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What Do You Consider A Well-planned Airport?  
User currently offline87GROUNDED From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 121 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5223 times:

In the past 2 months I have been through the following airports: MFR, EUG, PDX, SEA, SFO, LAX, SLC, DEN, OKC, ORD, PHX, and LAS. Each has it's own positives and negatives and is unique in its own way.

For instance, DEN is huge. It seems like the planners did a good job spreading things out so that there are few conflicts with arrivals and departures using cross runways. However, landing on 35R takes forever to taxi in, especially if you are at B17-28. And the new RJ terminal is quite the walk, especially if you have small children in tow.

SFO is awesome from an airplane nut. Lots of windows to watch operations but from a logistical standpoint it must be a bear when weather forces delays. And having 4 crossing runways must make it challenging coordinating takeoffs and landings.

LAX is a mess. 'Nuff said.

LAS, nice touch with the slots in the gate areas. Nothing says, "Give us your last dime before you leave," like Vegas does. Long lines at security on Sundays and a confusing layout made for an interesting stop.

PHX: "Good morning passengers this is your Captain speaking. Welcome aboard US/HP airways flight ----. We are currently 12th in line for takeoff. In the mean time, sit back and enjoy the taxi. If you look out the right side of the aircraft you can see the fancy fire station." Taxi in and out seemed like it took forever, and the terminal was very crowded.

PDX is nice. Easy to get from gate to gate, central security that is easy to traverse, good food, etc. ATC does a good job getting AS and QX operations on the south runway while UA and OO as well as WN get the north one. It makes for quick taxi times and easy turnaround.

SEA sucks. Trying to figure out the whole train system for the first time was frustrating. There is no personality to the airport other than another airport stuck on top of a hill surrounded by a ghetto.

OKC was pleasant but the whole place shuts down at 7:00. That's OK if you're gone by 6:45PM but heaven forbid if your flight is delayed for weather or mx and you ars stuck in the terminal after 7 as happened to me. Also, the ride from the city to the airport must pass a hunderd tattoo parlors and payday loan shops. And the airport area hotels have much to be desired.

ORD seemed crowded and harried. Like they couldn't wait to get you out of their hair and on to the next flight. Very little personal help or service.

So I'm wondering, in your opinion, which city has a well thought out airport master plan complete with aircraft movement plans, proper lodging and restaurants nearby, spacious and clean terminals, and adequate gate areas?


On your deathbed you'll receive total consiousness- so I've got that going for me.
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline87GROUNDED From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5211 times:

Continued...

SLC, and especially the OO area, were very crowded. The airfield seemed well laid out but inside was a mess. Overflowing trash cans, people sprawled out, frantic gate agents at OO. But it had a 'controlled chaos' atmosphere. Maybe being there just as a ground stop and air inversion had just lifted had a little to do with it.

MFR- it should be better when the construction is finished.

EUG- Pleasant but slow paced. Luggage takes forever. The OO staff couldn't figure out how to turn off the alarm on the boarding pass machine next to the gate so it chimed for over an hour before a cleaning lady came by and showed the OO employee how to fix it.



On your deathbed you'll receive total consiousness- so I've got that going for me.
User currently offlineVega From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5201 times:

Certainly Pittsburgh (PIT) has to be one of the best planned airport layouts in the U.S.. Compact and User friendly.

User currently offlineDL777LAX From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 521 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5183 times:

Quoting 87GROUNDED (Thread starter):
LAX is a mess. 'Nuff said.

can you explain why its a mess? Some of the terminals are in bad shape, yeah i know that. But, its efficient layout helps to get planes on and off the ground. Usually when flying into LAX, you don't have to do any circling around the airport, you line up with the runways somewhere over downtown. Most of the time, you don't have to wait more then ten minutes to get from the gate into the air. In the sense of air traffic and control, I can't think of any airport more efficient. LAX has 20 million more passengers a year then JFK, yet JFK has more delays then LAX. I travel between the two airports at twice a year. I have to say I have never had an on time departure from JFK, yet I have had maybe one or two delayed flights out of LAX. (LAX is my home base airport, I travel through LAX at least six times a year, usually more like once a month.)



Blindly following anything is bad, unless of course your blind and your following a guide dog.
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3050 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5167 times:

Quoting 87GROUNDED (Thread starter):
LAX is a mess. 'Nuff said.



Quoting DL777LAX (Reply 3):
Can you explain why it's a mess?

I can.

Having LAX as an origin or destination probably isn't bad at all for the reasons you stated, but for connections between two separate terminals, it's a royal pain.
1. There are security checkpoints at each terminal and no way to avoid having to go through them if you're only connecting.
2. Each terminal has a different layout, some of them quite unusual and difficult to navigate intuitively.
3. If there is a single sign featuring a map of the terminals and "You Are Here" on it at LAX, I never saw it...and I was looking for one everywhere while I was there.

LAX was clean and the airport staff were reasonably helpful once they got over the initial shock of hearing a thick Alabama accent for the first time, but I don't care to ever have to connect there again.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineDisruptivehair From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5156 times:

I think the small ones are usually the nicest. Austin's new airport is pretty nice. Love Field is great because of its location and size.

The worst airport I ever went to was Boston, followed by LAX. CDG isn't great, and Heathrow is a nightmare. Gatwick is sometimes hard to find your way around but it is very well signposted, so that's something in its favor.

Manchester's airport is like a mall with airplanes. My only complaints about that place are the terminals are too far apart and there aren't enough places to eat.


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5138 times:

Is your question directed more at the terminal operations, air side operations such as ramps, taxiways, runways etc., or a combination of both?

From the size of airports, whenever you start having 2-3 runways set mainly for arrivals in all weather conditions, the FAA has standards that must be maintained in order to operate simultaneous dual and triple ops....without advanced high update RADAR systems, using a simple ASR-9 RADAR system you have to have 4,300' between the runway centerlines for duals, 5,000' between runway centerlines for trips, so that means minimum of 10,000' for the outboards which will create long taxi times if you are lucky enough to have to land on the outboard runway farthest from the terminal. There are some other different requirements an airport is able to meet with some waivers to reduce that some but waivers are a pain in the ass to have and keep up with the every changing criteria that is the FAA. Up until a few years ago end around taxiways were a no-no, thus IAH layout and having to cross 8R/26L to get to the ramp from the far north runway, or you can get east side end around through the cargo ramp adding some 10 more minutes to your drive time.

With the above impacting the size of an airport, the toss in some runways primarily used for departures, and have the required distance for independent operations from the arrival runways and that takes up even more space. For parallel independent operations last I checked, could be wrong but you had to have 2,500' between centerlines of the adjacent parallel arrival runway to have independent ops....so a well planned airport could actually drop a couple of parallel departure runways between the 3 arrival runways and be fine but oh those taxiways would be very fun.

 Smile



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineEvan767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5108 times:

I would say ATL is the best planned airport. Winds usually come from either the east and west, and with 5 parallel runways facing the east and west, a runway will never be inop due to winds. The parallel runways are great too. No criss-crossing, and less chance of being in a holding pattern. The concourses were designed nicely as well. All concourses are the same shape, and connections are extremely easy with use of the underground train. Aircraft flow is extremely smooth in ATL. This is a main reason as to why ATL is the busiest airport in the universe.


The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlineDisruptivehair From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5096 times:

Quoting Evan767 (Reply 7):
I would say ATL is the best planned airport. Winds usually come from either the east and west, and with 5 parallel runways facing the east and west, a runway will never be inop due to winds. The parallel runways are great too. No criss-crossing, and less chance of being in a holding pattern. The concourses were designed nicely as well. All concourses are the same shape, and connections are extremely easy with use of the underground train. Aircraft flow is extremely smooth in ATL. This is a main reason as to why ATL is the busiest airport in the universe.

Yeah, but it's a pain when you have to get from one end of it to the other! I nearly missed a connecting flight there because I had to get from terminal 1 to terminal 5 in 15 minutes. I ran flat out to make it and ran up just as they were closing the doors. Lucky me!


User currently offlineLHboyatDTW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5062 times:

I've been to: DTW, ORD, ATL, MEM, MCO, TPA, SEA, PDX, LAX, SNA, SAN, RDU, MKE, MSP

DTW: If you're flying NW it's great. The terminal may be long, but either run on the moving walkways or take the tram. It's not too bad. It will be much better once the North Terminal is in operation.

ORD and LAX: chaotic

SFO: Don't remember much of it since I flew in there, but it must be nice

SEA: SeaTacky. It's not the best of airports imo, but I don't go there often

PDX: I love it. It's a great airport and the pier connector makes it even better with security lines. Fortunately my aunt and uncle live near PDX so it's always a pleasure coming in here over SEA. I only wish NW had a direct DTW-PDX flight year round so I wouldn't always have to connect.

MCO and TPA: Same layout, but I like MCO better.

SNA: Nice little airport with so many damn NIMBYs. I'd love to fly a Russian jet in there just to rattle them up. I loved it flying in there at night.

SAN: Great approach and takeoff. I've only flown there once.

RDU: Small and quiet. It's totally beyond me how that airport can have a 777 to LGW.

MKE: Makes me go crazy after spending 5 hours there. I felt like I needed a psychiatrist after being stranded there thanks to NW.

ATL: Nice and easy to use, but long taxi lines.

CVG: Not my favorite in the least bit.


User currently offlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5049 times:

Small 1 terminal airports with no transitting flights.......

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3050 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4958 times:

Picking a good plan for a terminal and then sticking with that plan for additional terminals is a good idea. Fast and efficient transportation inside the security checkpoints between terminals and/or concourses is a boon to travellers as well, particularly those with 15 minutes between connecting flights at opposite ends of an airport.

Based on these criteria and my limited airport experience I think DFW is hard to beat from a good planning standpoint, although ATL is a close second. I also like DFW's semi-circular terminals with windows and gates on the outside and shops and restaurants on the inside.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineHighFlyer9790 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4936 times:

BOS- My hometown airport, so it has my allegiance. i love. of course, if you are the rest of the world, its parking is quite confusing, terminal B is horrific for an AA 777 departure. but Terminal E is fantastic.

DEN- love it. large but easy to get around. enough runways so rush hour usually isnt a problem.

A well planned airport for me has enough runways CATIII certified and can handle rush hour. there are signs in the terminals, and little walking is needed to get around. (moving walkways, trams, etc.)

Ive been to many more than that, but those two are my favorites.



121
User currently offlineATCT From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2223 posts, RR: 39
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month ago) and read 4863 times:

Quoting Vega (Reply 2):
Certainly Pittsburgh (PIT) has to be one of the best planned airport layouts in the U.S.. Compact and User friendly.

Definitely the best ive ever been to. Very easy to navigate and very passenger friendly, lots of food, easy parking and frequent parking shuttles.

Worst Passenger Wise: LAX, BOS, JFK, ATL, ORD

Best: PIT, CVG, SEA, MHT, RSW


SEA to me was easy to navigate. LAX, BOS, and ORD are just messes. CVG to me is easy to navigate, and great food! RSW and MHT have those smaller "large" airport feel about em. Easy to navigate and very open "airy" terminals.

ATCT



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
User currently offlineEmirates029 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4851 times:

Time to choose some non-US airports!

AMS: Very efficient and organised, very short queues for passport control, really easy to use and great views of the tarmac.

DXB: Very sleek and modern, the Duty Free isn't bad.
I think FRA is also pretty nice, and STN isn't too bad.


User currently offlineSonOfACaptain From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1747 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4832 times:

The opposite of PHL.

There you go.

-SOAC



Non Illegitimi Carborundum
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22319 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4822 times:

From a design point of view, I think the CDG and DFW model deserves a mention in that it does a great job of catering to both O&D and connecting passengers, though CDG badly needs to be cleaned up and it needs an airside train system a la DFW.


I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4817 times:

CHA is the best planned municipal airport for a city the size of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lovell Field sits on it's original site (established in the 1920s) yet could literally expand to twice it's current size without any additional land acquisition. The longest runway is 02-20 which is 7500' by 150'-large enough to accomodate most jet airliner types. The cross runway is 15-33 and is about 5000' by 150'. Various expansion plans that have been presented over the years include a 10,500' runway parallel to 02-20 and a new ramp facility on the west side of the airfield to attract major aircraft repair/completion centers. All of this development can be completed without the necessity of acquiring additional land due to the size of the 1920's land appropriation. The city fathers and early airport proponents realized that the airport would grow and were wise to appropriate much more land than was initially required. Now the investment will pay off as any additional development will not require the displacement of residences or businesses. The airport's location is also prime as it sits within easy access to State Highway 153, I-75 and I-24. A major railroad main line, the Western and Atlantic Railroad of the State of Georgia, sits directly across the main access road from the Passenger Parking Area. If the airport were to be developed as a secondary outlying passenger satellite for ATL, the State of Georgia could upgrade the line for high speed passenger connection service between CHA and ATL. How's that possible? The State of Georgia OWNS the Western and Atlantic Railroad of the State of Georgia lock, stock and barrel. The railroad is leased to CSX Transportation for a period of 20 years at a time. Under the terms of the lease, all improvements to the property, locomotives and rolling stock becomes property of the State of Georgia at the termination of the lease. Now THAT'S a well planned airport!


"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8626 posts, RR: 15
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4808 times:

Quoting Vega (Reply 2):
Certainly Pittsburgh (PIT) has to be one of the best planned airport layouts in the U.S.. Compact
and User friendly.

Agreed.

Quoting LHboyatDTW (Reply 9):
MCO and TPA: Same layout, but I like MCO better.

Agreed.

Ok, I've been to PHL, CLT, ORF, IND, SAN, IAH, PIT and of course MCO where I fly out of.

PHL: Lots of walking to express terminal for US, never been through security or customs but prefer a 2HR layover because of its layout. Good food places.

CLT: Good food and nice terminals. Easy to connect when flights are 1hr apart.

ORF: Good security and nice terminal

IND: Terrible secruity when you fly out at peak times. Nice airport though

SAN: Very well laid out airport. Good security and was impressed by this.

IAH: Good food and terminal layouts. Very easy to connect.

PIT: Same as SAN. Very well laid out airport. Sbarros is a plus. I never did security, but would imagine its quick and effiicent.

MCO: Good layout though security can be a hassle at peak times. The food is good.

MCOflyer



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
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