JFK has been at the forefront of aviation since its first commercial flight in 1948.
In April 1942, New York City began placing hydraulic fill over the marshy tidelands of Idlewild Golf Course. Initial plans were for a modest 1,000-acre airport, but by the time construction was complete Idlewild Airport had grown to five times that size. Commercial flights began in July 1948. On December 24, 1963, the airport was rededicated John F. Kennedy International Airport in memory of the nation's 35th president. Today, JFK is the nation's leading international gateway, with more than 80 airlines operating from its gates.