centrair
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MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:23 am

I was chatting with an MSP A.netter about the propsal back in the 1990s for a replacement airport for MSP. THe propsal was pushed by a group concerned about pollution and noise. (one of the lead members later became the Mayor of St. Paul I think.)

It was proposed, discussed in the state senate, then knocked down and turned into the 2020 plan that is being undertaken now.

I was in college at the time and didn't pay much attention to the local news (busy um...studying...I think...hard to do at Hamline.) But I remember the discussions about the idea. I would have posted about it back then when A.net was free, but there wasn't a forum...just awesome photos.

So questions.
Where was the proposed replacement suppose to be? (I keep thinking Eden Prairie, Prior lake or Farmington...all impossible now)
What was the layout of the airport suppose to be?
Where there any draft designs or plans?
Was NWA pushing hard for it or were they to in the thick of DTW to even consider MSP?

Always fun to discuss things that could have happened and why they didn't.

[Edited 2007-07-11 03:24:42]

[Edited 2007-07-11 03:25:43]
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
N908AW
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:49 am

Quoting Centrair (Thread starter):
Where was the proposed replacement suppose to be? (I keep thinking Eden Prairie, Prior lake or Farmington...all impossible now)

They shot the idea down long before a location was chosen. I guess Farmington would have been/is still a viable idea.

Quoting Centrair (Thread starter):
What was the layout of the airport suppose to be?
Where there any draft designs or plans?

I believe that no plans were made, the costs of building a new airport were much higher than just making MSP into a better, quieter airport

Another thing that happened in the late 90s was the idea of a cargo twin. While the idea is still up there, it is talked about far less than it was circa 2003. The idea was to divert about half of the cargo operations from MSP to one airport which would be the outstate cargo hub. RST, STC, ILL, DLH, MKT, and others were all vying for this. Due to post-9/11 traffic deficiencies, this idea never really took flight.

There is also a study out there, called the Tier 2 Airport Survey, that did a study on airports in outstate MN (RST, DLH, STC, and EAU) and studied their leakage to MSP and their credibility as a secondary MSP airport. This was done in 2003 and the pdf can be found here:

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/aero/avoffice/pdf/executivesummary.pdf
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af773atmsp
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:44 am

The new MSP was proposed to be in Farmington, it would have been able to handle more international traffic and big jets. It seems like there are houses surrounding the whole airport. DLH would be a good secondary airport. Are there any pictures of what it might have looked like?
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centrair
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:56 am

Kind of interesting to think of St. Cloud as being beefed up as a 2nd tier. It has space for development and if planned for the long time, could become a good secondary option for the Twin Cities (with connecting train service to downtown Minneapolis?) It could also become a good long-term replacement if staged right.

If the growth of the area around MSP over the past 20 years is any indication of the future, areas as far south as Farmington could have become major suburbs. I still can't believe that when I was in Elementary school, MSP still had a parking lot...not a garage...a parking lot. Edina was on the edge of the city. Eagan and Burnsville were farm towns. You could drive from Red Wing to Minneapolis on a two lane road.
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centrair
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:10 pm

Quoting Af773atmsp (Reply 2):
Are there any pictures of what it might have looked like?

as N908AW said, it didin't get very far along.

I can imagine it would have been a multi parallel runway facility with a buildings for Skyteam and one for other carriers just like DTW. Being that it is the Twin Cities, the terminal design would have been modern and funky yet functional.

The state would have linked it to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul by train. (or St. Paul would have suffered with a transfer to a bus line) I bet they would have also linked it by train to Rochester as well as part of a larger infrastructure project.

If I have time, maybe I will come up with my own design. Used to do that when I was a kid.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
N908AW
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:44 pm

Quoting Centrair (Reply 4):
If I have time, maybe I will come up with my own design. Used to do that when I was a kid.

Whew. I thought I was the only one.

I guess it'd be interesting if MAC just supersized Airlake...hmmm.
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jsnww81
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:45 pm

Back in the early 1990s I had an annual report from the MSP airport authority that showed a blueprint for the new airport. It's long gone (thrown away during one of my parents' cleaning purges after I went to college) but IIRC it showed a pinwheel design somewhat like what was built in Denver, except turned 45 degrees and with only four runways (two northeast-southwest and two northwest-southeast). I also remember it said the new airport would be built near Vermillion, which is slightly east of Farmington, as others have pointed out.

If I still had the booklet I'd definitely scan in, but alas, it was tossed. Thanks Mom!
 
geg2rap
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:38 pm

it was to be down in the lakeville/farmington area. I remember one of my high school math teachers bet big on farm land down there with his retirement money, got bailed out in 2001 by a developer who wanted it for a new target.
Would have been interesting....
 
af773atmsp
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:45 pm

Quoting Centrair (Reply 4):

Used to do that when I was a kid.


I do the same thing now. If anyone wants me to show my plans I would be glad to. Would've been awesome to see what the new MSP might have looked like.
 Sad
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vincewy
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:17 pm

Quoting Jsnww81 (Reply 6):
Back in the early 1990s I had an annual report from the MSP airport authority that showed a blueprint for the new airport. It's long gone (thrown away during one of my parents' cleaning purges after I went to college) but IIRC it showed a pinwheel design somewhat like what was built in Denver, except turned 45 degrees and with only four runways (two northeast-southwest and two northwest-southeast). I also remember it said the new airport would be built near Vermillion, which is slightly east of Farmington, as others have pointed out.

I've read the newspaper article back in 1993 from Star Tribune, the proposed area was INDEED Vermillion between Hwy 52 and Interstate 35. Farmington? Unrealistic, even back in the early 90s there're already too many homes built near I-35, it's much worse now. Vermillion, on the other hand, haven't really been developed yet and can still be considered now.
 
acidradio
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:58 pm

One of the neat things about MSP is the fact that it is so close to the commercial centers of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Yes, we could have built a brand-new airport out in the middle of nowhere like other cities have done in recent years but it would take an hour to get there! Although space is limited and awkward at MSP, its convenience is a major advantage to the area.

I kind of wish they would build STP into some kind of a Midway-like airport. It has a smaller but workable runway (14/32 is 6500x150). But that is big enough for RJ's, props and smaller narrowbodies. It would make an interesting alternative to MSP.

Quoting Centrair (Reply 3):
If the growth of the area around MSP over the past 20 years is any indication of the future, areas as far south as Farmington could have become major suburbs. I still can't believe that when I was in Elementary school, MSP still had a parking lot...not a garage...a parking lot. Edina was on the edge of the city. Eagan and Burnsville were farm towns. You could drive from Red Wing to Minneapolis on a two lane road.

In 1987, Eden Prairie was at least partially developed. The major commercial development, Eden Prairie Center, was built in 1977, and had been around for quite a while. Edina was not necessarily the edge of the city at this point, but had a lot of space left to build. Edina is currently 99% developed. At least one parking ramp existed by this point at MSP. Eagan and Burnsville were still at the beginning of development. Yes, the area has grown at a fast pace and continues to do so. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you ask), Minneapolis/St. Paul is one of the least dense metro areas in the nation. This makes it expensive to expand the water and sewer systems (sewer is done on a regional basis). It also makes it hard to plan something like an airport, because you have to put the thing so far out to get a large tract of land to work with.

Everyone wants some huge lot away from people to build on. Perhaps this echoes the anti-social personality of many Minnesotans. I live in an apt. bldg where people scurry away like rats if you say "hi" to them. Everyone around here wants 10 acres and a house. They don't ever go out on the 10 acres, they just don't want to talk to or see other people. It's at the least depressing, and of anything, disturbing.
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jsnww81
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:40 pm

Quoting Acidradio (Reply 10):
Perhaps this echoes the anti-social personality of many Minnesotans.

This might be a throwback to the area's Scandinavian heritage. When I was in Sweden and Finland I found the people there to be much more standoffish than the rest of Europe. They're not rude or mean, they're just very rigid and cold until you really get to know them, and then they're wonderful. It might be a more midwestern trait in general; I live in Chicago and I've found people here to be the same, especially in the suburbs. It was quite a shock moving from Texas, where everyone says "hello" to everyone on the street, whether they know them or not.

The huge-lot phenomenon isn't limited strictly to the Twin Cities either. That whole of school of thought ("I want my big house and big lot, but I don't want to pay more than $250K for it") is what's driving suburban and exurban sprawl all over the country. It's the reason the Dallas/Fort Worth area now reaches halfway to Oklahoma and metropolitan Atlanta is starting to bleed into neighboring states like Tennessee and Alabama. People in the US, even with gas prices, just refuse to accept high density development, except in a few large cities or in these goofy "new-urbanism" developments that are popping up everywhere.

The result is mass sprawl, with lookalike housing developments punctuated every few miles by shopping centers that all have the same stores. What's worse, low density means that it's really, really hard to get public transportation to work, since it winds up being inconvenient for everyone (they still have to drive to a bus or train, and consequently don't use it.) 50 years from now, when gas costs I-don't-even-know-what, we're going to really regret the way we've built our cities.

Wow, I digressed a bit... back on topic, I'm all for new airports but I agree that MSP was definitely wiser to stay at the Wold-Chamberlain site and develop it as they've done. They've been able to connect it to their rail network, and it's still quite close to the business centers of both cities.
 
KaiGywer
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:56 pm

Quoting Acidradio (Reply 10):
I kind of wish they would build STP into some kind of a Midway-like airport. It has a smaller but workable runway (14/32 is 6500x150). But that is big enough for RJ's, props and smaller narrowbodies. It would make an interesting alternative to MSP.

Make that MKT and I'll agree with you  Smile
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vivavegas
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:40 pm

Quoting Acidradio (Reply 10):
I kind of wish they would build STP into some kind of a Midway-like airport. It has a smaller but workable runway (14/32 is 6500x150). But that is big enough for RJ's, props and smaller narrowbodies. It would make an interesting alternative to MSP.

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Flighty
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:06 am

STP is a viable airport. The location is excellent / spectacular. Corporate jets for 3M are there, plus other things.

MSP has enough room where it is now. The noise police were complaining about yesterday's louder jets which, of course, still exist at MSP, but less so every year.
 
alphascan
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:28 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 14):
STP is a viable airport.

Except for when it is under water.

Quoting Acidradio (Reply 10):
In 1987, Eden Prairie was at least partially developed... Eagan and Burnsville were still at the beginning of development.

In 1977, Burnsville was hardly at the beginning of development. At the time it had one of the largest high schools in the state. Eden Prairie Center opened in 1976, Burnsville Center in 1977. Both cities are considered "second ring suburbs" and their modern day development started in the early to mid-60s when "first ring suburbs" like Richfield, Bloomington and St. Louis Park were filling up.
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rampart
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:51 am

Quoting N908AW (Reply 5):
Quoting Centrair (Reply 4):
If I have time, maybe I will come up with my own design. Used to do that when I was a kid.

Whew. I thought I was the only one.

Had I the wherewithal to patent ideas when I was 14, I could have made money on the DEN design. Quite spooky, I chose the exact location, exact runway configuration (and I mean exact), and very similar terminal layout to what exists now, except 17 years prior to DIA opening in 1995. I have it saved somewhere in my archives. I don't recall designing an airport for Minneapolis, though I did do one (each) or Milwaukee, DesMoines, and Omaha. My dad was an architect, worked on a couple airport projects, so that must have been my inspiration. He obviously didn't take me TOO seriously, however.

-Rampart
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:06 am

I think in another 10-15 years, as the Twin Cities continue to sprawl northward and westward, St Cloud Airport will have the sort of airline service Flint has now.

Flint became a viable alternative to DTW when traffic congestion in Detroit's northern suburbs got so bad it was faster to drive north to FNT than it was to drive south through the city of Detroit to DTW.

Already the drive from anywhere north of Maple Grove to MSP can be very tedious, especially at rush hour, and it's just going to keep getting worse. It will be interesting to see if Northwest puts in nonstops from STC to DTW first, or if they will wait until after an airline like AirTran or American Eagle adds STC.
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N908AW
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:58 am

Quoting Alphascan (Reply 15):

Except for when it is under water.

Haha. I was thinking the same thing. It's only like, 5 feet below the river level, right?

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 17):
I think in another 10-15 years, as the Twin Cities continue to sprawl northward and westward, St Cloud Airport will have the sort of airline service Flint has now.

Perhaps...though STC will likely never be nearly as big as the FNT area is now (70,000 vs. 200,000 metro population). Not only that...the infrastructure isn't quite there and, since there's not really much demand for it now, won't be for a while.

I don't RST will quite make it to the FNT-ish stage either, though I wouldn't mind it... RST's task (and STC's too for now) is to catch more and more of their own people (RST is probably still getting about 40% of Rochester's population, STC much much less) before trying to turn themselves into Minneapolis - Rochester Airport.
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Flighty
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:28 am

There's no need for more service to STC when MSP is just an hour away. Even STC-ORD flights just would not serve any purpose. They'd be slower than driving to MSP and taking a nonstop.
 
pilottim747
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:56 pm

Back in the mid 1990s, various state agencies (including the Metropolitan Airports Commission) analyzed proposals for how to expand MSP for future growth. Three scenarios were drawn up:
  • build a new airport
  • use the current airfield but build a completely new terminal (off of Hwy 62 and Hwy 77)
  • expand the current terminal
I believe there were 3 locations suggestions for a new airport. The two serious proposals were a location up by Forest Lake (IIRC) and a location south of Hastings. The Dakota County location south of Hastings ended up being the final proposal for a new airport site.

After lots of analysis the state of Minnesota preferred building a completely new terminal on the existing site. Northwest Airlines, however, was concerned about the costs of such an expansion and recommended the expansion of current facilities. As we know now...Northwest got its way (for better or for worse).

Big version: Width: 643 Height: 453 File size: 132kb
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phatfarmlines
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:46 pm

Quoting Pilottim747 (Reply 20):
Reply 20

That design is a near-carbon copy of new DEN. Was that the intent of MAC?
 
centrair
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:01 pm

Quoting Phatfarmlines (Reply 21):
Was that the intent of MAC?

I think when good ideas are developed why not reuse them.
Look at HKG, the design of the terminal was efficient so NGO used the idea but took off the top of the Y and separated the interior into International (south side) and domestic (north side).

Denver's runway layout is efficient for the US and the way we use aircraft. The use of remote terminals is found in a lot of airports.

I just took a little time and designed my image of a "MSP replacement". I looked at airports from around the world on google maps and identified the best aspects and ... DEN's runway layout is brilliant for preventing incursions and getting aircarft off the ground easily.

As for terminals I skipped the remote terminal as I feel it is not practical in the Minnesota weather. I went with a combination of HKG, ICN, the new CDG terminal and NGO. I used the idea of three T shaped concourses connected to a central Circle. The top of the T shapes use a curve found at CDG and ICN. The center comes from the old Satellite idea and the use of the long spaces from HKG and NGO.

One other aspect I put into my design is commercial space. As MSP is a transfer airport, having services found in SIN, HKG, BKK, and DXB would make it a world class airport. So passengers with long layovers or even short layovers can have a great time. I also thought about how NGO uses the space before security as a "shopping center" and since MSP is the capital of all shopping center cities, might as well add commercial space in the pre-security areas where the locals can go to hang out, go shopping, have a date, meetings, family day, or just general fun.

The following is a link to my design. It is a Zipped PDF.
Future MSP idea
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pilottim747
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:00 am

There seems to be some curiousity on the issue of a new airport for MSP. I have done a little research on it before and had thought about putting together a webpage summarizing past ideas for expanding MSP. Since there seems to be some interest maybe I will get around to that in the near future.

Quoting Centrair (Reply 22):
The following is a link to my design. It is a Zipped PDF.
Future msp idea

Your link didn't work. I'd be curious to see it, however.
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N908AW
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:02 am

Quoting Pilottim747 (Reply 23):
Your link didn't work. I'd be curious to see it, however.

It worked for me. Good design...but unfortunately there probably isn't a perfect plot of land in the Cities that would facilitate that. I'm sure you're aware that the land space dictates the design and not the other way around.

Your design sure beats the snot out of the terminal-turned-urban-sprawl that is Lindbergh. Why can't we have a well thought out airport like DFW?
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N353SK
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:28 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 14):
STP is a viable airport. The location is excellent / spectacular. Corporate jets for 3M are there, plus other things.

STP is currently off limits to aircraft over 100,000 lbs. I don't know if this is a structural issue or just a statutory one, but under current regs it doesn't seem too viable to anything but regionals.

[Edited 2007-07-13 04:30:06]
 
N908AW
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:36 pm

Quoting N353SK (Reply 25):

STP is currently off limits to aircraft over 100,000 lbs. I don't know if this is a structural issue or just a statutory one, but under current regs it doesn't seem too viable to anything but regionals.

Yeah, the runway is more than likely the reason. There's an ANG ramp though, which says to me the C-130 visits there. Quick fact check puts the C130 MTOW @ 155k...I think the ramp could handle it!

Yeah, but you can pretty much forget about STP expanding too. Surrounded on two sides by water, one side by freeway and houses on the other. Not to mention the runway 14 approach path / 32 departure path kinda puts you over downtown St. Paul...a little too close from what I've heard.
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centrair
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:51 pm

Quoting Pilottim747 (Reply 23):
Your link didn't work. I'd be curious to see it, however.

Try this
then click on Files > futuremsp.pdf

Want to add that the airport can be built in segments. The "T" can be added as needed.
Basically it would be built as Terminal 1 with Concourse A followed by Concourse B and Concourse D. Concourses C, E, F and G can be added as space is needed.

Also to note, the design I am presenting is called "snowflake" also a refection on the upper-midwest.

At first I designed it with just two parallel runways but after looking at a bunch of airports I too decided to go with 5 in a pinwheel. In another thinking I had 4 runways: 2 parallel and 2 crosswind. The runway on the bottom left would be cut. This would allow the highways and train tracks to run straight into the building.

I am looking at some other alternative designs that might take better advantage of land but give the best commercial space, gate space, transport related space and cargo/hanger space. But then you run into all the different designs: under-one-roof, satellite concourses, and multi-terminal. I have even considered one where the aiport is essentially an island between 4 runways and all traffic comes in to the airport underground.
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rampart
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:29 pm

Quoting Centrair (Reply 22):
I just took a little time and designed my image of a "MSP replacement". I looked at airports from around the world on google maps and identified the best aspects and ... DEN's runway layout is brilliant for preventing incursions and getting aircarft off the ground easily.

Very cool!

Just a couple comments on your design, which I like very much. First, while you say that the concourses could be built out in stages according to growth, once you complete the snowflake, there isn't room for continued growth. DEN, DFW, HKG all have multiple expansion opportunities. Second, it's your design and decision, but I think a major international airport should expect to receive the largest current or planned aircraft, at present the A380, even if present needs don't demand an accommodation. A longshot, but NW (and UA) are the only US airlines that are mentioned for possibly acquiring the A380. That's A.net gab, but since we're fantasizing, why not? Better yet, how will airports accommodate new BWBs up to (and larger than?) the A380?  Smile

This sort of thing is worth its own thread, if not its own website. I know a guy who designs fantasy sports stadiums for a hobby a puts them up on his blog. Even if not professsional, they're interesting. I think airport designs appeal to even more -- civic architecture, urban planning, as well as aviation. A website the solicited fantasy airport designs from hobby "architects" and maybe architecture students would be interesting indeed. One could have different categories -- large international, small-medium city airports, specialized airports (resorts, charter). One could also commission studies for particular cities, like San Diego, New York, Chicago, etc. I don't have the wherewithal to establish a website, but if someone does, let me know! I'd think it would be fun to revive some designs I played around with when I was a kid. This whole aviation thing is a rediscovery of my younger interests, what the heck.

-Rampart
 
af773atmsp
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:38 am

I have done drawings of the 2020 Vision Plan but I don't have any designs of a new airport but I'll just make up a design:
The new MSP would have 14 international gates (for Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, European, and Asian flights). There would be three concourses, 1 for major carriers AA, UA, CO, NW, AM, BA, LH, AF, EI, FI, US/AW and AC. The next terminal be for low cost carriers SY, B6, F9, and YX. And the last terminal would be for charter carriers Champion Air, Miami Air, Ryan International, Omni Air, and Xtra Airways. There would be 4 runways. All three terminal would be connected by a tram (automated people mover).

One possible secondary airport would be DLH. A high speed rail would be built between Minneapolis and DLH.
It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
 
centrair
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:18 am

Quoting Rampart (Reply 28):
This sort of thing is worth its own thread, if not its own website.

Thanks for your comments. I debated hard and long with designs and decided on the one I posted. Originally I thought of 40 gates in the ring, with 30 gates on each "T" coming to 130 gates.

As for own thread...will post something in "hobbies" in the next week. I'm not good at dynamic websites so can't start one. But a hobbies thread where we share airport designs might be cool.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
isitsafenow
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RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:30 am

Any dinosaurs out there remember when Donald Nyrop who ran NW from the late 40's to around 74 or 75 threatened to
move NW HQ and maintenance to Sea-Tac?
In the late 60's Minneapolis government started planning a new airport for the twin cities. Nyrop blew his stack and was quoted in the MSP area media if a new airport is decided on, he would get the board(not a problem at that time,the board was pretty much made up of his buddies) to move Northwest Airlines HQ and maintenance to SEA. He was dead serious. The rest is history..
i.e....the new airport was not and NW stayed at MSP.
safe
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centrair
Posts: 2845
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:44 pm

RE: MSP Airport Replacement (circa 1990s)?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:08 am

Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 31):

I didn't know this. Nice bit of history. What was Nyrop's reasoning?
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!

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