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What Do You Think Is A Good Large Airport Design?  
User currently offlineEksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1300 posts, RR: 25
Posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6034 times:
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I mean an airport that get a lot of traffic but has a good combination of design and location. It handles the whole range of aircraft sizes.

Here is my nomination: KBOS is close to the city. It has a number of runways and it just added new terminal space. Ofcourse it will probably be not enough in a few years. Noise abatement due to the surrounding built areas could be an issue but a large number of heavies come here. It is still an attractive combination IMO.


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49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCO7e7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 2848 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6027 times:

I nominate ATL.. but i'm not sure if anyone else agrees!

User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6018 times:

I would say that if DEN had high speed rail connections to the major population centers near it, it would be the absolute ideal airport. Master plan allows for up to 11 runways (none of which cross each other) and 500 gates. It can essentially grow "forever" all the while maintaining its extremely efficient design.

User currently onlineMtnWest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2455 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6000 times:
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Actually 12 runways is the total design plan. 4 E/W, 8 N/S .
I would agree DEN would be optimum w/ better connections to town, any town.



"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlineHPLASOps From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5997 times:

I was very impressed with SEA when I was there - many gates, a hub for AS, mini hub for NW, serviced by most of the major airliners in the US, scenic location, simplistic, straight forward, sensible terminal design, and not too far from downtown.

As far as takeoffs and landings go, you can't beat LAS at nighttime - I dare anyone to put their airport to the test. Where else can you take off, and immediately see the city's prime attraction off the aircraft right as you lift off?


User currently offlineJkudall From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 615 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5987 times:

I would also say DEN is probably the best layed out design w/ multiple runways including crosswind runways. And it is spread out to allow simultaneous ILS approaches. It is a little extreme and was too expensive but it was well designed with the exception of a few things (i.e. the now extinct automated baggage system). It is big though, which means longer taxi times.

User currently offlineJkudall From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 615 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5971 times:

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 4):
As far as takeoffs and landings go, you can't beat LAS at nighttime - I dare anyone to put their airport to the test. Where else can you take off, and immediately see the city's prime attraction off the aircraft right as you lift off?

It may have a good view, but from an operational standpoint and a design standpoint I would say LAS is not that great considering there are always ATC holds out of that place.


User currently offlineContnlEliteCMH From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1458 posts, RR: 44
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5958 times:

Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 1):
I nominate ATL.. but i'm not sure if anyone else agrees!

I agree completely. Atlanta isn't near downtown, but it's connected by rail if you don't want to drive. And it's at the confluence of I-285 and I-85, which is as convenient as Atlanta traffic permits.

Any downside to its location is easily offset by its ease of use once inside. The layout of this massive facility is every bit as functional as it is unimaginative. It is as convenient to move as it is ugly. It has perhaps the best security checkpoint I have ever seen, and unlike EWR or other large airports, you don't have to go through security when changing from one to any of the six terminals. The subway runs very, very well. The signage is clear and easy to read. That everything is orthagonal makes moving around very intuitive. The only thing they might have done differently is made a few of the concourses about 10 feet wider.

But it's ugly. Did I say it's ugly? U-G-L-Y. As in, yo mama so ugly that the doctor smacked her instead of you when you was born. Outside, it's ugly. Inside, it's ugly.

Right now the airport is undergoing some "enhancements" particularly in checkin and baggage claim. It's just lipstick on the pig.

Still, of all the big airports I've visited, I like it the best.



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User currently offlineJetboy319 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5904 times:

My vote goes to ATL as well. It is really a very user-friendly airport and very easy to navigate, especially for non-frequent flyers. My only complaint about ATL is that there are no moving-walkways spanning the length of the concourses. Any airport with airlines operating from different terminals can be confusing, especially when an international flight arrives at one terminal and departs from another one, so airports like BOS, JFK, EWR, LAX etc. are out in my opinion. SEA is okay, unless you are flying in from NRT on UA, then connecting to another domestic UA flight. Actually, any international - domestic connection at SEA-TAC aside from those on NW are a pain. That considered, there isn't much space left to expand the terminal/gates at SEA beyond what is currently in place, so the space could be considered to have been used wisely.

User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5902 times:

Quoting Eksath (Thread starter):
KBOS

Getting in and out of Logan is horrible. Even with all the changes they have made to the roads there it is crappy around the terminal area.

Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 1):
I nominate ATL.. but i'm not sure if anyone else agrees!

Yes. Easy to use despite its size. If only we didn't get so man damn Summer thunderstorms causing havoc.

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 7):
It has perhaps the best security checkpoint I have ever seen

Have you been there on a Monday morning when it snakes out past the dinosaur in the atrium? Or do you just go through the Elite line like I do? (Which I have seen have a longer wait then the regular line? The central location of security though is nice. Unfortunately WXIA did the story on the other checkpoint at the T Gates and now that one is crowded.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineHPLASOps From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5874 times:

Quoting Jkudall (Reply 6):
It may have a good view, but from an operational standpoint and a design standpoint I would say LAS is not that great considering there are always ATC holds out of that place.

Fair enough, but when you finally get the clearance, you gotta love that view!

Another thought - I've flown into AUS a couple of times, and I know that airport is about 5 years old. It looks like what is built sufficiently meets demand for that city, but I don't see much room for growth on that land. If they need a new terminal in the future, I don't know where they would put it or tie it in to the existing terminal and runways. Considering how much of a growth boom Austin is in (especially with the business and political traffic they have), shouldn't they have planned a little better for a future terminal or terminals?


User currently offlineJet-lagged From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 872 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5853 times:

Having grown up in Denver I have a sentimental fondness for DEN, and truly it is efficient and spacious. But, outside the main terminal central hall, it feels small, low ceiling, and boxy. For such reasons I don't like Atlanta or other parallel-consourse designs.

To me, airports should be grand and sprawling, evoking the majic and exciting of the flight and the travel itself. For that nothing I've experienced beats Hong Kong's Chep Lap Kok. A single check-in hall with just enough noise leve, big immigration halls on either side, crossing to a mezzanine where you can glimpse the long, tall concourse as the escalator glides down to the walking floor. As you walk down the concourse, openness streches from side to side, with continous, tall windows, broken only by jetways. A good layout, moving walkways, and the underground train make it pretty fast to get through, considering it's big size. And outside, a very high proportion of widebodies and airlines from exotic locations around the world.


User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6474 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5831 times:

ATL wins hands down. However, that new proposed South Passenger Complex may make ATL be like two airports using the same runways, although there will likely be an train service between the main terminals and the new terminal.


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User currently offlineEksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1300 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5798 times:
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ARTICLE EDITOR

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 10):
Getting in and out of Logan is horrible. Even with all the changes they have made to the roads there it is crappy around the terminal area.

Agreed but how much is related the Big Dig?..I agree traffic can be bad out there.

Another suggestion.

What do you guys think of MCI?

It is in the middle of the country and has a easy terminal layout.


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User currently offlineAntiuser From Italy, joined May 2004, 657 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5796 times:

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 4):
Where else can you take off, and immediately see the city's prime attraction off the aircraft right as you lift off?

At SDU, you can see some of Rio's prime attractions even before you lift off  Smile
If you take off from 20L or 20R, the Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar) is right in front of you! Hardly a large airport, though  Smile



Azzurri Campioni del Mondo!
User currently offlineAirEMS From United States of America, joined May 2004, 684 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5785 times:

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 2):
I would say that if DEN had high speed rail connections to the major population centers near it, it would be the absolute ideal airport.

It will in a few years thanks to the Fast Trax vote that passed. There will be a light rail line going out there

Fly Safe
-Carl



If Your Dying Were Flying
User currently offlineFlyTweed From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 84 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5777 times:

I'm a bit biased since I grew up in Southeastern Massachusetts, but BOS is a great airport. They've had a lot of reconstruction in the past few years, and I think road access has improved. I know that the traffic is certainly better with the Ted Williams Tunnel now that they've gotten the kinks out, and the Sumner is even a bit better. Now that I've seen the access at JFK and EWR, I appreciate the ease of BOS much better. To locals who haven't seen much else, BOS is a mess. However, once you've seen JFK, which is a giant revolving highway of chaos, or even EWR, another similar highway-like design, you'll appreciate the access at BOS.

As for the runway layout, I like the two pairs of parallel runways (04-22L/R, 15-33L/R) and the additional east-west runway (09-27) because they can handle many simultaneous operations. The only problem is the high number of incursions - which is more a tower problem, but the runway structure certainly doesn't help.

BOS is also a great airport for spotting. All of the major runways have some fantastic spotting locations off-airport. Check out my blog at 360.yahoo.com/flytweed for some information on that if you're interested.

BOS does have some interesting stuff at times, but it is largely domestic activity. The new B6 190s are nice, which are frequent visitors now that B6 added the new shuttle service to JFK. My major pet peeve about BOS is that there are a ton of RJ ops from US, DL, and American Eagle. The American Eagle ERJ's drive me nuts because they're in and out every two minutes it seems.

Anyway, just my  twocents 


User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4261 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5776 times:

KBOS? Are you insane. Yes it might be close to the city, but access is horrible. It has become a bit better with the new tunnel plus the Silver Line, but with only two routes from downtown, traffic often is a problem. At the airport itself, the terminal design is very marginal at best, and causes even more road problems. Ever been to terminal B. This terminal is the worst for vehicular traffic, and even courtesy buses have problems here. Airside, the runway design is horrible. There are so many crossing runways, which makes it very inefficient, and with nimby opposition to the taxiway projects, its even more so. In fact, there would be times when some airlines, United being notorious for this, would want 15R because 9 is too short. Thats all fine and dandy, but 4R is about the same as 15R, and its easier for tower to work traffic into. 15R crosses 3 active runways in the east conifguration, so waiting for that runway causes major delays, where its much easier to work traffic out of 4R.

I would certainly put MCO on the list. A nice central terminal with lots of pre-security shopping and a food court, then with the airsides all having their own shops and food courts, its great. Plus they have 4 parallel runways, which are spread out to allow triple simaltaneous approaches, and the airport it self is very well run. And there is room to expand, and the airport is very convenient to the tourist attractions that attract a lot of visitors. PIT would be another honorable mention with the airmall. ATL is also very good as people have mentioned, but they need the new runway asap, because there have been lots of GDP's. The one problem all three of these airports have is the security after customs, because you have access to checked luggage in the customs hall and going through a secure area, there are things you could have pulled out of checked luggage that would not be allowed in a secure area. For that reason, as well as the aforementioned reasons, I would tend to say DEN, but they need a rail connection badly.


User currently offlineFlyHoss From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5769 times:

From my perspective, as a pilot, I wouldn't consider BOS a good design, due to it's intersecting runways. I pray that there won't be a major catastrophic collision at a runway intersection (at any airport, not just necessarily at BOS). IIRC, there was an intersecting runway (incursion) incident at BOS recently.

DEN would get my vote for best airfield design, though it is far from the city (exactly the same thing was said about DEN Stapleton when it opened!).



A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5764 times:

Quoting Eksath (Reply 13):
Agreed but how much is related the Big Dig?..I agree traffic can be bad out there.

Not much I think since it is on the other side of the harbor from the Dig. Coming in from the west through the Ted Williams tunnel is great but once you hit the airport proper things turn crappy quickly.

Quoting Eksath (Reply 13):
What do you guys think of MCI?

It is in the middle of the country and has a easy terminal layout.

I like MCI so god choice there. My only question is how easy is it to get from one terminal to another? Can it be done all behind security or do you have to go out and come back in? If MCI were to be a hub for an airline across multiple terminals you have the problem (like DFW) where your plane comes into one terminal but your car is at another one. A minor annoyance but still one to consider.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineHPLASOps From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5747 times:

Quoting Eksath (Reply 13):
What do you guys think of MCI?

It is in the middle of the country and has a easy terminal layout.

Looks too much like crop circles (and being middle America, I wouldn't be one bit surprised if that's what inspired the design). And all you have to do is look at DFW as to how much passengers like going round and round to find a gate.


User currently offlineRL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4659 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5733 times:

Quoting Eksath (Thread starter):
Here is my nomination: KBOS is close to the city. It has a number of runways

That is the very thing that makes it the OPPOSITE of a good large design. The airfield is outdated and horribly inefficent. In addition, there is no way to grow it. BOS may win for location but thats it.

Part of the reason why I love working in airport planning and design is the fact that no two airports are exactly alike. There is no certain "good" design, it all depends on the airports exact role. An ATL like terminal would not work very well at a heavy O&D airport with a diverse airline structure like JFK, and a JFK like terminal structure would be horrible for an airport like ATL. Then you have airports with a mix like ORD, each large airport will have their own "good" design if planned properly.



Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
User currently offlineCIDflyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2282 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5712 times:

I really love the new Northwest DTW terminal. It is hands down one of the most impressive terminals I have seen, with its high speed train running the length of the linear concourse and the large plasma screen TV's on the walls in the gate areas of concourse A. Concourse B is shaping up pretty nicely as well with its current expansion. And DTW has many parallel runways to ease traffic congestion.

User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4261 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5698 times:

Quoting FlyTweed (Reply 16):

As for the runway layout, I like the two pairs of parallel runways (04-22L/R, 15-33L/R) and the additional east-west runway (09-27) because they can handle many simultaneous operations. The only problem is the high number of incursions - which is more a tower problem, but the runway structure certainly doesn't help.

First of all 15L-33R is only 2500' long, which means no one besides cape air can actually make use of it, and even so, only in VFR weather, so I don't buy there are two sets of parallel runways. Also remember that 4L cannot be used by Jets for takeoff and 22R can't be used for landings by them. This reduces the number of simaltaneous operations that can be handled. The best configuration they have is the southwest confuguration, when 22R and 22L are available for departures, and 27 is the primary runway, but they can use 22L as an overflow with both being ILS equipped. There is the East configuration where 9 is the primary departure runway and 4R is used for landing. If its a VFR day, they can use 4L for landings, which are usually relegated to RJ's and props, but every now and then a mainline plane will get the runway. In this configuration, since 9 is only 7000' long, many flights will request the longer runway to get out, especially widebodies, and any flights operated by United or America West. This is why I don't trust widebodies in LGA as I mentioned on a different thread. Also, they will get Cape Air, and Dash 8's out on 4L. If its IFR, everyone has to use 4R to land, which can reduce the arrival rate. The other configuration is the Northwest configuration, which uses 27 for Departures, and 33L for landings, as well as departures needing a longer runway. This is the least efficient configuration, and it also produces long takeoff taxis for the airlines.


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5676 times:

I can't believe no one has mentioned MCO yet!  Smile





25 Post contains images HPLASOps : I think somebody did
26 WesternA318 : I guess I'm the first to nominate SLC. It has tons of expansion possibility and if we can ever get a better airline than DL to run a nice-size operait
27 Alitalia744 : JFK has a special place in my heart (my favorite airport), but for ease of use I'll say MCO - great layout, parallel runways, etc. ATL - easy airport
28 Eksath : One has to come out of the sterilized area to change terminals but on the PLUS side the terminals (by nature of the shape) are easy to connect to. Th
29 Propulsion : Well it is not going to be LHR for sure. What a mess it is. I like the fact that it is relatively close to London, but the design, layout and access a
30 N1120A : Oh come on now, except for its bad runway layout and need for another long runway (finally coming, maybe), BOS is an excellent airport. The terminals
31 Post contains images C680 : DCA all the way Baby!!! 5 Minute ride to downtown DC. Tons of expansion possibilities, just as soon as we divert the Potomac River. Slam dunk river vi
32 DeltaGator : Where was my mind. MCO is great (and my old hometown.) My only complaint against MCO is there is no way to get from the eastern airsides to the weste
33 Post contains images Concord977 : I'll nominate DFW, even though some have criticized its terminal layout. It has 7 runways that do not intersect. Its traffic patterns are managed in e
34 Jetboy319 : If it wasn't for Delta, and all of their connecting PAX, SLC would probably only see nonstop service to major hubs, like other medium sized cities. I
35 N844AA : With the Skylink now operational, I'd argue that DFW is very nearly ideal. There's no other major airport I prefer for O/D travel, and connections ar
36 Post contains images Indy : Until now I had never looked at DEN through Google Maps. That is the most interesting looking design I have ever seen. There is also no reason for any
37 OOer : Are you crazy? Besides the fact that the airport was built in the worst possible spot for the inversions in SLC. I remember last year that for 4 days
38 Post contains images Eksath : I liked the airport and design. I enjoy the really really long taxiing to take off -)) but the distance from the city is considerable. I remember a h
39 CanadianNorth : Im going to go with YVR. -reasonably close to town -nice senery around -excellent variety of airlines, airplanes and destinations -very nice looking d
40 DLKAPA : And the airport was operational how long before the most common sense of renovations happened that was so common sense it shouldn't have been a renov
41 PanAm747 : There is a train system scheduled to go into effect in a few years. I have heard that from several Denver residents - can anyone hear confirmt that?
42 PavlovsDog : Americas: Mega-hub: DEN- A big improvement would be increasing the speed limit on the access road to 80 mph. That road is such a speed trap. Small-hub
43 SK601 : DTW DTW DTW DTW DTW DTW Yes, I like DTW. Clean, spacious, nice design, tram (!). ZRH is nice as well.
44 Post contains links and images Bongo : This is what I call a very efficient and ideal airport: View Large View MediumPhoto © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages View Large View MediumPhoto &co
45 FRAspotter : The new design at FRA when Terminal 3 is built. Just saw the plans for Terminal 3 today. Looks AWESOME!!!!!
46 DeltaGator : One thing that seemed to escape DEN planners was a walkway connecting the concourses in addition to the trains. When the trains are down it is a pain
47 Post contains images TPEcanuck : I'm with Bongo! HKG is GREAT! I love the baggage check-in downtown. Check my bag, get my boarding pass, ride the super quick train, clear customs...an
48 Post contains images B742 : I would say the following airport have great designs: (In no order) 1 - DFW 2 - HKG 3 - DXB 4 - DEN 5 - YVR Also EWR and JFK are pretty easy to get ar
49 Timology : I'm with Bongo as well, HKG is amazing!
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