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Olympic Games Airport Prep  
User currently offlinecoreyrust From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 11 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2970 times:

There was a recent article on Portland, Oregon's NBC affiliate KGW about the USOC asking the top 25 cities in the United States for a possible interest in bidding for the 2024 Summer games (http://www.kgw.com/news/2024-Olympics-in-Portland-USOC-is-asking-191863801.html).

This got me wondering, Portland has an airport perfect for it's needs. It's not too big waiting for growth that won't happen, and it's not too small that it can't handle what it's given. But, what if Portland, or a city with a similar sized city, was chosen to host an Olympic games 10-15 years down the road? How do they prepare the airport for the traffic?

Portland doesn't seem have much room to grow in terms of land area. Could the current facilities be utilized and could an airport simply see a seasonal upgauge in equipment from airlines?

I don't want to get into a bureaucracy or infrastructure discussion (as I have plenty of complaints myself). I'm simply curious what small to medium sized cities do in situations like these when there is only one primary commercial airport?

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCalebWilliams From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 305 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2929 times:

Plus the existing connections to airports like YVR, SEA and SFO help with hosting a larger event like the Olympics, correct?


Caleb Williams MSP AUS STL AMS CPH LGW YYZ
User currently offlineYXXMIKE From Canada, joined Apr 2008, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2848 times:

Any major international airport can be outfitted to suit a major multi-sport event like an Olympics as physical spaces (terminals) can be modified to suit a large one off operation. What most people don't realize though is it's the number of staff which is required to make the operation work. For example London & Vancouver both built temporary terminals to deal with the departures program (the busiest day in YVR history I believe?) but it was the man power that actually delivered the work in the terminal and on the ramp. The struggle is finding the manpower to put this operation together; you must remember that in an Olympics there is such a huge drain on local workforce that the local market may not be able to cope with the demand.

On the operational end of the business; anything is possible as long as it's planned in advance and with all the right stakeholders at the table. The airport will require the support of the local organizing committee, the border agency (to issue/process visas), local security forces to deal with the arrivals of any dignitaries etc. etc. One of the largest space users in an Olympics is going to be the private jet industry and it will be a challenge for any airport to find the amount of parking space required. So what is typically is that a private jet will be told a year in advance that any movements in/out of said airport during a set time period will be more expensive and busy so expect a different level of service. A smart operator or flight crew that require customs clearance will clear at a different airport, take their extra fuel and then fly in to the host airport, drop and depart again and repeat as necessary.

Only having flown into the lovely PDX once before I can't honestly remember what the airport layout is like and how much space or existing infrastructure is available. However a few things that will assist a prospective bid will be the connectivity between the airport and the city centre; not just for vehicles but also any public transport links. The airport's current capacity versus expected growth and available space for this and any additional airports in the area which could be used to divert traffic away from the official games airport.

The airport is one part of a successful bid and is certainly not to be overlooked but given the amount of money required to host an Olympics the airport is nearer the bottom of the list when it comes to importance at bid stage.


User currently offlineGentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3053 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2785 times:

We have remember not all Olympic venues would be in Portland proper. During the Atlanta Summer igames the white water venues where held closer to CHA. Thus being the case airports like EUG and RDM could be used to a certain extent although RDM might be a stretch along with those in southern Washington State.


Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
User currently offlinecoreyrust From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2697 times:

@GentFromAlaska, that's a good point. I suspect, that if Portland were granted the 2024 Summer games, track and field events would be held in Eugene since the Olympic trials are held there (I think), and other events would be scattered about. I would think that a great majority of the events would be in the Portland area though (if it were in Portland). The previous post about other airports is also a valid point. I suspect there would be a lot of people that would fly to Seattle and drive down or even to YVR, but that opens a new conversation considering road infrastructure...but that's for another forum.

User currently offlineFlyingHollander From Netherlands, joined Jul 2011, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2667 times:

I really like Portland and it surroundings, but why would a city like that get the Olympics in the first place? There are so many more better options.


If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much.
User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3535 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2495 times:

Quoting YXXMIKE (Reply 2):
For example London & Vancouver both built temporary terminals to deal with the departures program (the busiest day in YVR history I believe?)

It was stated that the busiest day for LHR was the day after the closing ceremony, I believe the temporary terminal was only for these post games departures.

Quoting YXXMIKE (Reply 2):
The struggle is finding the manpower to put this operation together;

A large airport can find the required personnel to run such an operation by a process of cancelling leave, re arranging shifts etc. A smaller one such as Portland would probably find it beyond their capability

Quoting coreyrust (Reply 4):
I suspect, that if Portland were granted the 2024 Summer games, track and field events would be held in Eugene

If this were the case Eugene would be the host city, one of the requirements is a 80,000 seater stadium to host the opening ceremony, the athletics and then the closing ceremony.

Its all hypothetical though as Portlands chances are as close to zero as its possible to get.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26853 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2479 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 6):

Indeed the arrivals were staggered but the departures everyone seemed to want to get home with their medals or not as the case may be.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3535 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2449 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 7):
Indeed the arrivals were staggered but the departures everyone seemed to want to get home with their medals or not as the case may be.

Fortunately less medals departed the Country than originally anticipated. Still find it hard to believe that the UK won 29 Golds. Far and away our best performance at a modern games


User currently offlinecoreyrust From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2362 times:

The UK did a terrific job in the Olympics this past summer!

In response to FlyingHollander saying "I really like Portland and it surroundings, but why would a city like that get the Olympics in the first place? There are so many more better options," I agree, there are a lot of "better" options than Portland, but there were also a lot of better options than Salt Lake City in 2002, but they still got it...just my opinion.


User currently offlinetimpdx From United States of America, joined exactly 5 years ago today! , 530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2343 times:

Speaking of prep, are Rio or Sochi doing anything to get ready. GIG really needs it.

User currently offlineLipeGIG From Brazil, joined May 2005, 11418 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2281 times:
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Quoting timpdx (Reply 10):
aking of prep, are Rio or Sochi doing anything to get ready. GIG really needs it.

Hope it will become private later this year and the new owner will invest for sure to accomodate the demand. Hope they see the chance to compete for connections and invest a lot, including a new terminal.

I would love to see T1 going down and being replaced by a world class new terminal



New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
User currently offlineGentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3053 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1870 times:

Here are the potential U.S. cities the USOC sent letters to for the 2024 games. Phoenix, San Jose, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Washington D.C., Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Las Vegas, New York, Boston, Rochester, Charlotte, Columbus, Tulsa, Portland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio Nashville, Memphis and Seattle.


Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4125 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1855 times:

Portland has as good a chance at hosting the games. It would depend on the facilities for the events and the sponsors of the Olympics. London, ON has the world figure skating championships, and Sochi has the winter Olympic games and those cities definatly don't have major airports. For the amount of increased air travel there won't be a need for major renovations to the airport as long as they manage the assets they have properly or have temporary facilities built for the event.


Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineGentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3053 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1839 times:

Because both Portland and Seattle where offered bid packages; perhaps Portland and Seattle should bid jointly as a regional entity and call them Pacific Northwest games. I believe 125 miles roughly separate the two cities.

[Edited 2013-02-20 15:06:40]


Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
User currently offlineYXXMIKE From Canada, joined Apr 2008, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1811 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 6):
A large airport can find the required personnel to run such an operation by a process of cancelling leave, re arranging shifts etc. A smaller one such as Portland would probably find it beyond their capability


Certainly, but the intensity will typically wear on staff fairly quickly. Having the odd experience in delivering operations at an airport and now in the event industry I will tell you from experience that man power can be a challenge. The difference and advantage for an airport is always going to be that a 24 hour operation is the norm for most airports whereas those doing delivery for the games themselves aren't as well geared to those odd hours.

Quoting LipeGIG (Reply 11):
Hope it will become private later this year and the new owner will invest for sure to accomodate the demand. Hope they see the chance to compete for connections and invest a lot, including a new terminal.

One can only hope, however the urgent needs and focus will be on the upcoming World Cup. It's going to be an interesting 18 months ahead for Brazil...

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 14):
Because both Portland and Seattle where offered bid packages; perhaps the Portland and Seattle should bid jointly as a regional entity and call them Pacific Northwest games. I believe 125 miles roughly separate the two cities.

Certainly an interesting option and not entirely unrealistic. A bid is going to look at each and every issue associated with co-host cities (please remember the IOC is VERY different from FIFA/UEFA in this regard). The big issues will be athlete journey times to/from the main village and their competition venues so this would be challenged with two cities co-hosting a games. It also makes for some very awkward political debates as well as to who hosts the opening ceremonies or closing ceremonies (and the obvious isn't always the answer).

What the USOC is really going to look at is budget and who has the means to support such a large undertaking. Not having a good idea of what parts of the US are doing better than others financially, the cities that jump out as being contenders are SFO/ORD/AUS/IAH/NYC/SEA. Again, that's just my guess and that is really without checking to see which of those cities could actually afford to build the necessary infrastructure and pay for the delivery of the games.

Regardless, it's interesting food for thought. I would just like to see Vancouver bid for a summer games so they could take the honour of hosting a winter and a summer  


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3535 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1741 times:

Quoting brilondon (Reply 13):
ON has the world figure skating championships, and Sochi has the winter Olympic games and those cities definatly don't have major airports

These events are far smaller than the Summer Olympics, and make commensurately smaller demands on airports


User currently offlineGentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3053 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1741 times:

Quoting YXXMIKE (Reply 15):
It also makes for some very awkward political debates as well as to who hosts the opening ceremonies or closing ceremonies (and the obvious isn't always the answer).

With some bias. I would always favor Portland over Seattle for its European charm (of sorts) An outside of the box approach using a joint city bid might involve the opening ceremony in Portland and the closing in Seattle. The ICO would have to pick the primary city. Which ever way it went both cities would enjoy a monetary shot in the arm.

I like Austin too but I think Texas would be too hot in August. Cali is building or has plans to build a high speed bullet train which I suspect would done prior to 2024 which may help their bid.

For a Summer games I also like Nashville or maybe a Nashville-Memphis joint bid. The Tennessee valley has plenty of inland waterways for the water venues. In fact the Atlanta games water venues were held outside of CHA and 1.5 hours north of ATL. Nashville has three major Interstate systems which pass through and a premier airport. If I had to pick what city I really though had the best change it would be Chicago.



Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
User currently onlineGCT64 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 1368 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 1565 times:

Interestingly, despite all the pre-event hype, LHR was busier in both Jul and Aug 2011 then it was in the Olympic months of Jul and Aug 2012. This was almost certainly due to the reduction in normal business and tourist travel being greater than the increase in travel due to the Olympics. It was also noticeable that despite the predictions of business jet chaos (flight restriction, full airports, nowhere to park) there was plenty of spare GA capacity around London during the period.

From an air transport point of view, the London Olympics turned into a bit of a non-event - although a lot of the credit for this lack of drama should be given to those (like the LHR staff) who worked hard, made proper preparations and executed the plans well.



Flown in: A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,BA11,BU31,B190, B461,B462,B463,(..50 types..),VC10,WESX
User currently offlinevfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3964 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 1519 times:

Isn't the impact of the Olympics often exaggerated? During the Olympics, most other business / leisure traffic at the host city disappears and a lot of locals flee the city / go into a lockdown, so there is capacity not normally available. The Olympics-related traffic as a result is not entirely on top of the existing traffic.

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 5):
I really like Portland and it surroundings, but why would a city like that get the Olympics in the first place? There are so many more better options.

I tend to agree. The host city must have an international appeal and have a certain size. We had the same discussion here in Germany when Leipzig was the candidate for the 2012 Olympics and was eliminated in 2004 in the first round for being too small with a population of 535.000 (Portland has 547.000) and - although nobody admitted that openly - for not being glamorous / well known enough internationally. Quite honestly, if you would ask people outside the US if they have ever heard of Portland or could locate the city on a map, the results would probably be not too encouraging (it is a wholly different story for the winter olympics as these have to where the snow is / mountains are).

[Edited 2013-02-21 02:47:09]

User currently offlinetonytifao From Brazil, joined Mar 2005, 1014 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1403 times:

Not Olympics, but World Cup related. I noticed big improvements at CNF last week, they installed a few vending machines around the airport. LOL

User currently offlineGentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3053 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1341 times:

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 19):
The host city must have an international appeal and have a certain size

Both Nashville and Memphis bring that to the table in a joint bid. The two cities are roughly separated by 175 miles.

Nashville or course is recognized as the home of country music and Memphis was the home of Elvis Presley; Memphis also has a sister city tie in with Memphis Egypt. Nashville and their Parthenon is referred to as Athens of the south. I suppose Loss Wages (LAS) which also received a bid to a certain extent has Elvis too.



Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
User currently offlineMIflyer12 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 966 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1324 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 7):
Its all hypothetical though as Portlands chances are as close to zero as its possible to get.

Very true, and for a lot of the right reasons. U.S. cities aren't likely to see significant national funding for venue construction. The city, county and state of Oregon would be flattened by capital costs for assets that would see very little value in alternative use. There are plenty of cities insecure enough in their self image, and eager to spend somebody else's money, who will step up.


User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4125 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1320 times:

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 17):
With some bias. I would always favor Portland over Seattle for its European charm (of sorts) An outside of the box approach using a joint city bid might involve the opening ceremony in Portland and the closing in Seattle. The ICO would have to pick the primary city. Which ever way it went both cities would enjoy a monetary shot in the arm.

I have never felt that there was any European charm in Portland.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 16):
These events are far smaller than the Summer Olympics, and make commensurately smaller demands on airports



My point was that the airport is not a focal point of any bid and to make it sound like there will be a fundamental change to the airport just for the games is a little bit naive.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineGentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3053 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1262 times:

Quoting brilondon (Reply 23):
I have never felt that there was any European charm in Portland.

The Portland street cars for one remind me a lot of the Bavaria region in Germany.



Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
25 jumpjets : One of the big positives from the London games was that, water borne events - and the mountain biking - aside, no two stadia used for the various eve
26 redzeppelin : This was also the case at SLC. I remember delivering some Belarusian team officials to SLC that day and seeing the check-in lines stretching out into
27 ERJ170 : Hmmm.. I'm seeing a city missing.. but, I could see this as an option.. CLT is choosen as the host city.. but events can happen in CLT, Durham, Ralei
28 GentFromAlaska : I borrowed the U.S. list from a NBC News affiliate web URL. What city is missing? I haven't seen the worldwide list as of yet.
29 ERJ170 : Hahaha.. just being silly.. don't worry..
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