John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is an international airport located in Queens, in southeastern New York City and about 12 miles (19 km) from Lower Manhattan. Originally known as the Idlewild Airport (IDL), it was renamed in 1963 in memory of the late President John F. Kennedy. It is colloquially referred to simply as "Kennedy" or "JFK" airport.
JFK airport is the newest and busiest of New York City's three primary commercial airports. It is the top international air passenger gateway to the United States and is also the leading freight gateway to the country by value of shipments. The airport is operated by the NYC Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages three other airports in the New York City metropolitan area, Newark Liberty, LaGuardia and Teterboro. It is the base of operations for JetBlue Airways and is also a major international gateway hub for Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.
JFK's outbound international travel accounted for 17% of all U.S. travelers who went overseas in 2004, the largest share of any U.S. airport. Back in 2000, JFK handled an average of about 50,000 international passengers each day. The JFK-London Heathrow route is the leading U.S. international airport pair with over 2.9 million passengers back in 2000. Other top international destinations from JFK are Paris, Frankfurt, and Tokyo. Nearly 100 airlines from over 50 countries operate regularly scheduled flights from JFK. Although JFK is known for its historical role as an international gateway airport for the United States, it also handles a large number of domestic flights. In 2006 the airport handled 42.7 million passengers; Newark Liberty International Airport handled about 35.4 million and LaGuardia Airport around 26 million, making for a total of approximately 105 million travelers using New York's airports.