The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized the Executive Director to enter into a 20-year lease with Amazon Global Air to redevelop and expand air cargo facilities at Newark Liberty International Airport, a major step forward in providing world-class air cargo service across agency airports in an increasingly dynamic market.
Amazon is expected to transform two existing structures, Buildings 339 and 340, into a new state-of-the-art air cargo campus with a targeted investment of $125 million for renovation. No Port Authority capital funding will be required in support of this transaction. The lease, which remains subject to final negotiation and is expected to take effect later this year, will provide the Port Authority a lump sum upfront payment of $150 million and another $157 million in additional rent over the life of the 20-year agreement, which covers about 250,000 square feet of cargo space on 23 acres at Newark Liberty.
The facility’s transformation will dramatically upgrade Newark Liberty’s air cargo throughout and service capabilities overall. The airport already stands as a major domestic and international shipping center and today’s authorization will help drive the Port Authority’s broader effort to modernize operations at all facilities to better compete in a dynamic and evolving air cargo sector.
“This investment in Newark Liberty International Airport will create 1,000 jobs and provide significant opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Air cargo is vital to the international supply chain, and with this new partnership, Newark will continue to be a global leader in logistics. This new e-commerce hub will provide needed revenue to the Port Authority while also bringing new jobs to our state.”
“We are excited about the outcome of today’s vote, recommending Amazon as the best partner to occupy air cargo space at Newark Liberty International Airport. While the lease remains subject to final negotiation, this is a positive step forward,” said an Amazon spokesperson.
Today’s vote paves the way for upgrading the existing space, including high utilization for e-commerce package sortation and incremental cargo activity, as well as providing the most highly positive revenues for the Port Authority. It is expected to lead to the creation of more than 1,000 jobs at the airport.
In addition, all architectural, engineering and construction activity relating to improvements to the facility, as well as contractors and subcontractors involved in operating the new cargo facility, would include good faith participation goals of 20 percent for Minority-owned Business Enterprises and 10 percent for Woman-owned Business Enterprises.
Local air cargo remains an essential link in the global supply chain and a critical driver of New York-New Jersey economic growth. Overall, air cargo supports 22,000 jobs, $4 billion in sales and $1.5 billion in overall wages throughout the Newark region. As customers and vendors continue to turn to online outlets for commerce and goods, Newark has become the regional hub for small packages.
Newark Liberty is in the midst of an airport-wide redevelopment, of which the airport’s cargo business in an essential ingredient. A new state-of-the-art Terminal A is being completed on the south end of the airport. The Port Authority also is moving closer to replacing the outmoded AirTrain Newark. An RFP for a design-builder for the AirTrain was released in May 2021 to four pre-selected design and construction team.