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Multiple Terminals Vs. "as Few As Possible Big"  
User currently offlineNicoEDDF From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 1099 posts, RR: 1
Posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2407 times:

Hey there,

just read the discussion about the LHR terminals.

Afaik LHR has now 5 operational terminals, ATL has 7, ORD has 4, LAX has 10. CDG and FRA only have 3, resp. 2. PEK and SIN also have only 3 terminals.

Is there any agreement based on facts if more smaller terminals or fewer bigger provide more efficiency in terms of turn around time, cost efficiency, passenger comfort, baggage claims, ...etc., etc. ?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHaggis79 From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 1096 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2393 times:



Quoting NicoEDDF (Thread starter):
Afaik LHR has now 5 operational terminals, ATL has 7, ORD has 4, LAX has 10. CDG and FRA only have 3, resp. 2. PEK and SIN also have only 3 terminals.

well, if you say CDG has three terminals, then ATL for all intends and purposes has only one... they have a lot of concourses, but only one terminal. In fact, CDG is closer to having 8 terminals (1, 2A-F, 3) than ATL is to having 7....

from a passenger POV I prefer the "few, big terminals" setting by far.



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User currently offlineRafabozzolla From Brazil, joined Apr 2000, 1229 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2307 times:

Yeah, agree. It depends a lot on what you call a Terminal.

User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3033 posts, RR: 37
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2288 times:
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Quoting Rafabozzolla (Reply 2):
Yeah, agree. It depends a lot on what you call a Terminal.

Indeed... A terminal would be all of Check in, baggage claim and gates in my vocabulary. ATL would be 1 then, CDG 2? Of course things get a bit confusing with airports like TPA... which i guess has 2 (Blue and Red) or MSP (which i guess only has 2 terminals HHH and whatever you wanna call the main complex). JFK and LAX would be king with 9 each.

And come right down to it... I like bigger terminals but they have to be designed and built properly. Terminal one here at YYZ is nice, but I don't think it was worth the expense...



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User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3592 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2275 times:

ATL has only one terminal with six concourses T,A,B,C,D, and E. They are going to build a new terminal past E somtime in the future.

Please redefine what you mean by concourse and terminal.

In my mind, the cost efficiency and time savings come from being able to transfer between the most distant gates of the airport without having to re-clear security. For this reason, I would define a different terminal as when you must reclear security in order to transfer flights (not including standard inbound international security), otherwise they are just different concourses.


User currently offlineA380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1116 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2254 times:

I'm always surprised that one design has not been accepted yet as the most efficient. After all most vehicle on an highway are fairly similar. Why are terminals' design all over the place?

User currently offlineLH526 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 2372 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2235 times:
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A Terminal is a single building .... FRA has 2 Terminals with a whole lot of concourses each.

My definition of a Terminal is: Single architecturaly projected buidling, own / single design / form. (TWA Terminal, IAD Terminal, ....) Own respective driveway, etc ....

So, as in JFK there are a handful of terminals (Jetblue Terminal, T5, etc ...) CDG also has 3-4 yet with a number of respectie concourses.

Rgds
Mario
LH526



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User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2818 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2235 times:

I would probably lean towards the latter. I don't know if anyone sets out to build lots of little terminals. Usually airports like that are the legacy of incremental expansion over the decades. The advantage of smaller terminals is that less walking is involved. However, it can also make the place more confusing. That said, a big terminal poorly designed could be even worse.

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23058 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2159 times:



Quoting Glom (Reply 7):
I don't know if anyone sets out to build lots of little terminals. Usually airports like that are the legacy of incremental expansion over the decades.

Lots of little terminals makes it much easier to rebuild one or add one, as B6 did at JFK and DL did at BOS. OTOH, when you want to build a whole new 'big' terminal (IND or DTW), unless you have a whole bunch of empty land, you're out of luck.

One factor that folks haven't mentioned is the O&D versus connecting traffic mix. At busy airports, those with a lot of O&D and a lot of carriers (ORD, JFK, CDG, LHR) will tend to have a lot of terminals (and by my count, CDG is an 8 terminal airport), while those that rely more heavily on connecting passengers (ATL, AMS, DTW) tend to go for the single large terminal.



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User currently offlineJamincan From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 775 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2128 times:

I would agree with the poster above. It depends strongly on the nature of the operations at the airport. JFK is primarily an O&D airport, so the multiple terminals allow greater curb space and easier orientation for passengers within the airport complex (at least as long as the terminals are roughly organized along airline or domestic/international lines. I think DFW or MCI are probably one of the most optimal designs for an O&D airport; however, DFW is unfortunately primarily a hub airport.

A single terminal with multiple concourses make hub operations far simpler by optimizing pax movement within the secured zone. ATL is a good example of this, as is the NW terminal at DTW.

Basically, it depends on whether you wish to optimize flow from car to airplane and vice versa, or from airplane to airplane.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23058 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2113 times:



Quoting Jamincan (Reply 9):
however, DFW is unfortunately primarily a hub airport.

 checkmark Connecting there isn't too bad now, though, with a quick, reliable train airside. I think connecting is nicer than originating terminating in a way; the lack of certainty about which terminal you'll be departing from or arriving at is sort of irritating.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1935 times:

LAX has ten? Last I checked there were only eight:

http://www.lawa.org/lax/terminalMaps.cfm

Every airport has different needs, and even within airports those needs change. ORD is mostly a two-airline hub operation but it has seen a horrendous rise in RJ's clogging their "Express" gates, while LAX's need for most of their operations (O&D) necessitates a completely different structure.

Many times I wonder how traffic patterns would work if every major airport in the world was designed like DEN - runways designed not to interfere with one another, take-off's and landings kept well separated, large passenger terminals that can be expanded, easy to follow directions, and so on...



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User currently offlineHaggis79 From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 1096 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1886 times:



Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 4):
For this reason, I would define a different terminal as when you must reclear security in order to transfer flights (not including standard inbound international security), otherwise they are just different concourses.

this definition doesn't hold... in some places, like CDG or SIN (if that hasn't changed) you have to re-clear security regardless from where you come from, and even if you leave from the very same gate as you've arrived at. OTOH, there are clearly airports where you can connect from one terminal to the other airside and hence do not have to re-clear security (e.g. FRA, IAH).



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User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5980 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1826 times:



Quoting Haggis79 (Reply 12):
there are clearly airports where you can connect from one terminal to the other airside and hence do not have to re-clear security (e.g. FRA, IAH).

You can add ORD to that list T1, T2 and T3 are all connected post security. I suppose my definition would be the section of the building where ticketing, baggage claim and security are located. Once you start getting into the gate areas your in a concourse.



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