdam
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 5:15 pm

Great article as always. Well done! Gosh I wish I was born earlier to experience the jet age.
Every country has an airline. The world has Pan Am.
 
hondah35
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 6:11 pm

For all of the history it had, it sure met an ignominious end. To call that building a dump the last few years it was open would be the understatement of the century.
 
KlimaBXsst
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 8:14 pm

Pan Am was always so much larger than life.
What an asset it was to American Aviation History.

Shame PA, TW, EA, NA, and Braniff are nothing more than distant memories for so many now, rather than the symbolic icons of a robust, healthy, and stable America Airline Industry System.
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!
 
rrbsztk
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 8:46 pm

Thanks for sharing this all. Nice to see what it was like originally. I am young enough that my earliest memories here include both pigeons everywhere inside and also lots of tarps at the ceiling with garden hoses dangling from them to put the water leaks into overflowing garbage cans.
 
trueblew
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 11:21 pm

Great article and photos. One question: the piece says "all international flights had to arrive at the IAB, with the exception of Nassau, Bermuda and San Juan, Puerto Rico, which had pre-clearance facilities." Was there some sort of customs process when flying between Puerto Rico and the United States at one point?
 
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airporthistory
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 11:45 pm

trueblew wrote:
Great article and photos. One question: the piece says "all international flights had to arrive at the IAB, with the exception of Nassau, Bermuda and San Juan, Puerto Rico, which had pre-clearance facilities." Was there some sort of customs process when flying between Puerto Rico and the United States at one point?


Yes, currently these pre-clearance facilities exist at Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, and Winnipeg in Canada.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, nowadays is the same as a domestic destination and does not require pre-clearance.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 11:50 pm

hondah35 wrote:
For all of the history it had, it sure met an ignominious end. To call that building a dump the last few years it was open would be the understatement of the century.


Delta did what it could with the Worldport, which simply became T3. The design was a challenge and the increased flows resulting from an ever expanding operation there were no match for what the building was originally designed to support. Delta made it more or less tolerable, but it was not the world class facility Delta needed to further enhance its foot print in NYC.
 
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Polot
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 11:54 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
hondah35 wrote:
For all of the history it had, it sure met an ignominious end. To call that building a dump the last few years it was open would be the understatement of the century.


Delta did what it could with the Worldport, which simply became T3. The design was a challenge and the increased flows resulting from an ever expanding operation there were no match for what the building was originally designed to support. Delta made it more or less tolerable, but it was not the world class facility Delta needed to further enhance its foot print in NYC.

To be honest the terminal probably spent more of its life as a “dump” than a respectable terminal. It was never a particularly great forward thinking design, owned by an airline that was in poor financial shape for years before being sold to an airline that long had priorities elsewhere.
 
Iloveboeing
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Sun May 24, 2020 11:54 pm

airporthistory wrote:
trueblew wrote:
Great article and photos. One question: the piece says "all international flights had to arrive at the IAB, with the exception of Nassau, Bermuda and San Juan, Puerto Rico, which had pre-clearance facilities." Was there some sort of customs process when flying between Puerto Rico and the United States at one point?


Yes, currently these pre-clearance facilities exist at Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, and Winnipeg in Canada.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, nowadays is the same as a domestic destination and does not require pre-clearance.


On a side note, the pre-clearance is a wonderful thing. A couple of years ago, I was flying YHZ-EWR-ORD-SGF and the YHZ-EWR leg was delayed due to the aircraft being delayed coming from EWR. The U.S. customs pre-clearance at YHZ was a breeze and had it not been done in YHZ, I would’ve missed my connection in EWR and might not have made it home to Missouri later that evening.
 
trueblew
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 12:47 am

airporthistory wrote:
trueblew wrote:
Great article and photos. One question: the piece says "all international flights had to arrive at the IAB, with the exception of Nassau, Bermuda and San Juan, Puerto Rico, which had pre-clearance facilities." Was there some sort of customs process when flying between Puerto Rico and the United States at one point?


Yes, currently these pre-clearance facilities exist at Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, and Winnipeg in Canada.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, nowadays is the same as a domestic destination and does not require pre-clearance.



Any idea when SJU transitioned to being considered a domestic point of origin?
 
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ClipperYankee
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 2:33 am

TYWoolman wrote:
I remember coming to JFK atop World Port's parking lot to view planes in the early 80's (with my parents). Arrival to this terminal and going up the ramp to parking felt like arrival to something larger than life. Truly a memory to behold and never again to experience. Miss those L-1011-500's!!


I was having a bit of deja vu as we both commented something similar in the last thread on the Worldport about four months ago. I'm posting here what I wrote then to add a little for people wondering what it was like:

"Yes, I am aware of all the negatives that have been pointed out over many threads regarding the Worldport but regardless it saddens me that there wasn't some way to save it. Certainly a unique piece of architecture and one that I only got to fly in or out of it just a few times. However, I used to have to go pickup relatives there frequently and one thing I enjoyed as a young automobile driver was how convoluted the ramps were for access to the rooftop parking for the public. It was like a bowl of spaghetti and there were a couple of rather tight turns. Once up there you could be face to face with a PAA 747. Good times."

I can also add that the smell of jet-a wafting through the air while up at that parking lot was like perfume to me, And those tight turns had a lot of paint on them from drivers that didn't judge them just right, especially with the land barges of the day. LOL.
707/717/727/737-100,200,300,400,500,700,800/747-200,300,400/757-200,300/767-300,400
772/788&9/DC3/DC6/DC8/DC9/DC10/MD80s/L1011/A300/A319,320,321/A332&3/A343/A359/A388/
BAE146/ATP/ATR42/DHC2,3,7,8/S340B/CRJ200,700,900/E140,145,175,190/F70,100/B1900
 
LatinPlane
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 7:03 am

The original Pan Am terminal 3 saucer was going to be saved and repurposed into a new modern terminal by Delta. Delta had recognized its jet-age historical value and had planned to completely renovate it by tearing down the 1970s structure that resembled the NJ -NY Port Authority Bus Terminal and integrate it to a redesigned modern state-of-the-art terminal adequate for the year 2000. The original plan to rebuild a new Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, with the inclusion of the historical Pan Am jet age structure was proposed and accepted by JFK and Delta Air Lines in 2000. However, the plan was dropped with the aftermath of 9/11. Thus if 9/11 wouldn't have happened, the original Worldport would have survived to this day.

Image

For those of us old enough to already be geeking out on a.net in the year 2000, this is what we thought the future held for Delta and Terminal 3 in 2000 and 2001. And here we are 20 years later with the world once again changing in front of our eyes. Such is life.
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
Noshow
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 7:21 am

I arrived there on Pan Am 747-100 from Frankfurt and Heathrow several times. It was pretty run down in the final years. Faded paint and such. I seem to remember that Mocsow's Sheremetyevo airport had some pretty similar building for domestic flights across the runway. I only flew there once.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 10:36 am

ClipperYankee wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
I remember coming to JFK atop World Port's parking lot to view planes in the early 80's (with my parents). Arrival to this terminal and going up the ramp to parking felt like arrival to something larger than life. Truly a memory to behold and never again to experience. Miss those L-1011-500's!!


I was having a bit of deja vu as we both commented something similar in the last thread on the Worldport about four months ago. I'm posting here what I wrote then to add a little for people wondering what it was like:

"Yes, I am aware of all the negatives that have been pointed out over many threads regarding the Worldport but regardless it saddens me that there wasn't some way to save it. Certainly a unique piece of architecture and one that I only got to fly in or out of it just a few times. However, I used to have to go pickup relatives there frequently and one thing I enjoyed as a young automobile driver was how convoluted the ramps were for access to the rooftop parking for the public. It was like a bowl of spaghetti and there were a couple of rather tight turns. Once up there you could be face to face with a PAA 747. Good times."

I can also add that the smell of jet-a wafting through the air while up at that parking lot was like perfume to me, And those tight turns had a lot of paint on them from drivers that didn't judge them just right, especially with the land barges of the day. LOL.


I remember everything about it as you mentioned, ClipperYankee! From the initial ramp up the sides of the World Port getting a glipse of a Pan Am jet under the canopy and the idle jet shrill of perhaps a 727, to the daylight that would greet to the first plateau before the turn up the ramp into the parking lot. The excitement for me may never be matched. And, yes, the jet fuel pierces my memory to this day. Whenever I smell diesel today, I am immediately transported to "The Pan Am Roof" as we named it, and the site of 747's, L-1011's and 727's. And, of course, once on the parking deck, looking below so close to planes (now in retrospect) was like seeing gigantic whales in their natural habitat, a truly one-of-a-kind, almost reverent experience and probably why the experience was extraordinary, especially for a young boy! Thanks Mom and Dad for taking me there so often, perhaps dreaming that one day I would be inspired and be determined to travel the world!
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 10:52 am

In fairness to Delta, there were 2 phases of Worldport ownership:

Pre mid 2000s...they kept the place in good condition. Renovations were made in the mid 90s that had it looking good.

Post mid 2000s...They have an agenda to throw down the terminal. And they let it go. That is when the roof gave way and the pigeons appeared. It was the first part demolished after closure to avoid a landmarking group gaining traction.

As someone pointed out above, something changed. At first they saw value in keeping that saucer, and then they didn’t

I said then, and I’ll say it now 10 years on, it was obviously a mistake to tear down that saucer when it could’ve been incorporated as the front of a concourse.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 11:18 am

jfklganyc wrote:
In fairness to Delta, there were 2 phases of Worldport ownership:

Pre mid 2000s...they kept the place in good condition. Renovations were made in the mid 90s that had it looking good.

Post mid 2000s...They have an agenda to throw down the terminal. And they let it go. That is when the roof gave way and the pigeons appeared. It was the first part demolished after closure to avoid a landmarking group gaining traction.

As someone pointed out above, something changed. At first they saw value in keeping that saucer, and then they didn’t

I said then, and I’ll say it now 10 years on, it was obviously a mistake to tear down that saucer when it could’ve been incorporated as the front of a concourse.


Agreed...for it's own architectural marvel! Especially when the TWA headhouse is alive and beautifully put to new use reminding those who remember what ever happened to it's complementary sister structure! The world port rutunda, at least the steal framing maybe reinforced could have been an awesome tribute to Delta's international presence. I often ride through JFK just for fun and the emptiness of a void there never gets old.
 
Noshow
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 11:37 am

Found a pic of Moscow's "Sheremetyevo 1" terminal. (torn down)
https://images.app.goo.gl/57fHDVthifZeswEb9
 
phatfarmlines
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 12:28 pm

What was the renovation history for the Worldport? The initial ticket counters were set up "supermarket" style, before security was mandated. When did the current configurations start to take place?

Thinking about:

747 holdroom /Int'l arrivals & ticket counter expansion from the saucer (1970's?)
Modifications for security (1970's?)
Transition from planks to actual jetways for gates within the saucer
Switch from the "supermarket" ticket counters to the BusinessElite counters at the front of the saucer.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 12:55 pm

Polot wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
hondah35 wrote:
For all of the history it had, it sure met an ignominious end. To call that building a dump the last few years it was open would be the understatement of the century.


Delta did what it could with the Worldport, which simply became T3. The design was a challenge and the increased flows resulting from an ever expanding operation there were no match for what the building was originally designed to support. Delta made it more or less tolerable, but it was not the world class facility Delta needed to further enhance its foot print in NYC.

To be honest the terminal probably spent more of its life as a “dump” than a respectable terminal. It was never a particularly great forward thinking design, owned by an airline that was in poor financial shape for years before being sold to an airline that long had priorities elsewhere.


Yes, pretty much sums it up, I think Pan Am expanded it once, in the 1970s to accommodate more 747s, which is how the v-shaped section of the concourse and the outermost gates came to be. The most significant enhancement (cosmetic, more than structural) was undertaken by Delta in the 2000s post bankruptcy. The article though is great and a reminder of what the JFK Terminal City was once like. There were some efforts to landmark protect it, but they didn't work out.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 12:58 pm

phatfarmlines wrote:
What was the renovation history for the Worldport? The initial ticket counters were set up "supermarket" style, before security was mandated. When did the current configurations start to take place?

Thinking about:

747 holdroom /Int'l arrivals & ticket counter expansion from the saucer (1970's?)
Modifications for security (1970's?)
Transition from planks to actual jetways for gates within the saucer
Switch from the "supermarket" ticket counters to the BusinessElite counters at the front of the saucer.


The most significant expansion was as you've pointed out, in the 1970s, with the v-shaped extension to the saucer, which was added to make room for more 747 capacity (and widebodies in general). Dedicated check in counters moved around quite a bit post-Pan Am. I think the upper main level was used by Pan Am for First and Clipper Class with the "basement" section for everyone else. Not entirely sure. The last time I flew out of the terminal in 2012 on Delta, the saucer front section was just general Delta ticketing and check in. BusinessElite, as Biz Class was called then, was moved to a separate area.
 
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airporthistory
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 1:10 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
The most significant expansion was as you've pointed out, in the 1970s, with the v-shaped extension to the saucer, which was added to make room for more 747 capacity (and widebodies in general). Dedicated check in counters moved around quite a bit post-Pan Am. I think the upper main level was used by Pan Am for First and Clipper Class with the "basement" section for everyone else. Not entirely sure. The last time I flew out of the terminal in 2012 on Delta, the saucer front section was just general Delta ticketing and check in. BusinessElite, as Biz Class was called then, was moved to a separate area.


Hi, I will have a completely seperate piece on the Worlport expansion, which opened in 1973. And yes, I can confirm that the upper level was used First and Clipper Class, and the lower level for Eco. See attached image.

Image
 
Cointrin330
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 1:16 pm

airporthistory wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
The most significant expansion was as you've pointed out, in the 1970s, with the v-shaped extension to the saucer, which was added to make room for more 747 capacity (and widebodies in general). Dedicated check in counters moved around quite a bit post-Pan Am. I think the upper main level was used by Pan Am for First and Clipper Class with the "basement" section for everyone else. Not entirely sure. The last time I flew out of the terminal in 2012 on Delta, the saucer front section was just general Delta ticketing and check in. BusinessElite, as Biz Class was called then, was moved to a separate area.


Hi, I will have a completely seperate piece on the Worlport expansion, which opened in 1973. And yes, I can confirm that the upper level was used First and Clipper Class, and the lower level for Eco. See attached image.

Image


Thanks! Fabulous photo.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 1:24 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
In fairness to Delta, there were 2 phases of Worldport ownership:

Pre mid 2000s...they kept the place in good condition. Renovations were made in the mid 90s that had it looking good.

Post mid 2000s...They have an agenda to throw down the terminal. And they let it go. That is when the roof gave way and the pigeons appeared. It was the first part demolished after closure to avoid a landmarking group gaining traction.

As someone pointed out above, something changed. At first they saw value in keeping that saucer, and then they didn’t

I said then, and I’ll say it now 10 years on, it was obviously a mistake to tear down that saucer when it could’ve been incorporated as the front of a concourse.


Delta's issue at JFK post-mid 2000s and bankruptcy is that it had inadequate facilities for a fast growing footprint and one with some connecting traffic. The T3 and T2 footprints were extremely outdated and not designed to service the rising levels of traffic. There was also little room to park planes and service them in between flights. I've always wondered why Delta didn't make a serious play to acquire T8 from American. T8 was less underutilized then but still outsized for what was AA's footprint then. By the time AMR entered bankruptcy, the T4 DL redevelopment was well underway and nearing its 2013 opening. T4 gave Delta more space and a slightly better operation for volume, but not much more.
 
trueblew
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 1:51 pm

XRadar98 wrote:
trueblew wrote:
airporthistory wrote:

Yes, currently these pre-clearance facilities exist at Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, and Winnipeg in Canada.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, nowadays is the same as a domestic destination and does not require pre-clearance.



Any idea when SJU transitioned to being considered a domestic point of origin?


I am probably wrong, but I assume since 1898ish.


Your sarcasm is appreciated, but I don't think the IAB existed around the turn of the 20th century. The article stated there was pre-clearance in SJU for JFK flights which prompted my question. Other possessions of the United States require customs clearance but SJU does not, although the article suggested in the recent past it did.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 2:28 pm

The weakness with the Terminal post 1970s expansion was the
-separate check in areas
-separate arrival areas
-inability for sterile concourse procedures

By the mid-1990s, almost all of the New York area terminals restricted the concourses to ticketed passengers...While in other parts of the country, visitors were allowed.

Because of the awkward design of the worldport, Delta was unable to do this. Which meant anybody could get to the gate area. That is because the ticket counters were inside of security.

Post 9/11, They had to awkwardly break this up by putting up a glass wall around the ticket counters and breaking up what was a spacious area.

Furthermore the AirTrain station threw a crimp into the first class checkin out front. That is where all the Airtrain passengers arrived...And now they had to be processed at the front of the terminal.

But it was always a hodge podge of drop off areas and Delta was frequently changing signage to see what worked or didnt work.

The interior Roadway Loop that snaked under 6 jetbridges and curved and climbed to a central checkin and ramp to roof parking is seldom discussed, But is in my opinion the coolest feature of the terminal.

Rivaling any micro machines or hot wheels play set you had as a kid; Your car weaved through planes, ramps, tunnels and curves on your way to the front door
 
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ClipperYankee
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 6:50 pm

Actually, that cool roadway is mentioned a couple off times a few posts above, it was quite a creation and I always enjoyed it.

Not fully Worldport related but on one of my many runs to JFK I was thrilled to see, one time only, a PAA 732 and it must have been making a stop to or from the Internal German Service. Never got to fly on one and though there might have been some in FRA while on a visit as a youngster in 1974 I don't have memory of seeing any so the JFK sighting was it.
I still miss the Blue Meatball, warts and all.
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airporthistory
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Mon May 25, 2020 7:06 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
The interior Roadway Loop that snaked under 6 jetbridges and curved and climbed to a central checkin and ramp to roof parking is seldom discussed, But is in my opinion the coolest feature of the terminal.

Rivaling any micro machines or hot wheels play set you had as a kid; Your car weaved through planes, ramps, tunnels and curves on your way to the front door


I think I have a few very cool pics of it but need to go through my collection of Worldport images. If I have them, I'll use them in the upcoming Worldport piece. Should be posted in a month or so.
 
XRadar98
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Tue May 26, 2020 12:19 am

trueblew wrote:
XRadar98 wrote:
trueblew wrote:


Any idea when SJU transitioned to being considered a domestic point of origin?


I am probably wrong, but I assume since 1898ish.


Your sarcasm is appreciated, but I don't think the IAB existed around the turn of the 20th century. The article stated there was pre-clearance in SJU for JFK flights which prompted my question. Other possessions of the United States require customs clearance but SJU does not, although the article suggested in the recent past it did.


I am usually sarcastic, but this post was not. I have not bothered to look for the rules. I thought PR was always like it is now, with passport requirements.
 
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airporthistory
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Tue May 26, 2020 7:31 pm

XRadar98 wrote:
I am usually sarcastic, but this post was not. I have not bothered to look for the rules. I thought PR was always like it is now, with passport requirements.


Per U.S. Customs and Border Protection website:

Puerto Rico's status as a territory also means that U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents don't need a passport to visit, nor do Puerto Ricans need a passport to come and go from the rest of the United States.
 
airbazar
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Tue May 26, 2020 8:26 pm

It looks pretty in pictures only. I used it only once in the early 90's when SQ and DL were partners and SQ operated out of there. I flew BOS-JFK-[FRA]-SIN and back, and I agree with whoever said that calling it a dump in those years is an understatement.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Wed May 27, 2020 12:39 am

airbazar wrote:
It looks pretty in pictures only. I used it only once in the early 90's when SQ and DL were partners and SQ operated out of there. I flew BOS-JFK-[FRA]-SIN and back, and I agree with whoever said that calling it a dump in those years is an understatement.


It wasn't always a dump. It was architecturally interesting and novel for the time in which it opened, but very quickly became outdated. It was really only expanded once, in the 1970s when it was already too small, and neglected thereafter. Delta did put money into it, but only at an accelerated pace as it exited bankruptcy in the mid-2000s at the same time it launched a new image and campaign. In the early 1990s after DL acquired Pan Am's TATL portfolio and the JFK terminal leases, the Worldport operated on the inside in a virtually unchanged manner other than Delta signage. Throughout the 1990s, Delta reduced the number of its own flights out of JFK and relied very much on code shares to do much of the flying, with a number of airlines including for a time Virgin Atlantic (then DL had no access to LHR anyway), Swissair, TAP, Sabena, to name a few. SQ operated out of T3 because it was part of the Atlantic Excellence whatever it was called linking Swissair, Delta, and Singapore.
 
airlineAZ
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Wed May 27, 2020 12:40 am

The article is REALLY well done! Many photos I've never seen. Thanks for putting together! I wonder if DL / Port Authority salvaged anything from the terminal?

airporthistory wrote:
Hi folks,

Not much to celebrate in aviation these days. Nevertheless, today marks an important early Jet Age milestone. Exactly 60 years ago today, on May 24, 1960, the Pan Am terminal at New York's Idlewild Airport opened for operations. I completely revamped the article I did a year ago on its design with new text and photos.

You can find it here: https://www.airporthistory.org/kennedy-pa.html.

The Worldport expansion will be dealt with in a later chapter.

I would love to hear from people who remember flying through or visiting the terminal throughout the years. What was it like? Also, as an airport planner I would love to hear about the bottlenecks and deficiencies the terminal had in different stages of its life.
 
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airporthistory
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Thu May 28, 2020 9:20 pm

airlineAZ wrote:
The article is REALLY well done! Many photos I've never seen. Thanks for putting together! I wonder if DL / Port Authority salvaged anything from the terminal?


The Zodiac sign was saved. It's stored in a hanger at JFK. I don't know if there was anything else saved. Does anyone here know?
Last edited by airporthistory on Thu May 28, 2020 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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lesfalls
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Thu May 28, 2020 9:44 pm

airporthistory wrote:
airlineAZ wrote:
The article is REALLY well done! Many photos I've never seen. Thanks for putting together! I wonder if DL / Port Authority salvaged anything from the terminal?


I think only the Zodiac sign was saved. It's a good question. I don't know if there was anything else worth saving at the end. Does anyone here know?


It's in a Port Authority Warehouse if I'm not mistaken, currently looking for a museum to accept it. This was posted awhile back on another PA related forum.
Lufthansa: Einfach ein bisschen besser.
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Thu May 28, 2020 11:58 pm

airlineAZ wrote:
I wonder if DL / Port Authority salvaged anything from the terminal?



The "Delta Air Lines" sign that was atop the zodiac "fence" is in the DL Flight Museum in ATL.

Image
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
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airporthistory
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Fri May 29, 2020 1:29 am

DL_Mech wrote:
airlineAZ wrote:
I wonder if DL / Port Authority salvaged anything from the terminal?



The "Delta Air Lines" sign that was atop the zodiac "fence" is in the DL Flight Museum in ATL.

Image


That's great! Is it just stored there or actually displayed? Would love to see photos!
 
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flyPIT
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Fri May 29, 2020 2:01 am

On the topic of saving pieces of JFK's demolished terminals, the end of one of the wings of the TWA Flight Center was saved and was to be attached to the end of JetBlue's T5. Looks like the plan was shelved.
http://www.flyian.net/jetblue/t5/trumpet/trumpet.htm
FLYi
 
cynlb
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Fri May 29, 2020 2:32 am

James Bond at Pan Am Worldport (video)-
https://youtu.be/Ieff3w5P0Ko
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Fri May 29, 2020 8:38 am

This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
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keesje
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Fri May 29, 2020 9:18 am

hondah35 wrote:
For all of the history it had, it sure met an ignominious end. To call that building a dump the last few years it was open would be the understatement of the century.


In many countries we see the phenomenon that landmarks are demolished for practical reasons, rather then restored into their original glory. While, at the time, most people deep down know that the question will come up in 20 years, if that was was a really the best idea.

And that the answer will probably be negative. E.g. because by then the replacement building(s) can't stand in it's shadow, despite promises made, "progress", priority changes, maintenance budgets, "$hort term real e$tate opportunist$", weak government, etc. I think the Brits are often better there, they aren't that forward looking / opportunistic.

Image
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
ltbewr
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Fri May 29, 2020 9:48 am

I can recall only using the Worldport once, in 1985 on a flight to Rome, Italy. By then the building has lost a lot of its luster. It is also possible they used special buses to bring passengers to/from the terminal and remote stands/parking of planes due to the limited number of gates. Today's airport designs are more about security, form follows function to move a lot of people.
 
Clipper002
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Re: IMAGES: Pan Am Worldport opened 60 years ago today

Fri May 29, 2020 2:29 pm

ltbewr wrote:
I can recall only using the Worldport once, in 1985 on a flight to Rome, Italy. By then the building has lost a lot of its luster. It is also possible they used special buses to bring passengers to/from the terminal and remote stands/parking of planes due to the limited number of gates. Today's airport designs are more about security, form follows function to move a lot of people.

Those "buses" were actually 2 planemates operated by Allied on behalf of Pan Am. They were the same as the units in operation at IAD during that time period.
Ed

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