aamd11 wrote:chonetsao wrote:LGW needs to attract as many airlines and passengers as possible. A modern facility will certainly help.
While the first statement is absolutely true, I disagree with the second statement.
The passengers themselves won't really concern themselves with the state of the facility they are flying from or to. It's a consideration much further down the list than price and location. In many cases, you don't really have much of a say - if the airline/route you want to take only goes to LGW, you're not terribly likely to go to CDG because the facility is a bit more modern. You could perhaps connect somewhere along the way and land at LHR perhaps, but you're probably not going to do that if it's 10% more expensive, unless your final destination is much more convenient from LHR.
Then there are the airlines themselves. A brand new facility will cost an arm and a few legs, and it's got to be paid for somehow. That'll be passed on to airlines (and ultimately passengers) via increased landing fees and so on. You generally don't attract new airlines (and passengers) by increasing your fees. Premium facilities must attract premium traffic that's less sensitive to price. When your major operations are currently low cost airlines, you've got to be careful about increasing cost. And in the LON market especially, considering there are a number of alternatives in the region. For an Airline wishing to serve LON, if LGW gets too pricey, they could go to STN, LTN or even SEN instead.
"If you build it, they will come" is not a strategy for success in the airport business. It's just like most other bits of infrastructure - everyone would love for it to be shiny, new and well maintained but nobody wants to pay for it. See also: roads, bridges, railways, etc.
If that’s true, then La Guardia could have saved a few billion.
A terminal beyond its useful like will cost just as much as a new one. They new one will have far more space and provide vastly superior better customer service unless your plan was a crappy one to begin with. Airlines pay for it through rates and charges, and the cost is small when spread across its entire operation.
Failing to take advantage of the current condition in terms of infrastructure development and expansion to meet the long term needs of the airport is foolish. Traffic will return and airports with programs on the table that act now to improve facilities so their pre-COVID capacity problems don’t return will benefit both in facility development timelines and reduced cost. Cost savings on a new terminal build right now is on the order of 20-25% and timeline reductions for existing airports that need to remove old terminals (or parts of them) to build new ones are measured in years, not months. Greenfield project timelines don’t have a shift, but the cost savings will be tremendous.