Topic Author
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Nice Airports

Tue Aug 24, 1999 3:12 pm

Not being an experienced world traveller, my comments on this subject will be somewhat limited.

Which cities have the nicest airports in the world? (From either a pilot's or a passenger's perspective)
You can judge based on approach, terminals, layout, whatever.

Which cities have the worst?

The nicest overall airports I've seen are Minneapolis-St. Paul, Sky Harbor in Phoenix, and McCarran in Las Vegas.
The nicest approaches I've witnessed have been into Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, and into Madison, WI.

I was relatively unimpressed with LAX, John Wayne, and Sea-Tac. But by far the worst airport I've been to is the Ontario, CA airport.
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RE: Nice Airports

Tue Aug 24, 1999 9:05 pm

Singapore Changi is the best,.... BEst terminal with facilities, polite and friendly staff - Great array of Airlines to watch! Its marvellous... net cafes, swimming pool, Shops galore, supermarket, monorail between terminals! Hotel IN the Departures lounges! Its great!

I loved Kai Tak in terms of approaches....
SCAREY but amazing! felt as though you were going to clip the buildings below! WOAH

Also Cape Town is amazing! Flying over the sea and coming to land right near Table Mountain,.... wow! the terminal though is pathetic! no offense... But i guess it doesnt need to be with a handful of INt'l flights daily!

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RE: Nice Airports

Tue Aug 24, 1999 11:24 pm

I have to agree with Ansett767 that Singapore has the best airport in the world, don't know about Hongkong's Kaitak since I only now the old airport.

In Europe I thing Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is by far the best. It is build out of one terminal so switching planes is no problem. Schiphol also has one of the largest shopping centres there are many bars and restaurants there are even a casino and a hotel behind customs. Also the access to the airport is great wheter you come by car or train. The train simply stops under the terminal.

I hate London Heathrow, because it is simply the worst ever build airport in the world. Never try to change planes between T4 and T1 its hell, it will cost you about 1.5 hrs.

Petrouchka I have to agree that MSP is one of the best in N-Amercia since everything here is located in one terminal. Boston must be one of the worst just like JFK
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Wed Aug 25, 1999 12:50 am

I do have to agree that LHR is bad, but I was there 10 days ago going to Edinburgh. I came in on BA in T4 and left from T1. While it was inconvenient it didn't take me the 1 1/2 hours you claim. In both directions it only took me a half an hour.

But I do say that Boston certainly is nothing like JFK. I live in Boston and While it is contantly being redone to make up for the bad planning Terminals B-E have a series of tunnels and corridors to get you between them (via TC, and D). The walk only takes roughly 15-20 min. Plus the buses conveniently run every five min. or so. But I do have to wonder, with the recent closing of a nearby naval base the runway and taxi infrastructure is already there, why not use the $1 BILLION they're spending in refurbishing Logan (which is just going to run out of terminal space in 10 years anyway, with no room to expand) and put it into extending the runways and building a new single building concourse terminal.
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RE: Nice Airports

Wed Aug 25, 1999 12:54 am

I find Oslo airport (OSL) in Norway to be the best from passengers point of wiev. The airport opened in Oct. -98 and is a 1 terminal airport with 2 separate/individual runways. Its very easy to find your way and it has many special effects. The only down part is that there are only 2 US-services. SAS flies from OSL to Newark. NWA is still flying OSL-MSP another week before their service ends.
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RE: Nice Airports

Wed Aug 25, 1999 1:01 am

I agree with Ansett and Triple7 on Singapore. It has the best ergonomic layout I have ever seen.

However, I find in North America that MCO (Orlando Intl) is the best. Everyone is very polite and helpful. The directory to the gates is well marked. There are monorails linking the main terminal to the two sets of gates. The main terminal has a massive hotel above it. There are plenty of shops and most of all, it is by far the cleanest airport I have ever been to. From a passenger's prospective the take-off is awesome. Immediatly after leaving the ground there are many lakes filled flamingos and beautiful landscaping.
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More Nice Airports

Wed Aug 25, 1999 1:01 am

Japanese airports are very nice, particularly the new terminal at Tokyo Haneda. As an aviation enthusiast, I tend to judge airports by their observation facilities; LHR and LGW are okay, but I never fly through STN. One of the nicest, if not the nicest European airport I have experienced (and I haven't been to Scandinavia, which I know has very nice airports), is Schiphol.
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RE: Nice Airports

Wed Aug 25, 1999 1:55 am

I think that Pittsburgh Int'l is one of the best airports in my opinion. You go from the ticket counters (all in one place) to the terminal building with all four concourses branching out from the central atrium which is where you arrive with the eception of the express terminal. I also like Atlanta-Hartsfield from a pilots point of view-none of the runways intersect and neither do the approaches so its a little bit easier. I have to say though that i do not like JFK. it is too big and too busy.
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RE: Nice Airports

Wed Aug 25, 1999 2:28 am

MCO is a wonderful airport. Too bad we don't fly the 777s there.... I'd love to fly there. There is a Hyatt actually IN the airport. I used to stay there when I flew 320s LAX-MCO.

If they ever actually finish SFO, it will be one of the nicest airports in the U.S. BART, which is the Bay Area's subway system, will stop right at the airport. The space between 10L and 10R is supposed to be widened, so we can do simultaneous ILS approaches. And, as always, talk lingers about the addition of another runway.


One Word

Wed Aug 25, 1999 2:36 am


Brasilia International

Wed Aug 25, 1999 2:58 am

Check out this airport. The terminal design is pretty unique, a kinda satellite terminal in "UFO" format with connection to the main building. It is part of the Brasilia International Airport, and still is though One terminal only as a whole. Runways use higher ILS approach systems and plans of soon restructruing ATC similar to the STARS format done in other airports. An additional parallel runway is being added with the expansion of terminal constructions due next year. Anyway, I like it not only for being home, but because of its creative manner in design.

Brasilia International - Brazil
(Photo by Daniel Carneiro)

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RE: Nice Airports

Thu Aug 26, 1999 1:47 am

The most impressive: Lap Chap Kok

The moste efficient: Changi

My favorite: Orlando International  

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RE: Nice Airports

Thu Aug 26, 1999 3:26 am

I will say it once, and I will say it again, Washington National Airport's new terminal is one of the best designs I've seen and one of the newest in the U.S. Easily accesible directly to one of the cleanest and most efficient subways in the U.S. and full of giant picture windows that give you beautiful views of the planes and the city of Washington on the other side of the Potomac. Plus, if you approach from the north in your aircraft, the left side gives you a beautiful panorama approach of the Washington, D.C., plus a dramatic approach weaving along the river and then a sharp right turn over the Lincoln memorial onto the runway (this is due to the restricted airspace over the Whitehouse and Capital, etc.).

If you are flying to Washington, pay the extra money to fly into National rather than Dulles and Baltimore which have nowhere near the beautiful terminals and views as Cesar Pelli's new National Airport terminal.
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RE: Transtar

Thu Aug 26, 1999 4:22 am

Yes, DCA is nice, unless you are flying CO, NW, HP, or TW, all stuck in the old terminal because it can't be destroyed (it was designated a national historic building).  

LAX Terminal 2 is very nice, though, with lots of glass and space.

I also like MSP, with all the improvements that the airport has been through.
Create your own luck.
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RE: Nice Airports

Thu Aug 26, 1999 4:39 am

I might be controversial on the topic, but I think the nicest airports to be in are those with a strong "character", even if not necessarily the most efficient.
For example Heathrow terminals 1-2-3, or Paris CDG terminal 1 (with its great "Jetsons" look and feel) or Frankfurt.
I personally hate the General Hospital atmosphere of Oslo, Stocholm, Milan Malpensa or Munich.
(although I tend to change my mind when late or in tight flight connection).
I don't know US airports enough to express an opinion, but...I do like JFK! (forgive me for this...)
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RE: Nice Airports

Thu Aug 26, 1999 4:42 am

Orlando International (MCO)

It actually has 3 airsides with trams leading to them with a fourth being built right now. Pretty big but clean, modern and spotter friendly.

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