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U.S. Airports Falling Behind Rest Of The World  
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1992 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 22158 times:

Airport infrastructure in the U.S. could be a very serious handicap for the industry ( and the country's economy ), according to Airports Council Intl. of North America.
Big factor in this is the funding.... and the best way to solve this problem, is passengers/user fees.

Thoughts ?

http://atwonline.com/airports-routes...frastructure-not-keeping-pace-0910

Rgds.
G.


80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
93 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13253 posts, RR: 100
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 22131 times:
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Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Airport infrastructure in the U.S. could be a very serious handicap for the industry ( and the country's economy )

Agreed. We've lost our motivation to build infrastructure. It will force the growth to those regions that support it (includes ground transportation, water, and power). There will still be growth, it just won't be where there isn't transportation expansion.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Big factor in this is the funding

That article over-simplifies. All of the US is in debt. We had a housing bubble which always translates into a debt bubble.  

I would say the big factors are:
1. NIMBYs
2. Legacy airlines not wanting expansion that lets in LCCs.

When airlines want expansion, it happens.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9528 posts, RR: 31
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 22116 times:

There are role models to change the situation all over the world,

privateize and make airports shopping malls., Most large international airports have 50% of their profit from retail and concessions. This is an untapped source at least at the international airports.

Then again, who wants to eat at an airside reataurant and all of a sudden a TSA agent comes up and grabs a food sample from your plate.

There have to be some changes .......



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23148 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 21976 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 2):
privateize and make airports shopping malls., Most large international airports have 50% of their profit from retail and concessions. This is an untapped source at least at the international airports.

But I don't think it's the only way. Otherwise, how do we explain projects like DTW or SFO?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1992 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 21903 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):
2. Legacy airlines not wanting expansion that lets in LCCs.

Very true. I think the US legacy airlines could try a more "hybrid" model in their service, something similar to the LASER model ( used by LAN ). Yes, can be a little more "disappointing" for the Y passengers , but the key word in the equation is "competitiveness"... Otherwise, the secondary airports will start to find the way to absorb more LCC traffic anyway, and the outcome will also be negative for the legacy carriers.

Rgds.
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6793 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 21834 times:

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Big factor in this is the funding.... and the best way to solve this problem, is passengers/user fees.

I disagree that funding is the key bottleneck here. The bigger issues, as Lightsaber put it, are:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):
1. NIMBYs
2. Legacy airlines not wanting expansion that lets in LCCs.

When the topic of congestion comes up, as it does in the article, the airports at which congestion is worst are the very same airports where expansion has been either halted or greatly slowed by local opposition. At airports like JFK, LGA, EWR, SFO, BOS, ORD, etc., the problems with airport expansion are far more political & environmental than they are financial.

Passenger/user fees are something of a red herring, especially in light of DOT's ruling that fare displays must reflect the all-in cost rather than larding all manner of fees on top of a come-on fare. Does it matter if the airport charges a $12 user fee or a $3 user fee if the other $9 is in the fare? Moreover, in light of common U.S. practice where carriers hold preferential- or exclusive-use leases on facilities, it makes sense for the airlines to pay directly for their own facilities. Carriers which use their gates and other spaces more efficiently would then enjoy lower costs as a reward for using their facilities efficiently. Also, carriers with nicer, newer facilities should pay the cost of those facilities rather than having carriers in older sections of the airport subsidize the cost of newer terminals.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23148 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 21809 times:

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 4):
Very true. I think the US legacy airlines could try a more "hybrid" model in their service, something similar to the LASER model ( used by LAN ). Yes, can be a little more "disappointing" for the Y passengers , but the key word in the equation is "competitiveness"... Otherwise, the secondary airports will start to find the way to absorb more LCC traffic anyway, and the outcome will also be negative for the legacy carriers.

Are the two related? Certainly, airports and terminals that are infested with LFCs have put together very nice terminal expansion or modernization projects. MDW, BWI Concourse A and JFK Terminal 5 are three good examples.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineSRT75 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 260 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 21633 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):
That article over-simplifies.

I would agree.

First, the United States, by in large, will be O & D for international travel. Non-U.S. Citizens do not like to transfer in the United States because of TSA/customs. That is not going to change because of airport infrastructure.

So, I wouldn't quite classif the United States as a "feeder system" for the global aviation network. Both domestic and international carriers will continue to provide a good deal of point-to-point (as well as hub) service to the United States.

Second, a good deal of U.S. airports already are shopping malls (MSP comes to mind as a good example). Commercial space at U.S. airports appears to be profitable and generating income for airport authorities. The U.S. has many private or "for profit" airports that appear to be doing well.

Third, probably the most pressing infrastructure issue for U.S. aviation is not airports: it's ATC. The FAA is slowly, but surely, moving to a modern, sattelite-based, ATC infrastructure. ATC infrastructure will reduce congestion much more than airport infrastructure.

Fourth, most of the U.S. is not like the desert outise of Dubai. We don't have huge expanses of vacant land on which to build airports. Where we can find such land, we build world-class airports (see DEN).

Fifth, safety improvements to U.S. airports do happen. A good example is the runway repositionsing at LAX.


User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7686 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 21547 times:

If were talking about airport interiors that are falling behind, I nominate GRU. Thats one ugly airport on the inside.


Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlinelows From Austria, joined exactly 3 years ago today! , 1167 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days ago) and read 21375 times:

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 4):
Yes, can be a little more "disappointing" for the Y passengers

That's possible on US carriers?
  

Quoting SRT75 (Reply 7):
Fourth, most of the U.S. is not like the desert outise of Dubai. We don't have huge expanses of vacant land on which to build airports. Where we can find such land, we build world-class airports (see DEN).

There's plenty of land... The US is one of the largest countries on Earth. Things can be moved around a bit.

Admittedly, places like JFK and EWR there's no will to reorganise the land use, but yes, there's plenty of land. Surely, the entire plot that DEN is on wasn't just an empty expanse.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23148 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days ago) and read 21369 times:

Quoting lows (Reply 9):
Surely, the entire plot that DEN is on wasn't just an empty expanse.

It mostly was, actually.

The US does, however, have a lot of closed or barely used military airports. AUS is a great example of a conversion to civilian use.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5272 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days ago) and read 21329 times:

Quoting SRT75 (Reply 7):
Fifth, safety improvements to U.S. airports do happen. A good example is the runway repositionsing at LAX.

Or the third east-west runway at ORD.

Someone earlier mentiopned NIMBY as to why Congress won't allocate funds for airport expansion. Former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois was elected, in part, by suburbanites who were opposed to ORD expansion. He used some Senate rules to hold up federal funding of ORD expansion.

Part of the problem of building airports away from city centers is that, they are far from city centers and hard to get to. People complained how far Denver International was from downtown Denver, compared to Stapleton Field, and that there was nothing out there, including office parks, off-site parking, hotels, and businesses who need access to airport cargo.

I even know airline pilots who thought that there was no need for a new airport in Denver and certainly weren't looking forward to layovers at the new DEN.

In Chicago, we've been talking about Peotone for several decades. It's way out in southern Will County, almost into Kankakee County. Yes, you can get there from the Lopp, taking I-90 to I-57. But, for people going to and from business centers such as Oak Brook, Downers Grove, and Naperville, it would be a pain in the neck to get there, unless I-355 is extended from I-80 to I-57. But, because that area has filled in, buying land for an extension has become prohibitiively expensive.

The idea of increasing PFCs on passengers doesn't sit well with the airlines, because it boosts airfares. For a hub carrier, the fear is that connecting traffic would shift to another carrier's hub to avoid the higher cost. Part of the reason that AA has drawn down ORD and shifted connecting traffic to DFW is that the landing fees at ORD are among the highest in the country. If the PFCs at ORD were boosted, chances are that even more traffic would shift to DFW.

I would wager that even Southwest would look at shifting some operations to STL and MKE, if Chicago boosted PFCs at MDW.

By the same token, since most airports are operated by an agency of a major city, suburbanites feel they are being forced to pay extra taxes without a say in the matter.


User currently offlinegoosebayguy From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2009, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days ago) and read 21237 times:

Have to say flying out from an airport in the USA internationally is a dreadful experience. The international terminals tend to be under used and poorly provided for with food or shopping opportunities. The duty free system where your purchases are delivered at the gate totally sucks it also adds to the cost. Every other country I've traveled to somehow lets you purchase goods and lets you carry them to the gate all by oneself! Perhaps they should follow Schipols system? American airports need to change their attitudes and encourage people to fly!

User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10511 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 21160 times:

Quoting lows (Reply 9):

There's plenty of land... The US is one of the largest countries on Earth. Things can be moved around a bit.

But THAT land isn't where it needs to be, near any large metro areas.......suburbs, you know.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 10):
The US does, however, have a lot of closed or barely used military airports. AUS is a great example of a conversion to civilian use.

Many of those are closer to smaller cites and towns than they are to a large metro area.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6629 posts, RR: 24
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 21145 times:

Quoting SRT75 (Reply 7):
Third, probably the most pressing infrastructure issue for U.S. aviation is not airports: it's ATC.

Not really. While ATC modernization is needed, it won't fix the fundamental problems at airports that simply do not have enough concrete (JFK, EWR, LGA, PHL, SFO). You could fix most of the New York metro area's ATC delays, by simply shutting down LGA and building a few more runways/terminals at both EWR/JFK. Now, I realize that will never happen due to cost and NIMBY opposition, but it would fix the problem. Whereas even the most modern ATC system will not overcome the problems in NYC airspace.

The article also ignores that many U.S. airports have the reverse problem....more infrastructure than needed. Ask the folks at CVG, PIT and STL about airport infrastructure!!


User currently offlinemogandoCI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 21102 times:

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 12):
Have to say flying out from an airport in the USA internationally is a dreadful experience. The international terminals tend to be under used and poorly provided for with food or shopping opportunities. The duty free system where your purchases are delivered at the gate totally sucks it also adds to the cost. Every other country I've traveled to somehow lets you purchase goods and lets you carry them to the gate all by oneself! Perhaps they should follow Schipols system? American airports need to change their attitudes and encourage people to fly!

When you consider that barely a quarter of its citizens hold a passport at all, it's not hard to imagine why Americans are extremely domestic-centric in terms of their travel.

But even Schipol is not ideal considering their force security check *at* the rate. I always prefer to get the hassles out of the way (check-in, immigration, security) then have the residual hour or hour-and-half to leisurely enjoy the food and shopping at the terminal. HKG is one airport terminal done correctly.


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9666 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 21104 times:

What few people know is it is the airlines themselves that often lobby to not expand or upgrade airports because they want the lowest airport fees. Airports that do development projects often end up ostracized by airlines who shrink operations and leave shiny new terminals vacant.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25741 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 21066 times:

I think there are many many reasons for this, and the situation is actually quite complex when it comes to US airports.

I'll throw out a few factors:

o Airports are not centrally owned or managed at the Federal level. Airports belong to local agencies/municipalities with varied interest and policies.

o Just about every municipality has economic budget issues these days. There is minimal appetite to add to debt (article mentions $82Bil in existing debt already)

o Federal government continues to run a deficit itself. Minimal interest to add to airport grants or fund aviation projects to a greater degree.

o With government having such budget problems, strong opposition from both consumers and airlines in having government simply creating more taxes or fees to cover this holes. The industry is already one of the highest taxed sectors in America.

o US airline industry is still economically fragile. It is largely unable to fund new facilities itself, nor could pass it on to passengers successfully. Large capital project spends are greatly reduced in budgets these days and can make a company less competitive if you cant get them to earn their cost back.

o With fragile industry, airlines have acute focus on cost. Very leery to enter into deals that will raise individual airport operating cost. Might only amount to to a few dollars per passenger, but might be the difference between profit and loss on a route.

o Limited ability to get financing - credit markets are still tight -- needs lots of collateral. Both airlines and many municipalities are not very good credit risk for lenders.

=

[Edited 2012-09-11 09:30:34]


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 2185 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 21067 times:

I agree that mall/airports are the way to go. MCO is a perfect example of that. DTW is also nice too.


Go coogs! \n//
User currently offlinelows From Austria, joined exactly 3 years ago today! , 1167 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 20990 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 13):
But THAT land isn't where it needs to be, near any large metro areas.......suburbs, you know.

Well, that's because the US made poor land use decisions in the 1950s and 1960s...

Never the less, why not use Eminent Domain if the project is so important?


User currently onlinekaitak744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2392 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 20938 times:

And U.S. airport bashing begins again....

Lets look at the U.S. International Gateways, west to east:

SEA, PDX, SFO, LAX, LAS, SLC, DEN, DFW, MSP, ORD, DTW, ATL, MCO, MIA, CLT, PHL, EWR, JFK, BOS.

PDX, SFO, (soon LAX), DEN, DFW, ORD, DTW, ATL, MIA, PHL, EWR, JFK (except Delta's terminal), and BOS all have new and modern international terminals, that are not behind any world standard.

And the rest of the airports have international facilities that are honestly not bad at all.

So, I just don't see what the point of this article is.

Regarding domestic facilities, other than SFO, LAX, and JFK, I just do not see any airport having handicaped domestic operations due to lack of terminal or gate space.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23148 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 20928 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 13):
Many of those are closer to smaller cites and towns than they are to a large metro area.

Yes, but some are quite close to airports with serious space issues, like Miramar.

Quoting lows (Reply 19):
Well, that's because the US made poor land use decisions in the 1950s and 1960s...

Were there European countries that left land open for subsequent airport development in the 50s and 60s?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineASA From Bangladesh, joined Dec 2010, 748 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 20907 times:

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 8):

If were talking about airport interiors that are falling behind, I nominate GRU. Thats one ugly airport on the inside.

GIG isn't far behind either ... just concrete and concrete!

even little IGU is far better than either of those!  


User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4287 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 20894 times:

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 12):
The duty free system where your purchases are delivered at the gate totally sucks it also adds to the cost. Every other country I've traveled to somehow lets you purchase goods and lets you carry them to the gate all by oneself! Perhaps they should follow Schipols system? American airports need to change their attitudes and encourage people to fly!

In US airports, the problems you mention are two fold. One is that the TSA experience has made flying for a lot of people a not so pleasant experience and this is beyond any airports control, and TSA doesn't seem to be making strides to make it more efficient, and so we all lose. The second problem with Duty Free that you mention is that unlike in most European Airports, International Flights from the US usually share gate areas with Domestic flights. In order for someone to be able to purchase Duty-Free according to US law, they have to be flying out of the country immediately. Where this is a problem at US Airports is that if Passengers were allowed to keep Duty Free purchases right after purchase....someone in theory could leave the secured area with a Duty Free purchase, or actually buy it for someone leaving on a domestic flight. To prevent this problem, Duty Free purchases have to be given to people in the Jetbridge so that they can be sure that the purchase is not subject to US Tax. The reason this is not a problem in Europe is because that in Europe it is next to impossible to leave the secured area after clearing security, and thus people can get their purchases and keep them right away.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):

I would say the big factors are:
1. NIMBYs
2. Legacy airlines not wanting expansion that lets in LCCs.

When airlines want expansion, it happens.

A third factor is flat out mismanagement of modernization projects. Look at MIA for a textbook example of that. As far as airlines wanting expansion...it depends on the airport. In airports where airlines control their own facilities (e.g. JFK, LGA), the airlines can invest in their own terminals a lot more easily, which has happened with T5 and T8 in JFK, is happening with DL at LGA and JFK, and historic examples of such investment would be the McNamara Terminal in DTW, Terminal E at IAH, Terminal A in BOS, and Terminal 1 at ORD. One thing that is happening a lot more often in this country is you have one or two central terminals for all airlines, and then the airports are just providing gate and counter space for the airlines, and in this situation, expansion is largely up to the airports, and usually if the airport is well run, it goes pretty smoothly. Examples would be LAS, IND, MCO, and even though US controls most of CLT, the expansions have been run and paid for by the airport, and not US.

LAS in my opinion, shows the benefits of Common Use facilities. By having common use facilities, it is much easier for the airport to plan for the future, and it saves money because you don't need as many gates to operate the same number of flights. The other thing common use gates prevent is airline gate hoarding, which can seriously damper an airports ability to grow and force the airport to spend more money in the long run which only drives up costs in the short term. BOS is an airport where gate hoarding has been a problem, and as a result Massport has to build a new facility for UA just to provide them with one space to accomodate all their flights. (There were more cost effective solutions than this but by playing favorites with B6, it has created a mess)


User currently offlineplaneguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1250 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 20843 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 14):
Quoting SRT75 (Reply 7):Third, probably the most pressing infrastructure issue for U.S. aviation is not airports: it's ATC.
Not really. While ATC modernization is needed, it won't fix the fundamental problems at airports that simply do not have enough concrete (JFK, EWR, LGA, PHL, SFO). You could fix most of the New York metro area's ATC delays, by simply shutting down LGA and building a few more runways/terminals at both EWR/JFK.

I suggest that there is sufficient concrete, but we lack efficiency in how we use it. As long as over scheduling is permitted and the focus is purely on frequency then there will always be a call for more concrete. We need to increase the size of a/c being used and reduce scheduling to max possible in bad weather to balance the system. This would be an efficiency approach. And before you all yell, I'm quite confident that it won't stop the business traveler. They will adapt as they did before we offered so many flights on smaller aircraft.



I want to live in an old and converted 727...
25 LAXintl : Not according to Allegiant which gets saddled with a large chunk of the cost when the airport goes on a building spree. Personally I prefer the model
26 AirlineCritic : What do you mean, fall behind? With few exceptions (like SFO) the differences to European and Asian airports have been quite striking for a long time.
27 sccutler : Not at all so. See well-crafted comment that follows... ATC "modernization" can make incremental changes in efficiency, but even these will be modest
28 airbazar : I agree to some extent. What is missing is the fact that US airports are predominantly domestic airports so the market forces at play are very differe
29 mogandoCI : Totally. When I transited in GRU in 2011, it totally reminded me of Kai Tak circa 1985.
30 Post contains images LAXintl : Big factor which effects not only physical design, but also passenger behavior. Not only do they spend less time at the airport, they simply will not
31 AADC10 : That is a little different since USA airports are dominated by domestic travel. Why buy something at the airport when you can buy the same thing at h
32 lows : No. But that didn't stop Franz Josef Strauß from getting MUC built, for example.
33 Viscount724 : That's still more than the entire population of many significant countries like the UK, France, Italy, and almost equal to Germany, and more than twi
34 mayor : Don't know how Europeans would handle it, but I would imagine that in the U.S., moving that many people out, to build an airport, wouldn't be put up
35 Post contains images airbazar : MCO is an exception. It sees a huge percentage of foreign visitors compared to most US airports. For foreign visitors, even US airport prices are che
36 Post contains images lightsaber : The US definately needs more terminal space. In particular, at the gateway hubs. May I still pine for Hanh's 'West Terminal' for LAX? SFO direly needs
37 goosebayguy : I'm hoping the new international terminal at Las Vegas has all the bells and whistles!
38 slinky09 : Now you only have yourself to blame for stating this but the reality is that if you use some of the modern terminals you're OK, but if you use say LA
39 Post contains links Gonzalo : I don't want to look disrespectful, and certainly I don't know how good is DEN regarding runways / gates lay out or facilities, but from a passenger
40 mcogator : MCO's biggest problem is that most of the shops are prior to security. Which international tourist wants extra stuff to carry through security?
41 solarflyer22 : "Yawn". The US is falling behind in everything everywhere. Airports are just another symptom but certainly its been obvious I think for the past 20 ye
42 goosebayguy : Well for one thing DEN is not the worlds biggest airport at 53sq miles. The biggest is DMM followed by RUH which is so large Bahrain would fit inside
43 mayor : Considering how many other infrastructure problems we have, spending money to upgrade or build new airports, as long as they're still working, is all
44 Gonzalo : Airport infrastructure is a big issue for the economy. And not only for the cargo operations. The governments ( not only in the U.S. ) needs to start
45 MaddogJT8D : I'd like to nominated ATL as an example to refute the original point of this thread. ATL clearly needed more international capable gates, especially t
46 RobertS975 : It was built on wheat fields.
47 ScottB : Chek Lap Kok is a bit of a special case, though, in that IIRC the project was greenlighted under British rule and the contracts were let to British c
48 SurfandSnow : Since when are U.S. airports falling behind the rest of the world? In the 21st century alone, in spite of economic turmoil, industry consolidation red
49 mayor : I think ATL was lucky that they had room to expand. There was room when they tore down the old terminal and built Midfield. Not every airport has tha
50 SATexan : This article lacks details and does not really specify how the US airports are falling behind the rest of the world. In terms of infrastructure even s
51 Post contains images lightsaber : Excellent. Art is for taste. But as far as a Domestic connecting airport, DEN is my favorite. Ummm... We're taxed. We just do not spend the money on
52 cosyr : There is almost no other country in the world with as much domestic traffic, so it is a little different than European airports for duty free. Also,
53 LAXintl : I think many here are failing to recognize the facts, and that the US is hardly in a bad place when it comes to airports. Out of 100 of the largest US
54 Rwy04LGA : MCO even retains the key letters of the former AFB name. Hint, it's not Pinecastle. The same argument can be said of the differences between US airli
55 mayor : McCoy AFB.......the first time I ever flew into Orlando, it was still occupied by the Air Force as well as commercial. Some of the buildings were sti
56 joeman : RIGHT ON!!!!!!
57 AA757MIA : Agree... I think most airports in the US are WAY better than say FRA and LHR. Heck, I think it is in terminal 1 concourse Z at FRA that they have sin
58 travelin man : This has been said previously but people are missing it: You CANNOT compare an airport in the US (which is primarily a domestic market focus) with air
59 usdcaguy : I don't really understand this. To which airports are you referring? Many airports have done nothing but put in new restaurants and shopping in their
60 Viscount724 : But only about 380 of those airports account for 99.9% of all U.S. scheduled airline passengers, which is what we're discussing here. A few hundred U
61 N505FX : To some extent true - but your statement doesn't account for places like BCN and ZRH that are stunning and not in the middle of a desert.
62 mayor : What is stunning about ZRH? I thought the inside looked like the assembly line in a factory. BTW, what is the correlation between the beauty of the a
63 Post contains images point2point : Well, a couple of things here.... a. because you are emotionally reacting to this, whether positively or negatively, I would assume it means that a p
64 YYZAMS : AMS seems to do well because it has many things to see and do. Many people go and just visit the airport to watch the planes or see the art and shops.
65 Gonzalo : Oh please, I think is not only me. If you make a poll, 98 out of 100 will tell you that the vast majority of the images and sculptures in the DEN air
66 RobertS975 : Correction... only about 500 have a control tower.
67 iFlyLOTs : But then you have converted airports where nothing happens like BLV I think we can look at LHR as how the Europeans would handle Eminent Domain.
68 Cubsrule : But there, too, I don't know that that's any different from the rest of the world. IQQ and ANF - small airports in your home country - are not very n
69 Gonzalo : "Not very nice" is a very gently way to describe ANF and IQQ. Having a remarkable importance in the Chilean economy ( specially ANF ), the terminal b
70 infinit : Tell me something new :P Okay, to be fair to the US, it is a huge country with the biggest domestic market anywhere. Many make the mistake of comparin
71 PanHAM : Many European airports handle Schengen traffic only, which is basically domestic.,No passport control , it is like going from Miami to Atloanta. VAT
72 EPA001 : I don't really know the answer to that question. But the most US airports are not the most modern or luxurious ones. In general they are a bit older
73 Cubsrule : BOS and ORD are good examples (though ORD is trying to put more concessions in Terminal 5). Sure, and BLV was the wrong way to go about an Illinois a
74 Gonzalo : There is one difference. We don't have any airport in Chile "loosing money", or creating debt. There is no debt. In the U.S., there is a debt of 82 b
75 Cubsrule : Why is incurring a reasonable amount of debt to construct facilities a bad thing?
76 Gonzalo : This is not a bad thing "per se". But when you have a debt crisis ( which apparently is the case in the U.S. ), and there are other ways to go ( priv
77 Cubsrule : I'm not sure anybody but Mr. Principato thinks the United States airport system has a debt crisis, and it would seem that it's in his interest to mak
78 EaglePower83 : I'm sort of with you on this one. Larger aircraft are more comfortable, more people moved on one tank of gas. I'm tired of flying around on RJs with
79 Coronado990 : The one "consession" where US airports make their money is parking. Therefore, you will rarely see any kind of effort in getting dedicated public tra
80 mayor : Apparently, ORD and SLC are rarities, then........SLC's light rail , "TRAX", IIRC, will be ready to the airport, later this year. ORD has had a CTA l
81 apodino : But at Airports like BOS....they cannot legally add any more on airport parking, which has led to Massport actually spending money to make the Silver
82 mogandoCI : Tokyo is the largest city in the world, yet neither HND nor NRT looks anything like JFK/LHR. "State of the art" in America is frequently "par for the
83 Post contains images cyeg66 : Lol. That's more like it. I think my eyes may have actually vacated their sockets for a few brief moments upon reading 5000 ATC towers!!! I was gonna
84 N505FX : Clean, modern, in good repair, architecturally interesting, nice concessions, easy to navigate...I could go on. And I was referring to the quoted pos
85 Post contains links dcann40 : Since I was a kid, I loved airports (almost as much as airplanes). I've seen the terminals I loved (Pan Am Worldport, TWA Flight Center and so on) vir
86 cosyr : Except DEN actually uses it's land, not just buying up empty expanses of desert.
87 Viscount724 : Sources say DEN airport land covers 53 sq. mi. However if you draw a rectangle around all the current runways it looks like roughly 35 or 36 sq. mi.,
88 Post contains images mayor : So, it isn't just the U.S. that had "poor" land use planning in the past?
89 spink : For VX and SFO, when they put in the new international terminal, they shut down the old international terminal (B) and gutted it. VX came about just
90 PanHAM : FRA is indeed a large transit airport but the shopping opportunities are not restricted to third country to third country transit. Space is made avail
91 Cubsrule : Where?
92 cosyr : And if you look at satellite maps of the airports in Saudi Arabia, they use less than 5 sq mi, so what percentage is being used of their land. Yes, D
93 rmoore7734 : U.S airports were the envy of the world in the 60's and 70's long before the airport palaces of Asia & middle east were built & what was there
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