coreyrust
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Olympic Games Airport Prep

Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:43 pm

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?
 
CalebWilliams
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:59 pm

Plus the existing connections to airports like YVR, SEA and SFO help with hosting a larger event like the Olympics, correct?
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YXXMIKE
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:43 pm

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.
 
GentFromAlaska
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:57 pm

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.
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coreyrust
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:25 pm

@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.
 
FlyingHollander
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:30 pm

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.
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Bongodog1964
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:53 pm

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.
 
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OA260
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:56 pm

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.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:05 am

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
 
coreyrust
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:05 am

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.
 
timpdx
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:16 am

Speaking of prep, are Rio or Sochi doing anything to get ready. GIG really needs it.
 
LipeGIG
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:07 am

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
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GentFromAlaska
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:11 pm

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.
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brilondon
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:20 pm

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.
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GentFromAlaska
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:28 pm

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]
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YXXMIKE
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:43 pm

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  
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:22 pm

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
 
GentFromAlaska
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:24 pm

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.
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GCT64
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:54 am

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.
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vfw614
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:44 am

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]
 
tonytifao
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:52 pm

Not Olympics, but World Cup related. I noticed big improvements at CNF last week, they installed a few vending machines around the airport. LOL
 
GentFromAlaska
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:01 pm

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.
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MIflyer12
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:12 pm

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.
 
brilondon
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:15 pm

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.
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GentFromAlaska
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:00 pm

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.
 
jumpjets
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:04 pm

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 21):
Both Nashville and Memphis bring that to the table in a joint bid. The two cities are roughly separated by 175 miles.

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 events were much more than 15 miles apart [Wimbledon to the Excel centre] so the whole games felt very inclusive to all the athletes.

Also within 50 miles of the venues [less than 5 if you used LCY] there were 5 large international airports to handle all the traffic.

A solution that includes two cities 175 miles apart using airports neither of which feature in the US top 30 passenger airports - might be a hard sell. I do recognise Memphis is tops for cargo but I can't see Usain Bolt being too happy arriving in the hold of a freighter.
 
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redzeppelin
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:16 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 6):
It was stated that the busiest day for LHR was the day after the closing ceremony


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 the road and hearing about wait times of several hours for security. Athletes and other official Olympic delegation members had the option of checking in and I think dropping their bags at the Olympic Village, and the security facilities in the international terminal that are normally used for connecting passengers arriving from other countries were reserved for their use, so they got through pretty quick. Where a lot of SLC passengers are usually just making connections there, I think that just about every seat leaving the airport that day was filled with SLC-originating passengers. I heard about some rather unusual interline and non-hub connections and routings through any outpost that had seats available to get people out of town.

IIRC, SLC updated the FIS facilities before the games, but didn't add any new gates or terminals. The existing facilities were able to accommodate the added sectors and upgauged equipment. The winter games are a _significantly_ smaller operation than summer. Most of the athletes, officials and media people trickle in over a period of several weeks in advance. A lot of the athletes then leave after their event is over and don't stay around for the closing ceremonies. (I actually filled in as a Belarusian "athlete" at the closing cermeonies. I was a volunteer driver and interpreter for the team, and happily accepted a pair of closing ceremony tickets as a gift from the team on the last day--but was shocked to see that I had been given athlete passes. I called another volunteer friend, we put on Belarus hats, and we headed to the stadium. One of the coolest experiences of my life.)
 
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ERJ170
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:28 pm

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 12):
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.

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, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem.. participants can fly from CLT to GSO and RDU after the opening games and each area can set up Olympic villages for their sports.. not 50 miles apart but still close enough..

just a thought..
Aiming High and going far..
 
GentFromAlaska
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:39 pm

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 27):
Hmmm.. I'm seeing a city missing..

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.
Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
 
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ERJ170
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RE: Olympic Games Airport Prep

Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:00 pm

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 28):
What city is missing? I haven't seen the worldwide list as of yet.

Hahaha.. just being silly.. don't worry..
Aiming High and going far..

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