irishpower
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Airports With Too Much Capacity

Sun May 22, 2016 5:11 pm

I've been doing a lot of work travel recently and have been able to travel through some airports (most were former hubs) and I've noticed that there are quite a few that have too much capacity. In other words they have more terminal, gate and runway capacity and that capacity doesn't come close to matching passenger or aircraft movements.

To name a few-

STL
MCI
CVG
PIT
MDT


Thoughts on any others?
 
727LOVER
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Sun May 22, 2016 5:31 pm

Well, I think that is the answer right here:

Quoting irishpower (Thread starter):
most were former hubs

It sounds like you are blaming the airport.


Things change.

Obviously when the terminals were built, the capacity was needed. If they were building a new airport NOW...they wouldn't build as big.


SRQ is a good example. When the new terminal opened in 1989, the capacity of 13 gates was definitely needed. But if they were building a new terminal today, they would probably only build about 8 gates.

It could be argued that US would have stayed in PIT if they hadn't built the new terminal. Didn't the costs to US skyrocket?

But now with the merger with AA, PIT's days would probably be numbered with ORD being so close.
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ty97
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Sun May 22, 2016 5:40 pm

A much smaller airport, and definitely never a hub, but SWF has 8 gates to cover what currently amounts to 6-9 flights per day.

AA: 3x daily SWF-PHL
DL: 2x daily SWF-DTW
B6: 1x daily SWF-MCO
B6: 1x daily SWF-FLL
G4: 2x weekly SWF-PIE (Sundays, Thursdays)
G4: 2x weekly SWF-PIE (Sundays, Thursdays) (seasonal)
 
irishpower
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Sun May 22, 2016 5:42 pm

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 1):
t sounds like you are blaming the airport.

No. Not at all. It was just an observation.


I guess my follow up question is will any of these airports grow into the capacity that they've already built?
 
alasizon
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Sun May 22, 2016 5:49 pm

Quoting irishpower (Reply 3):

Eventually they will grow into it, it is just a matter of time. STL and MCI will easily reach that amount with the consistent growth of the US travel market. CVG and PIT may eventually make it, but odds are the terminals will be redesigned and some torn down (such as C in CVG) before the levels ever reach what they were.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
dc10lover
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Sun May 22, 2016 7:13 pm

What about Boise, Idaho?
Why endure the nightmare and congestion of LAX when BUR, LGB, ONT & SNA is so much easier to fly in and out of. Same with OAK & SJC when it comes to SFO.
 
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jfklganyc
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Sun May 22, 2016 7:17 pm

As far as major airports

MCO

Extra runways

Extra gates

Building more gates

The one area MCO is in dire need of capacity is in the security checkpoint areas.

Beyond fhat, a focus city sized operation can move into Airside 3 tomorrow and wouldn't be squeezed for space
 
MIflyer12
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Sun May 22, 2016 7:46 pm

Quoting irishpower (Reply 3):
I guess my follow up question is will any of these airports grow into the capacity that they've already built?

Lots of infrastructure will decay into uselessness before capacity grows to fill it. Check CVG Concourse C demo plans, Terminal 1, and Terminal 2; STL concourse closures pre-tornado, etc.
 
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PITingres
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Sun May 22, 2016 7:47 pm

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 1):
It could be argued that US would have stayed in PIT if they hadn't built the new terminal. Didn't the costs to US skyrocket?

But now with the merger with AA, PIT's days would probably be numbered with ORD being so close.

I would never argue anything of the kind. US badly wanted the new terminal and the costs would not have been as much of as issue were it not for terrible timing; US were having internal cost control problems of their own, 9/11 trashed passenger numbers, and oil took a bump. The old terminal was showing its age badly and would not have done well at all with today's security requirements, nor do I recall it being especially conducive to connecting traffic.

I don't think ORD would have had much effect one way or the other. I don't know that I would call 413 great circle miles or a solid 8 hours by car, "close".
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ROCDLFAN
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Sun May 22, 2016 11:30 pm

ROC is somewhat one.

One thing ROC is definitely lacking in, is counter space. There is maybe one very small spot between B6 and AA on the eastern concourse available, but that would be it.

HOWEVER- 22 gates for only 70 daily departures? It's always been much. Believe it or not, 21 gates are leased by one airline or another, however mostly because MCAA virtually lease them away for nothing.
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iahcsr
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 2:01 am

Any thoughts on ONT?
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Beatyair
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 2:31 am

Memphis - they are now fixing it
Kansas City
Huntsville
Wichita
 
MaxxFlyer
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 2:34 am

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 6):
As far as major airports

MCO

Why then are they going forward with the new south terminal plans?
 
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foxecho
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 2:39 am

Kansas City Closed Terminal A some point last year, and Terninal B is overpacked now......

Andrew
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Max752
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 2:41 am

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 7):
Lots of infrastructure will decay into uselessness before capacity grows to fill it. Check CVG Concourse C demo plans, Terminal 1, and Terminal 2; STL concourse closures pre-tornado, etc.

Agreed. The pre-closure infrastructure at STL at Concourse D isn't able to support many flights with the current status of the jetways and tech within the terminal. It's a wasteland the airport uses for custodial storage. However, that won't stop WN from paying part of the costs to retrofit a few gates on the east end of concourse D. WN did just that in concourse E.

Concourse B at STL is no a multi-use event venue and houses some American ops (not for passenger departures bu maintenance).

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jfklganyc
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 3:04 am

Quoting MaxxFlyer (Reply 12):

Why then are they going forward with the new south terminal plans?


No one can tell you that answer. The south terminal is international. The international process with the trams has always sucked at Mco. The southie will make it better


They certainly dont need more gates
 
flaps30
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 4:48 am

Quoting irishpower (Thread starter):
Thoughts on any others?

I would say ONT. They are an absolute ghost town now, pretty sad.
every day is a good day to fly
 
Beatyair
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 5:18 am

Quoting foxecho (Reply 13):

Kansas City has three badly designed terminals, doesn't it.

Nashville is another airport - Three parallel runways and a bunch of empty gates.
Little Rock - Two parallel runway and very little traffic.
 
32andBelow
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 6:04 am

ANC has like a 10 gate international terminal that is basically never used.
 
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neutrino
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 6:12 am

If you want to know of more underutilized airports, look at China. They got shedloads of them.
An extreme example is that of Changhai airport, CNI on Dachangshan island in Liaoning province which sees fewer than 4,000 passengers (or just an average of 10 a day) when its annual capacity 120,000. Even so, there are plans to expand the airport to accommodate 250,000 by 2020.
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
stlgph
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 6:31 am

BMI, IND - nice facilities which now suffer slightly because of airline industry consolidation

CLE - obviously the UAL hub cut

surprised no one brought up COS
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Beardown91737
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 7:12 am

ONT was designed for future capacity when the new terminals opened in 1998. It went from 12 (?) gates to 28. Now T2 has 4 gates closed off at the east end and three in the middle unused. T2 has less activity but more airlines.

I would say that almost every tertiary airport, like RHI, has excess capacity. However every airport will have at least two. I remember traveling through Ft Smith AR in the 70s. It had 4 gates. Each departure gate had a literal gate in a 4 foot chain link fence.
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bwest
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 7:38 am

In Europe there's MAD that still has a lot of unused capacity. The aiport is capable of handling 70 million pax, but currently "only" sees around 48 million.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 9:05 am

Most Airports handle mixed traffic. MEM may have too much capacity for passengers but the runway and freight facilities are just right to handle FX, same goes for IND.
Some Airports do not handle Commercial traffic at all but huge numbers of private and business movements.Another example i ANC which has lost it's Position ans tech stop between Europe and the far east, but still holds that Position in freight, only that the stops are FE to lower 48 and south america.


Spare capacity also means future growth potential.
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Dahlgardo
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 9:07 am

leave your nines at home and bring your skills to the battle
 
777klm
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 11:54 am

Quoting bwest (Reply 22):
In Europe there's MAD that still has a lot of unused capacity. The aiport is capable of handling 70 million pax, but currently "only" sees around 48 million.

Good one. Another Spanish candidate would be CQM, or Ciudad Real Central Airport. It's a completely unused airport built for a capacity of ten million passengers a year. A BBC News magazine report suggests the airport was planned to fail by its investors, who benefited from construction contracts awarded to their own companies.
Home airport: AMS
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directorguy
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 12:15 pm

DMM, in Saudi Arabia, was opened in the late 1990s, replacing the older and much smaller DHA. The airport terminal was pretty large and spacious. According to Wikipedia, 66 customer counters for Saudia and 44 for other airlines, and 11 jetbridges. From opening to the mid 2000s, the airport was handling roughly 2.5m passengers (domestic and intl included) per year. Most routes were sub-daily. From 2001, there was a decline in traffic, particularly as European airlines cut or reduced services. Don't think even EK from DXB was flying in daily back then. Was pretty common to have only 1 international departure or arrival at any given time. Traffic was less than half of what nearby BAH was handling.
Things picked up from 2006, as airlines added frequency, new airlines (LCCs mainly) and upgauge in equipment. Last year, the airport handled 8m, which I think is just about right for an 11-jetbridge single-terminal airport.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 12:40 pm

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 11):
Memphis - they are now fixing it

MEM is fixing it by shrinking the available concourse/gate areas. MEM isn't growing to fill existing capacity. HVAC/cleaning/maintenance cost more than the airport can get in potential rents. Is you need evidence of an overbuilt airport, that's it.
 
brilondon
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 12:57 pm

Quoting irishpower (Reply 3):

I guess my follow up question is will any of these airports grow into the capacity that they've already built?

Most no. The airports you cited were former hubs and will never see the numbers or projected numbers since they have been de-hubbed.

Quoting Alasizon (Reply 4):
Eventually they will grow into it, it is just a matter of time. STL and MCI will easily reach that amount with the consistent growth of the US travel market. CVG and PIT may eventually make it, but odds are the terminals will be redesigned and some torn down (such as C in CVG) before the levels ever reach what they were.

I don't see any either STL or MCI as being any more than what it is now. The chances that they will "grow" are so far down the road that it would be better to tear down the excess capacity and then have the future growth dictate the need and financial resources to build what would be needed. To keep the present number of gates in hope of future growth would be a drain on the finances of the airports to keep the infrastructure in its present size.

Quoting MaxxFlyer (Reply 12):

Why then are they going forward with the new south terminal plans?

It would suggest that MCO is going to renovate in the future the original terminal and would need the capacity. Also, I believe that they are trying to attract more travelers from Europe to use this airport as a gateway into the Southeast US.

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 18):
ANC has like a 10 gate international terminal that is basically never used.

It was built more for when aircraft needed a refueling stop to get across the Pacific.

[Edited 2016-05-23 06:19:16]
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kgaiflyer
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 1:04 pm

Quoting dc10lover (Reply 5):
What about Boise, Idaho?

The last couple of times I've gone through Boise, it's seemed like the lower (airstairs) level with QX was way, way busier then the upper (jetbridge) level with AA, DL, G4, and UA. I'm pretty sure at one time USAir and Continental had their own gates at BOI.

But as has been said -- things change.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 1:13 pm

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 17):
Nashville is another airport - Three parallel runways and a bunch of empty gates.

Where are these empty gates of which you speak?
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jmchevallier
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 1:38 pm

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 17):
Kansas City has three badly designed terminals, doesn't it

Kansas City terminals were certainly not badly designed, they were on the contrary perfectly adjusted to a typology of traffic that is no more dominant.

The criterion of excellence at the time was the shortest distance between your car and your plane ...

Another example of this family of airport terminals is Berlin Tegel, built like Kansas City by beginning of the 70s.
 
bjorn14
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 1:53 pm

Any airport that has one unused jetway has too much capacity.   
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
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foxecho
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 2:09 pm

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 17):
Kansas City has three badly designed terminals, doesn't it.

jmchevallier answered this perfectly, they were designed in the early 70s before security concerns....now they have the highest cost of most airports securitywise...its also one of the private security (non TSA) airports...

Quoting jmchevallier (Reply 31):
Another example of this family of airport terminals is Berlin Tegel, built like Kansas City by beginning of the 70s.

I was not aware of the connection, pretty cool! Merci!

Andrew

[Edited 2016-05-23 08:01:12]
..uh, we'll need that to live......
 
portcolumbus
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Aside from the 2pm and 6pm arrival banks, DTW has tons of spare capacity.
 
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msp747
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 2:46 pm

Quoting dc10lover (Reply 5):
What about Boise, Idaho?

You think BOI is overbuilt? I think every gate is accounted for there and the airport is pretty busy in the mornings and evenings. They could obviously use better utilization, especially during the day, but that will come as traffic grows. But I don't see how BOI is mentioned in a discussion about airports that once had a lot of service only to lose it.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 29):
The last couple of times I've gone through Boise, it's seemed like the lower (airstairs) level with QX was way, way busier then the upper (jetbridge) level with AA, DL, G4, and UA. I'm pretty sure at one time USAir and Continental had their own gates at BOI.

Continental served BOI with ExpressJet for a time, so they used the lower level concourse with QX. At the time, they were the only one that used the western side of the lower concourse. AA took over the USAir gate. AA had tried regional jet service on a few occasions, offering DFW service one time and LAX service another.
 
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bwest
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 2:51 pm

Quoting 777klm (Reply 25):
Another Spanish candidate would be CQM, or Ciudad Real Central Airport

Yeah, was thinking about that white elephant  
 
btfarrwm
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 3:03 pm

PHF in Newport News, VA has an entire concourse that is not being used.
 
SFOThinker
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 3:15 pm

I haven't been there in a long time, but DAY built up for the Piedmont hub, and when it lost that, there was a lot of vacant space. Similarly, COS built up for the Pacific Western hub that is now defunct.
 
Clipper136
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 3:23 pm

Airport capacity is not truly a single measure, but include up to 20 different components, each with its own designed capacity and restraint on the overall airport throughput. Balancing these infrastructure capacities with current and future needs is one of the hardest components of airport management. Airport traffic can fluctuate quickly and greatly. Infrastructure.....not so much.

In truth, every airport has some excess capacity, otherwise they could not add any new flights.
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washingtonflyer
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 3:26 pm

Guess you could say any number of airports that have been closed hubs: CLE, DAY, etc.

Luckily for MEM and CVG, both have massive cargo operations that keep revenues flowing into the airport.
 
dc9northwest
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 3:45 pm

Quoting foxecho (Reply 33):
jmchevallier answered this perfectly, they were designed in the early 70s before security concerns....now they have the highest cost of most airports securitywise...its also one of the private security (non TSA) airports...

Making it one of the best passenger experiences in the US... the only problem is there aren't enough restrooms in the secure area.
 
kcrwflyer
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 3:46 pm

Quoting irishpower (Reply 3):
I guess my follow up question is will any of these airports grow into the capacity that they've already built?

The former hubs will never be hubs again unless there are some really serious long-term changes in a myriad of things that impact where and how airlines do business. Some of them are seeing more local traffic than they say when they were hubs though, but the patterns of service are different.


Another thing to consider at places like MDT and other small-mid sized airports, you need more parking and gate space overnight than an other time. I think MDT has 12 or 13 flights that are overnighters / RONs / planes that land late and depart in the morning. Their schedule is probably more impressive than you think. Mainline to ORD, CLT, ATL. UA even sends the 739 there.

Quoting ROCDLFAN (Reply 9):
HOWEVER- 22 gates for only 70 daily departures? It's always been much. Believe it or not, 21 gates are leased by one airline or another, however mostly because MCAA virtually lease them away for nothing.

See my above comment about MDT. The same applies to ROC. Airlines don't lease gates they don't need because they are cheap.
 
bjorn14
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 4:12 pm

Quoting kcrwflyer (Reply 42):

Some airlines lease because they are cheap and to keep competitors out which is a side benefit.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
sw733
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 4:15 pm

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 17):
Kansas City has three badly designed terminals, doesn't it.

It really depends what the purpose is. For connections, it's not great, but not many connections happen at MCI. For those of us who are based in Kansas City, it's wonderful.
 
Okcflyer
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 4:25 pm

MCI's airfield is fairly large for the level of operations it sees, 4 large runways. The two open terminals are basically at capacity given modern security constraints. There was a plan to demo the crappy terminals and replace with all-new but it's held up for a couple more years while Kansas Citians get their heads around the idea that the airport will not work into the future.

OKC's Terminal is adequately sized but it too had excessive airfield capability. 2 long parallels plus a decent cross wind. Very rarely are more than 2 or 3 operations happening at once.

TUL's airfield is also oversized.
 
trnswrld
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 4:39 pm

Sorry if this was mentioned, and this is based off when I lived in Daytona in my college days, but what about KDAB? When I was there between '98-'04 I think the terminal had 6 gates, and there was very rarely ever more than one plane there at a time. Delta flights, used to be a Continental, but for the most part all but one gate was ever used. Maybe its picked up since I don't know, but certainly not a lot of commercial traffic there. Then again its probably the perfect size. I mean, you're not gonna build a terminal with one gate lol, so they probably built pretty much the perfect size for the relatively low amount of traffic, with some room for added traffic if ever needed.
 
SRT75
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 4:48 pm

IAD.

1L/19R is not necessary given current traffic levels. Terminal A/B is beautiful, but barely crowded except during the evening international departures rush.

UAL gets good use out of C/D but traffic has taken a hit as DCA increases capacity (and the FAA seems willing to give almost anyone a perimeter exemption).
 
superjeff
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 5:26 pm

Quoting jmchevallier (Reply 31):
Kansas City terminals were certainly not badly designed, they were on the contrary perfectly adjusted to a typology of traffic that is no more dominant. The criterion of excellence at the time was the shortest distance between your car and your plane ...Another example of this family of airport terminals is Berlin Tegel, built like Kansas City by beginning of the 70s.

And, actually, DFW, which opened about a year after MCI and followed the same general plan of multiple semi-circular terminals (the current terminals A, B, C, and E). The advantage DFW had was the local governments, which was willing to change the airport (by widening the terminals to allow for centralized security locations in each terminal), while Kansas City's local authorities wouldn't spend the money. Don't forget that in the 1970's and onward to the earlier 20000's, MCI had multiple hubs: TWA, Braniff (1 and 2), Eastern, US Airways, each with essentially its own terminal (Braniff 1, Eastern, and US Airways in Terminal A, TWA, and later Braniff 2 in Terminal B, and the others in Terminal C)
 
superjeff
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RE: Airports With Too Much Capacity

Mon May 23, 2016 5:28 pm

Quoting washingtonflyer (Reply 40):
Guess you could say any number of airports that have been closed hubs: CLE, DAY, etc

While you're in that area, CMH had a relatively short lived hub for America West, and then was the base of Skybus (which lasted for about 6 months)

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