LAX2IADandORD
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Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:14 am

Using this wonderful photo as the basis of this discussion (and my opinion):

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1028861/M/

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this very subjective topic. With the picture link, my personal opinion (slightly biased as it is my home airport) is that LAX, in total, is the most instantly recognizable, unmistakable airport on the planet. Anchored by the Theme Building, followed by the ATC tower and the "light tubes" on Sepulveda that cascade down Century Boulevard in front of the airport hotels make for a very iconic complex. I have seen CDG, MUC, FRA, LHR, MAD, BCN, FCO, MEX, MXP, VCN, ORY, GVA, GDL, CUN, MTY, LIS, LAS, ATL, CVG, JFK, ORD, DIA, SFO, DFW, IAD and nearly every other airport in the US.

In the US i'd place IAD as a close second (with Eero Saarinen's passenger terminal) and TWA's old terminal at JFK (all but demolished by now, also by Eero Saarinen) as very iconic structures. In Europe, both the original CDG terminal and the new Air France / Sky Team gates are very recognizable. I lack first hand knowledge of the new mega airports scattered throughout Asia.

It is tough to not confuse "iconic" with "beauty" as CDG's old alien space ship terminal is ugly, though it is unmistakably Paris, thus iconic. To be fair, as a frequent user of LAX, most of the actual terminals are dated insofar as design, facilities, amenities and in some cases general upkeep. But overall, LAX cannot be mistaken for any other and is almost instantly recognizable, thus the most iconic.
 
n8076u
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:27 am

I have to agree, that at least for me, I always instantly recognize LAX, as long as the tower is in the photo. But I also haven't visited that many airports in my lifetime, and definitely not very many at all in other countries.

Chris
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dartland
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:32 am

Agreed -- LAX, JFK (TW), and CDG would be at the top of my list. I'll add DEN with the distinctive terminal ceiling.

I'm from NY so I'm biased, but I would think LGA (parking garage view from Grand Central Pkwy or view of the hangars) and EWR (distinctive terminals from the road) would also be high up there.

From the air, I'd say DFW with it's semi-circle terminals and parallel runways and ATL with it's 5-tiered terminals would be the most distinctive.
 
Zudnic
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:34 am

Definitely IAD. That Saarinen terminal is pretty darn distinctive.
 
pilotdude09
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:34 am

LAX is probably the easiest to recognise, KAI TAK would also be up there.

[Edited 2006-07-11 19:42:16]
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USADreamliner
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:07 am

I think: CDG
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LAX
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JFK (TWA Terminal)
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IAD
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this is just me (probably), but I can recognise AMS from any other Airport, in a sec.
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And DFW is pretty original
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gift4tbone
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:15 am

What about BOS? I could recognize the tower in a heartbeat, never seen anything like it. Also, I would have to say ORD from the air, as for me, I can recognize the terminal layout. But I do agree that LAX, JFK, and DFW are up on the top of the list.

-Tony@PVD
Top 3 airports: PVD 23.9%(138 flights), PHL 14.7%(85 flights), PHX 10.2%(59 flights)
 
isitsafenow
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:51 am

Anyone been to IAD lately? I was there Saturday and there is a huge
contruction project going on.

Airports easy to identify?
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N43W79
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:58 am

Well,

I think that HKG is the most recognizable airport in the world; followed by CDG. Also, Kansai is pretty recognizable. LAX has a recognizable tower, but apart from that it is pretty generic.
 
spartanmjf
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:00 am

IAD - Washington Dulles [the original terminal]
LAX - Los Angeles International [the tower]
KIX - Konsai International Osaka [the bridge and the beautiful terminal]
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TWFirst
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:16 am

Quoting LAX2IADandORD (Thread starter):
TWA's old terminal at JFK (all but demolished by now, also by Eero Saarinen)

The TW terminal @ JFK is NOT being demolished... only the gates were demolished. The iconic terminal and famous "tube" connectors are still there and will always be there, and will front jetBlue's new Terminal 5.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
klwright69
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:27 am

This is indeed very subjective. It all depends on where the individual has been, and what the individual remembers.

I have never been to HKG and CDG so I wouldn't know. But I'll take your word for it.

Of course DEN is very distinctive, and very memorable. It is truly an original structure. But if one has never been, it is not worth much.

Some airports mentioned are not particularly distinctive, special, or iconic in any way.

Of all the airports I think the absolute most recognizable is LAX due to the "signature building." This is especially true if you've never been there cause the airport has been in so many movies over the years, and the signature building is always right there, by the tower. Yes the facilities at LAX are not that great as mentioned.
 
petazulu
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:32 am

How about St. Maarten? Could recognize that from anywhere!
I agree with Dulles and Denver as well as the TWA terminal. Throw in all of LGA (including Marine Air Terminal). CDG Terminal 1.
St. Barths and Jorge Newberry in BA are also very distinctive.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:35 am

For me it's LAX. Hands down.

CDG and DFW are easily recognizable from the air, but LAX outshines them all.
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2travel2know
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:36 am

As for Latinamerian airports, I would think GIG, SDU, MDE and GUA (!) do are quite recognizable.
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Tolmachevo
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:37 am

I think Berlin Templehof is quiet easy to recognise, but as noted in other posts it depends on where you have been more often
 
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:38 am

Quoting N43W79 (Reply 8):
LAX has a recognizable tower, but apart from that it is pretty generic.

That, and the "Theme Building".

I've only seen it in real life once, but I've seen it in TV shows countless times - it helps to have Hollywood in your back yard, I guess...
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VHVXB
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:58 am

I have to agree with everyone else here that it is LAX simply because of the theme buildings. I have friends who have never been to LAX or ever out the country and easily recongise the theme building and those big poles?? does anyone know the name?
 
dragon-wings
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:02 am

Denver is pretty recognizable with the white cone type shapes of the roof.


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LAX2IADandORD
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:13 am

Quoting VHVXB (Reply 17):
I have friends who have never been to LAX or ever out the country and easily recongise the theme building and those big poles?? does anyone know the name?

The name is precisely the "Theme Building". It was built in the Lyndon Johnson era (I believe) as his name is on a placard somewhere near the entrance I believe.

More than one indicated LAX's Tower as the most recognizable. Perhaps folks may be confusing the space aged "Theme Building" as the tower. If this is the case, it is not. The building houses a very cool restaurant / bar called "Encounter" which looks like George Jetson's living room on acid. Even the elevator ride up is an experience with music that starts and stops with the elevator. Order a fountain drink at the bar and you'll hear "galactic gun fire" as they pour your drink. The base houses what appears to be administrative airport offices.

WOW!! Thanks to all who agree about LAX. I am always glad to go there (which I do about once per month to fly). Will see it tomorrow.....
 
DLSLC
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:18 am

I can't believe no one has mentioned ATL. At least from an aerial stand point, it has to be one of the most recognizable airport, you cant mistake the layout of ATL with any other airport. Also I think LHR is another easlily recognizable airport from the air.

If you are meaning easly recognized by the landmarks or buildings, LAX obviously and JFK with the TWA building.

Devin B.
 
crjflyer35
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RE: Most Iconic / Instantly Recognizable Airport?

Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:04 pm

Definitely agree with LAX and DEN. MDW is pretty recognizable, and PHX is easy to confuse with LAX if you look too quickly and don't notice a "missing" runway. And now since I've flown out of it, the terminal at ICN is unmistakeable!

crj
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