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Difference Of Terminals At DFW And MCI  
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6422 posts, RR: 17
Posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3300 times:

Can someone explain the differences of the terminals at DFW and the ones at MCI


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They are both short distance from entrance to gate. I've heard on here that the security setup makes it difficult for MCI to be a hub, as the caption also states in the MCI picture. I have not been to MCI but I have been through DFW. Got off the plane, walked throught these swing doors and I was suddenly almost near the street.

So, how does one function effeciently as a hub and the other doesn't?

Explain.


Thanks.


Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBdl2stl2pvg From China, joined Jun 2006, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3244 times:

Well the actual width of the DFW Terminals is much greater. As a result, there can be relatively easy movement behind the central security checkpoints. Basically, DFW has room enough for two rings - ring #1 ticket counters / check in areas and baggage claims and ring #2 departure gates and services - restrooms, restaurants. At MCI, just not enough room - as a result, each security checkpoint only serves a few gates and there is no real ability to transit several gates down without exiting security. In the U.S., this just doesn't work for a hub.

User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1906 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3231 times:

Neither one was ever designed to function as a hub as it evolved to today's enviornment.
At the time of design, security was not an issue. Folks walked up, checked bags, got a BP, went to the gate and got on.

The security started in either 73 or 74 after a rash of hijackings to Cuba. thus the security arrangement at DFW is different due to size and interior layout..distance from curb to gate.

The distance at MCI is very short from curb to gate...maybe 50 feet. I'd put DFW at about 65-70 at least.

Thus DFW funcions as a hub..or evolved as a hub due to the presence at first of BN and AA evolving to hub ops, then DL / AA , then the superhub of AA. the number of gates per building, the overall dimensions, not to mention economics of O & D traffic vs connecting.

A whole host of factors..but one thing for sure DFW has had the room to evolve to its' current status.


User currently onlineUSAIRWAYS321 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1847 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3204 times:

The DFW terminals are setup with more room from landside to airside. This allows them to position security

Quoting Bdl2stl2pvg (Reply 1):
Well the actual width of the DFW Terminals is much greater. As a result, there can be relatively easy movement behind the central security checkpoints. Basically, DFW has room enough for two rings - ring #1 ticket counters / check in areas and baggage claims and ring #2 departure gates and services - restrooms, restaurants. At MCI, just not enough room - as a result, each security checkpoint only serves a few gates and there is no real ability to transit several gates down without exiting security. In the U.S., this just doesn't work for a hub.

Bingo. The terminal width is the main factor here. If MCI was big enough, the same thing would've happened by now for sure, but the space just isn't there.


User currently offlineOvrpowrd727 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3144 times:

agreed with the preceding replies... DFW is enormous and has the width, MCI...so so

User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4499 posts, RR: 33
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3085 times:

Each 1974 DFW terminal is a ring, one single airside for about 30 gates, with three unit-terminals attached on the inside, with check-in and baggage facilities. Look closely at the photo. As Bdl2stl2pvg noted, each MCI terminal is a single ring, with alternating secured gate areas, and ticketing and baggage areas, inside that same ring. So you have to go out of security and back in, if you want to go from one gate area (each serving just a few gates) to another. A real pain for trying to run a hub.

However, if MCI's economics could support a hub, someone would have built on the necessary facilities to the individual terminals to make a hub work. (Or, preferably, leveled the terminals and built terminals designed for a hub.) The reasons that MCI cannot economically support a hub, regardless of airport design, have been amply discussed in numerous threads.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently onlineUSAIRWAYS321 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1847 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3063 times:



Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 5):
The reasons that MCI cannot economically support a hub, regardless of airport design, have been amply discussed in numerous threads.

To play devil's advocate here, isn't it entirely possible that if the terminal had been designed to support a hub originally, some carrier would have tried it in the 70's-80's and caused the economic landscape of Kansas City to be strikingly different now than it is?

I know about the failed experiments, but I think that if it was set up to succeed originally, there's a good chance that it would have.


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4499 posts, RR: 33
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2903 times:

To play devil's advocate here, isn't it entirely possible that if the terminal had been designed to support a hub originally, some carrier would have tried it in the 70's-80's and caused the economic landscape of Kansas City to be strikingly different now than it is? I know about the failed experiments, but I think that if it was set up to succeed originally, there's a good chance that it would have.

Maybe, but unlikely. Typically airline hubs are set up in markets that already have the fundamentals to be a hub, not the other way around. There already has to be the population, location, and business mix to support a hub. A hub can't "make" the economy of an area.

Kansas City has long been a market that seems like it "should" be a hub, because of its closeness to the geographic center of the country. But it's 1) not a big enough MSA on its own, 2) not near enough to enough big enough feeder markets, and 2) already is boxed by competitors in far larger population MSA's that suck up all those feeder pax--DEN, DFW, ORD, MSP. All of these airports were big connecting centers in the 70's and 80's, too.

And until a few years ago, of course, there was STL--a far larger nearby market that, in the post 9/11 economy, couldn't support a hub because it was squeezed by ORD and DFW, where AA would much rather concentrate pax for economies of scale and larger number of spokes.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineRampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3127 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2856 times:



Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 6):
To play devil's advocate here, isn't it entirely possible that if the terminal had been designed to support a hub originally, some carrier would have tried it in the 70's-80's and caused the economic landscape of Kansas City to be strikingly different now than it is?

The story behind MCI, is that it was designed to TWA specifications. They had mechanical work there already, and wanted to establish a national mid-continent hub there, and Kansas City was poised for greatness. Later, as the airport was recently open but not compatible with the new security designs, TWA requested modifications. The city resisted, and TWA began to move the bulk of its hub-like operations to St. Louis. The rest is history.

-Rampart


User currently offlinePITrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3158 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2842 times:

New plan for MCI:

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/stories/2008/09/08/daily9.html

Diagrams:

http://www.airportsites.net/masterpl...20Master%20Plan%20Presentation.pdf



FLYi
User currently offlineRampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3127 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2815 times:

In response to STL, DEN, DFW, and MSP having far larger populations than MCI, that was not the case in the 1960s and 1970s, as the airline industry grew and demanded new infrastructure.. Here's some more historical data, pause for thought...

Between 1960 and 1970, when both DFW and MCI were planned and constructed, Kansas City was among a number of cities very close in population and growth. I'll rank them by city population according to the 1970 census, but also show the metro populations, which is more important.

rank / city / city pop / metro pop (millions)
#8 Dallas 844,000 2.31

#18 St. Louis 622,000 2.36
#24 Pittsburgh 520,000 2.40
#25 Denver 515,000 1.23
#26 Kansas City 507,000 1.25
#27 Atlanta 497,000 1.39
#28 Buffalo 463,000 1.35
#29 Cincinnati 453,000 1.38
#30 Nashville 448,000 0.54
#31 San Jose 436,000 1.06
#32 Minneapolis 434,000 1.81

Clearly, the DFW region is in a higher tier, though the metro population at the time was not much different from St. Louis and Pittsburgh. Kansas City at the time was comparable to a number of cities that had strong airline presence and would later develop hubs: PIT, DEN, ATL, CVG, and MSP. Nashville, a much smaller metro area at the time, would eventually host and then lose an AA hub. Faster growing San Jose would see and lose hubs with Reno Air and AA. Some of cities even had (and one still has) multiple hubs in the 70s and 80s: DEN, STL, ATL, MSP. Of the cities listed above, all but Buffalo would have some sort of hub (including MCI at a couple points), and of those, 4 retain vibrant hubs (I'm giving CVG a benefit of a doubt, but not counting PIT or STL).

History and geography took the tides of growth different ways. But at the time, who could fault the planners in Kansas City for aspiring for major airline operations that Denver, Atlanta, and Minneapolis would enjoy?

-Rampart

[Edited 2008-09-18 21:06:27]

User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4499 posts, RR: 33
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2761 times:

Thanks Rampart for all of that interesting historical and statistical info...much appreciated. It's late and I must get to bed, but I'd argue that in the end all of those factors would still likely not have resulted in MCI having been able to support a hub as that was understood in the 1970's and 80's. Though it is certainly possible as you say, in the high optimism about the future in the pre oil-shock late 60's, to see why MCI's planners dreamed big.

TWA may have wound up better off in St. Louis, still a much larger area at the time by the figures you posted, and closer to more people with its more easterly location. (Indeed, STL supported TW along with OZ, and then the merged TW for another decade.) We can only speculate now, but I have to wonder if TW would eventually have moved to St. Louis anyway under competitive pressure. In the mid 70's, DEN, DFW, ORD, and MSP were by then vastly busier facilities; only the Dallas MSA was substantially smaller relative to its current position among the others, and it was growing rapidly.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineRampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3127 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2730 times:



Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 11):
but I'd argue that in the end all of those factors would still likely not have resulted in MCI having been able to support a hub as that was understood in the 1970's and 80's.

You are probably correct. The cities that did retain or develop hubs were growing in the right directions in the late 70s and 80s (when hubs as we know them were establishing), Kansas City was not. (Nor was Pittsburgh, though.) However, while aiport and airline growth are a reflection of the local economy, could growth in the local economy (and therefore population) have been influenced by the airport, as USAIRWAYS321 question? Maybe. MCI at least had potential equal to CVG, MSP, MEM, BNA and PIT among midcontinent hubs for cities of similar size. (DEN is a bit different for the region it serves.) Many other factors influence city growth, though I think status as a transportation hub (where Kansas City already had status in rail and highway traffic) is one important factor. It could be argued how MSP, DEN, and DFW airports became major drivers in their respective city's economies

Airline interest is vital. TWA's trajectory as MCI may have been inevitable, as you suggest. Eastern and Braniff (I & II) couldn't thrive long enough or late enough to turn it over for MCI, and Vanguard and Midwest Express' efforts were small potatoes. WN, established early at MCI in their first expansions, never took initiative to grow there. Would better facilities have helped? Old-style airports at DEN, MSP, STL, ATL, PIT, BNA, and CVG all underwent major renovations if not entirely new terminals or airports in that era. DFW, in the same model as MCI, also underwent renovations, though was already better suited to connections than MCI was, as was explained above. MCI, however, did not renovate. The "what if?" question is not just dreaming, but perhaps a serious question of a missed opportunity, at least compared to MEM, CVG, BNA and MSP.

-Rampart


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