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John F. Kennedy International Airport Queens, NY 11430, United States

JFK Airport, New York

In the borough of Queens in New York City, there is John F. Kennedy International Airport. It is the busiest US airport concerning international passenger traffic.


Due to this gradual traffic increase, some of the main entrances of the JFK airport equipped with revolving doors couldn't channel the traffic of large numbers of passengers at peak times, often accompanied by carts and luggage causing queues and circulation problems.


To solve the situation, the airport commissioned the improvement of its access facilities with three objectives; a greater capacity of traffic through the doors, an improvement of the energy saving in the entrances, and a minimum impact on the facade of the building.


After analyzing several proposals, it was decided not to change the revolving doors for larger ones. Thus, it was possible to maintain the entire structure of the building and substantially reduce the total budget for the project. But then, how would the number of people per minute passing by the door be increased?


Taking advantage of the revolving door structure, the wings were removed and replaced by two automatic sliding doors covering the entire diameter, ensuring maximum capacity and ease of movement.


Three or four wings revolving doors can reduce the energy needed to heat or cool a building, providing optimum energy savings and reducing carbon footprint. Sliding doors are more inefficient but, combined with a high-efficiency air curtain, are the perfect solution to create an invisible barrier that separates two different environments without limiting people's access.


The air curtains were placed according to the curvature of the revolving door structure. The technological challenge, in this case, consisted of the revolving door dimensions (almost 5 meters in diameter), which are much larger than standard revolving doors. In addition, the energy-saving and performance of the air curtain would be as vital as the aesthetics. Therefore, it required an air curtain design that would seamlessly integrate into airport interior design and be technically feasible.


Airtècnics designed a high-powered Rotowind air curtain model with high-efficiency EC fans, hot water heating, and an air outlet divided into two parts to cover the entire radius of curvature. It was also painted the same white color as the building structure.


The solution adopted for those eight New York JFK airport entrances with traffic capacity channeling problems has been a success. With a minimum budget, the facility is now more functional, maintains harmony in the design, saves more energy, and provides more comfort to the traveler.

Model in use

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