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Noise
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Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:45 pm

As the title of this thread suggests, what is everyone's thoughts on whether we will ever see a new greenfield major airport in the United States? I can think of a few cities that might need full-scale replacement airports in the long-term future if growth continues. Those would be:

1) San Diego: airport is boxed in by water and neighborhoods on all sides. Very little opportunities for terminal and runway expansion.
2) Boston Logan: same as San Diego. In addition, it's a fast-growing airport with B6, DL and even now AA growing their presence there.
3) San Francisco: nearly impossible to expand the airport into the bay if need be. Perhaps a replacement airport is possible in the not-to-distant future? That airport appears to be bursting at the seems.

Thoughts?
 
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N776AU
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:58 pm

The problem with 1 and 3 is that you have environmentalist wackos in charge. Not gonna happen in a million years.
Careful, doors are closing, and will not reopen. Please wait for the next train.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:59 pm

The problem is that we have allowed the most insignificant people to have the loudest voice when it comes to airports. Ignore them and we can finally make some progress.
 
NiMar
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:00 am

If SFO could only build two runways into the water they'd be more than fine. At least until Antarctica melted.
 
AirlineBob
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:14 am

In each of those cases (Boston, San Diego, SFO), isn't there already nearby airports that would be candidates for expansion, rather than a whole new airport?

This article outlines some options for replacing Boston's Logan Airport....

https://medium.com/@ethanfinlan/finding ... 8cb12d6477
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:20 am

Noise wrote:
As the title of this thread suggests, what is everyone's thoughts on whether we will ever see a new greenfield major airport in the United States?


Of course. Never is a long time. It may not happen in the three cities you listed, and it may not be an airport capable of handling 30+ million passengers. Take a trip to Williston, ND; or to Branson BKG. You'll find airports that opened in the last ~decade.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:20 am

Seattle Vashon Airport
 
PHLspecial
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:22 am

N776AU wrote:
The problem with 1 and 3 is that you have environmentalist wackos in charge. Not gonna happen in a million years.

Your bigger problem is the NIMBYs. Who wants a airport near your house. Only solution is build in the middle of nowhere.
 
USAirALB
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:29 am

Another problem is that why would the residents of SFO/BOS/SAN choose to support a new airport project? I wouldn't want to give up my nice, easy commute from Downtown BOS on the T to the Airport to some airport in the middle of nowhere that is only accessible by gridlocked roads.
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Kno
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:36 am

Boston has a number of commercial ready airports within an hours drive that are under utilized. Perhaps they should be expanded rather than build a new airport
 
Insertnamehere
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:40 am

Do we really need to be building new airports? I love aviation as much as the next guy here but constraints in the market help with competition and protect startup airlines from being pushed out by the majors. Making the infrastructure we have more modern and more efficient would do more good then taking the more gun-ho approach of building new airports which can take 10+ years (20 with how American contractors work) to come online versus utilising new technology and redeveloping old airports.
 
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tlecam
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:40 am

N776AU wrote:
The problem with 1 and 3 is that you have environmentalist wackos in charge. Not gonna happen in a million years.


We have environmental and nimby whackos in Boston
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WWads
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:40 am

Ask some people in Ohio. They SWEAR that a new multi-billion dollar airport near Middletown to replace CVG will happen any day now. :roll:
 
2175301
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:42 am

I believe that last one was Denver. I remember flying into the old one in the city (which is now developed) and then into the new one a long ways out of town - and is now a real hub.

So there is an example of how to do it.

That could be done elsewhere; but, it would likely need some kind of frequent train to the city for most effective service.

Of course, finding the land is always a challenge. Few will have it as easy as Denver had it in that regard.

Have a great day,
 
micstatic
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:55 am

Still politics to overcome. Huge politics. But one day I see Atlanta needing something on the north side. Perhaps just using what's there. (Dobbins/RYY).
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YYZORD
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:57 am

For SEA, I'd say if they can build the bullet train to YVR from SEA, move all asian and european international flights from SEA to YVR and leave SEA for only domestic/canada flights.
 
Gulfstream500
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:19 am

micstatic wrote:
Still politics to overcome. Huge politics. But one day I see Atlanta needing something on the north side. Perhaps just using what's there. (Dobbins/RYY).


Through Atlanta-PDK, Ultimate flies twice daily flights to CLT on weekdays, and once daily flights to LUK, and Southern Airways Express used to fly from PDK to Destin and MEM - maybe some future there.
So... when will the Northwest DC-9s be retired?
 
KFTG
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:21 am

The last "green field" airport built in the US was Panama City, FL-ECP; it opened in 2010.
 
KFTG
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:23 am

WWads wrote:
Ask some people in Ohio. They SWEAR that a new multi-billion dollar airport near Middletown to replace CVG will happen any day now. :roll:

The same people who insisted 36L was needed?
 
teachpdx
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:26 am

SEA probably has the best chance, whether in the farmlands to the southeast or somewhere across the Sound.
It’s still a very, very small chance.
The proposed ultra high speed rail between Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver could completely erase the need for it.
Or it could completely justify it if the new greenfield airport can be built somewhere along the line and draw from all three catchment areas.
Up Next: THIS YEAR IS CANCELLED!!!
 
ATCtower
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:27 am

PHLspecial wrote:
N776AU wrote:
The problem with 1 and 3 is that you have environmentalist wackos in charge. Not gonna happen in a million years.

Your bigger problem is the NIMBYs. Who wants a airport near your house. Only solution is build in the middle of nowhere.


KDEN did that, then the NIMBY imbeciles started building out by the airport and started complaining....
By reading the above post you waive all rights to be offended. If you do not like what you read, forget it.
 
Myriad
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:28 am

For SAN, that's pretty much impossible. There's not that many places to build an airport because of terrain and the city gave up on MCAS Mirarmar a long time ago. A more likely option is if Temecula built/expanded an airport as many people live in North County (it's pretty much equal distant if you live in North County SD).
 
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thekorean
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:32 am

N776AU wrote:
The problem with 1 and 3 is that you have environmentalist wackos in charge. Not gonna happen in a million years.

The biggest obstacles are NIMBYS.
 
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gunsontheroof
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:33 am

chunhimlai wrote:
Seattle Vashon Airport


We already explained the million reasons why this will never happen. Did you not read any of the responses to your own thread? You're never going to see a new airport in the immediate Seattle area, certainly not one that displaces close to 10,000 people.
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
tys777
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:36 am

KFTG wrote:
The last "green field" airport built in the US was Panama City, FL-ECP; it opened in 2010.


KXWA, Williston, ND opened Oct 2019. I believe that it the last green field commercial airport built in the U.S.
 
MUWarriors
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:36 am

The real problem, especially in the cities mentioned, is where do you build that isn't already built up, and suitable for airport development? Denver was a perfect storm of a city that was growing, with no land or water restrictions. In 1994 Metro Denver had 1.7 million people, and all areas east of the city are flat, and there is no ocean, so there were plenty of places to build. Cities that are large, but aren't land constrained already have airports of adequate size.

San Francisco and Boston are the second and third most dense cities in the US, respectively. Both metro areas are also densely built up, and they are built in areas with hills and mountains nearby. A green field airport would either have to displace a huge number of people, and produce a ton of (understandable) political backlash, or be prohibitively far from the city center to be useful. San Diego isn't quite at the same level density wise, but in the same ballpark as the previous two cities both for level of built-up areas and mountains. So unless they repurpose something else (Miramar) these cities are largely stuck. Same for places like Seattle, New York. Maybe Philly would have space somewhere in New Jersey or something? But outside of those, there's no real need in the country for a massive green field airport to be built.
 
delimit
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:37 am

tys777 wrote:
KFTG wrote:
The last "green field" airport built in the US was Panama City, FL-ECP; it opened in 2010.


KXWA, Williston, ND opened Oct 2019. I believe that it the last green field commercial airport built in the U.S.

You both are missing the word "major" in the subject.
The answer is likely no.
 
KFTG
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:37 am

There's still hope for Miramar I think. To relocate all of the units, there seems to be plenty of hangar/ramp space available at North Island and Imperial Beach. Lemoore is also designed such that expansion is relatively easy and painless, funding of course being available. There is a ton of space allocated for future use north of the current hangars. SAN itself could be turned over to the USMC once all the dust settles.
 
tys777
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:41 am

delimit wrote:
tys777 wrote:
KFTG wrote:
The last "green field" airport built in the US was Panama City, FL-ECP; it opened in 2010.


KXWA, Williston, ND opened Oct 2019. I believe that it the last green field commercial airport built in the U.S.

You both are missing the word "major" in the subject.
The answer is likely no.


What's your definition of major? Compared to the amount of GA airports in the U.S., one can argue that any airport with commercial service is considered "major" especially to the communities that they serve.

If we are strictly talking about hub airports, I doubt we will see one built from scratch due to lack of reasonably available real estate. More likely to see a repurposed military airfield turned into a hub.
 
FlyHPN
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:48 am

Insertnamehere wrote:
...but constraints in the market help with competition and protect startup airlines from being pushed out by the majors.


How do slot/gate restricted airports controlled by the legacies help with competition and protect startups?
 
Palumboism
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:14 am

Insertnamehere wrote:
Do we really need to be building new airports? I love aviation as much as the next guy here but constraints in the market help with competition and protect startup airlines from being pushed out by the majors. Making the infrastructure we have more modern and more efficient would do more good then taking the more gun-ho approach of building new airports which can take 10+ years (20 with how American contractors work) to come online versus utilising new technology and redeveloping old airports.


It's the opposite. More airports allow for more startups and lower gate fees and landing fees. Constraints in the market allow large airlines to control gates like British airways does at London Heathrow.
 
delimit
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:22 am

tys777 wrote:
delimit wrote:
tys777 wrote:

KXWA, Williston, ND opened Oct 2019. I believe that it the last green field commercial airport built in the U.S.

You both are missing the word "major" in the subject.
The answer is likely no.


What's your definition of major? Compared to the amount of GA airports in the U.S., one can argue that any airport with commercial service is considered "major" especially to the communities that they serve.

If we are strictly talking about hub airports, I doubt we will see one built from scratch due to lack of reasonably available real estate. More likely to see a repurposed military airfield turned into a hub.

By major I would expect we're talking at least something which would rank in the top 50.
 
BNAMealer
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:44 am

Highly doubtful. I think rather we'll continue to see the reconstruction of existing airport terminals and runways. A full on new greenfield airport would have way too much red tape involved to make it worthwhile.

SAN is addressing some issues with a terminal replacement project, so I don't see the need to relocate there. Some of the congested costal hub airports such as BOS, SEA, SFO, etc, can't viably be moved for a variety of reasons. JFK/LGA are being reconstructed.

The interior hub airports are largely fine as they are; I could see the need to replace MSP if it were a 60 million+ major hub airport, but it is adequate for current traffic levels. ATL is tight on space and would be nice if it were on more land where it could spread out, but it works fine so no need there.

I honestly just don't see it.
 
delimit
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:51 am

I thought ATL had a plan to add an additional terminal and a new runway within its existing footprint?
 
PHLspecial
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:56 am

Palumboism wrote:
Insertnamehere wrote:
Do we really need to be building new airports? I love aviation as much as the next guy here but constraints in the market help with competition and protect startup airlines from being pushed out by the majors. Making the infrastructure we have more modern and more efficient would do more good then taking the more gun-ho approach of building new airports which can take 10+ years (20 with how American contractors work) to come online versus utilising new technology and redeveloping old airports.


It's the opposite. More airports allow for more startups and lower gate fees and landing fees. Constraints in the market allow large airlines to control gates like British airways does at London Heathrow.

Airports are suppose to be serving the people. Building airports capable of expanding is not cheap. How many airports needs to be subsidized to survive? Build it and then will come always doesn't work. I'm all for making our current airports work and modernizing them. You can sell that to people. I will take example of DEN and PHL. Both are controlled by UA and AA respectively yet F9 found a way to break into the market.
 
dopplerd
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:12 am

Let's not forget about the proposed airport in Peotone, IL. It would no doubt be a failure and waste billions but there are a ton of political contributions associated with make work projects so it might happen. Illinois has already spent a lot of money buying property.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:21 am

2175301 wrote:
I believe that last one was Denver. I remember flying into the old one in the city (which is now developed) and then into the new one a long ways out of town - and is now a real hub.

So there is an example of how to do it.

That could be done elsewhere; but, it would likely need some kind of frequent train to the city for most effective service.

Of course, finding the land is always a challenge. Few will have it as easy as Denver had it in that regard.

Have a great day,


I think DEN is the last major airport (top 20 in US say). There were huge issues with Stapleton that was closer to Denver, the portion of the airport North of I-70 was right next to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal which when I was a kid was still storing nerve gas in bunkers just east of the runway. Really smart, stack nerve gas where planes could crash - DUH. It was also a Pesticide plant, and of course a Superfund Site. Initially the Federal Government refused to let the airport take over RMA also. The large RMA and some other features blocked development to the NE of Denver so the City could annex and buy the farmland for DIA. At 33,531 acres (52.4 sq mi) the airport land is massive. It is 19 miles from Stapleton to DIA, about 15 miles on its own freeway off of I-70, all out in farmland. It is amazing that a 33.5 K acre site could be purchased even back then.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_Arsenal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stapleton ... al_Airport

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denver_In ... al_Airport

SAN has no easy choices except for Miramar, and that one is not easy

SFO would need to go out in the bay, placing fills on the soft bay muck in a seismic zone would be quite interesting. That is the easy part, the public hearings would be brutal, hard to imagine this succeeding in the People's Republic of California.

BOS, what government agency could buy even 10,000 acres within 50 miles of Boston. Easier to expand into the bay - see SFO for that ease.
 
speedbird52
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:21 am

chunhimlai wrote:
Seattle Vashon Airport

All this time I thought that concept art was just a wacky alternate reality "what if" idea, and not a genuine proposal. Can it be done? Sure. Should it be done? Absolutely not. First problem is with the word "island". The shortest possible distance between the mainland and Vashon Island is two miles. That would mean building a two mile long bridge over the Puget sound, over a part that averages 200 feet deep. People in Seattle like to virtue signal a lot, and a good portion of them also genuinely care about the environment. What type of effect do you think a giant bridge carrying hundreds of vehicles per day, and an airport, is going to have on the ecosystem of the Puget Sound, and a rural sparsely populated island, (Which may I say Orcas are known to visit) is going to have on the ecosystem? Don't forget the people who live on Vashon Island, and the literal hundreds of houses you would have to steamroll in order to build the highway connecting the airport to i5. Many of which look very expensive on Google Earth.
 
Insertnamehere
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:22 am

Palumboism wrote:
Insertnamehere wrote:
Do we really need to be building new airports? I love aviation as much as the next guy here but constraints in the market help with competition and protect startup airlines from being pushed out by the majors. Making the infrastructure we have more modern and more efficient would do more good then taking the more gun-ho approach of building new airports which can take 10+ years (20 with how American contractors work) to come online versus utilising new technology and redeveloping old airports.


It's the opposite. More airports allow for more startups and lower gate fees and landing fees. Constraints in the market allow large airlines to control gates like British airways does at London Heathrow.


The difference between LHR and major U.S. airports is that LHR is privately owned. With most major U.S. airports being run by governments they're able to create a startup program where startup airlines are given temporary lower operating costs in the form of waiving fees or reducing them for startups.

This is already done for tax breaks for startup companies. As for the market constraints, having a constrained market means that large airlines like the US3 can't dump capacity whenever a new airline threatens their position.
 
Noise
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:41 am

What about Miami Airport? That place is to be constrained on all four sides.
 
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CarlosSi
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:14 am

Location wise, Gillespie and Oceanside/Palomar seem ideal locations for a reliever airport, but they both seem pretty crowded inside and out.

Unless such reliever airport has a really big benefit to it (convenience to a significant amount of people and with enough frequencies still present), I don’t think reliever airports usually work very well in the US. NYC has 3 major airports but all three are major and not really “reliever” to each other.

There’s London...
 
Toinou
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:44 am

In the cases mentionned first, I'm really wondering if the question shouldn't be, as noted by others, about accepting that some cities have to rely on more than one airport (because there is a lot of traffic and/or the first one cannot practically expand).
In the region of BOS and SFO, I guess they are quite a number of airports that can handle part of the growth.
In the case of SAN, isn't there already a "second airport" at TIJ?
 
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ro1960
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:55 am

Solution : slow down world population growth and need for more travel and current facilities will meet the demand without expanding or building new airfields.
You may like my airport photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aeroports
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:07 am

The time, money and nerves spend on new airports in California and the NE is in my opinion a wasted opportunity. A modern HSR from San Francisco down to San Diego would free up a lot of slots for other flights. Same goes for a line from LA to Vegas.

On the east coast you could do something similar although there is already an established rail system, a modern one connecting from Boston down to DC and from NY to Chicago would free up a lot of slots for new connections. A modern HSR could do NY to Chicago in 2.5h, San Francisco to LA is doable in 1.5h.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:21 am

DEN was, what... $5 billion in 1995? Perhaps 8 billion now? That's roughly the market cap of AS, the fifth largest airline in the nation. That's for an airport that's not built on landfill.

I don't think the primary problem is NIBYs or greenies.
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:36 am

North Atlanta does need an airport, but there’s no place to put it that is convenient. From Marietta to John’s Creek, most of the land has been spoken for, and going too far out on I-85 is not an attractive option. The only somewhat viable option would be if Dobbs ARB closed and a commercial airport were put in its place. Flights could serve a few prime business markets, and G4 could come in with some flights. Even then, most of the city’s population lives nowhere near Marietta, and the airport would exacerbate traffic. More development needs to be steered to the south of the city, but very few want to live down there. People will continue to pay heavily for their desire to stay north of the city.
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:37 pm

ro1960 wrote:
Solution : slow down world population growth and need for more travel and current facilities will meet the demand without expanding or building new airfields.


The topic is about greenfield airports in the US. Since the US aviation industry is more domestically oriented than most other local aviation industries, your "solution" doesn't help at all. The problem of overcrowded US airports is mostly because of domestic traffic, not international traffic.
 
planecane
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:47 pm

YYZORD wrote:
For SEA, I'd say if they can build the bullet train to YVR from SEA, move all asian and european international flights from SEA to YVR and leave SEA for only domestic/canada flights.


Except for the minor detail of YVR being located in another country that would be a great idea. US based carriers wouldn't be able to operate YVR to those international destinations directly.
 
airbazar
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Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:38 pm

tlecam wrote:
N776AU wrote:
The problem with 1 and 3 is that you have environmentalist wackos in charge. Not gonna happen in a million years.


We have environmental and nimby whackos in Boston

That's not even the problem. Where would the airport be located? Springfield? There's no place within 50-60 mi of BOS with even enough space to build a major hub. I suspect the same is true for San Diego and San Francisco.
As alluded to above, within that same 50-60 mi radius of Boston we have 4 operating and under-utilized commercial airports: PSM, MHT, ORH, PVD.
And I also disagree with the premise that BOS can't be expanded. So much so that it's being expanded right now. And there will be even more room for expansion in the future when fewer people will be driving and parking their personal vehicles to the airport. That will free up significant amount of real estate that is currently occupied by parking garages and parking lots.
 
Toinou
Posts: 275
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:21 am

Re: Will there ever been a new greenfield major airport in the USA?

Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:12 pm

FluidFlow wrote:
The time, money and nerves spend on new airports in California and the NE is in my opinion a wasted opportunity. A modern HSR from San Francisco down to San Diego would free up a lot of slots for other flights. Same goes for a line from LA to Vegas.

On the east coast you could do something similar although there is already an established rail system, a modern one connecting from Boston down to DC and from NY to Chicago would free up a lot of slots for new connections. A modern HSR could do NY to Chicago in 2.5h, San Francisco to LA is doable in 1.5h.


I'm mostly with you on that topic. But the travel times you mention are not realistic. As many trials showed (especially in France and China), commercial speed over 300 km/h is really costly and not efficient. It may happen with new technologies, that would not be trains. But those are being talked about since such a long time that I will believe in it when I see them working commercially.

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