John F. Kennedy International Airport was originally Idlewild Airport (IATA: IDL, ICAO: KIDL, FAA LID: IDL) after the Idlewild Golf Course that it displaced. It was built to relieve LaGuardia Airport which was crowded soon after opening in 1939. Construction began in 1943. About $60 million was initially spent, but only 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land on the site of the Idlewild Golf Course were earmarked for use.
The project was renamed Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport in 1943 after a Queens resident who had commanded a Federalized National Guard unit in the southern United States and who had died in late 1942. In March 1948, the New York City Council changed it to New York International Airport, Anderson Field, but the common name was "Idlewild" until 1963. The airport was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24, 1963, a month after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
In Planes, Dusty Crophopper is looking for the Wings Around the Globe pit row located at the airport. After Dusty landed in the airport, he asked an American Airlines passenger airplane named Tripp, and a jet tug named Harland, for the directions to the pit row. After they told him the directions to the pit row, Dusty leaves and says that Tripp has a nice paint job. Harland thought Dusty was talking to him, and thanks Dusty, only that Tripp then corrects him on who Dusty was talking to. The start and finish lines of the Wings Around the Globe take place on one of the airport's runways.
- The airport is based on the real life John F. Kennedy International Airport.