Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
Sdmccray1984
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:07 am

Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:06 pm

In my annual trips to YUL, I couldn’t help but research the history between YUL(formerly Dorval) and its larger, distant neighbor YMX(Mirabel International). Mirabel proved to be an epic failure for Montreal, though it was initially planned to replace Dorval(which served mainly Canadian domestic & transborder). What killed Mirabel, and which current airports reflect the worst combination of poor planning and/or waste of resources?
 
SkyVoice
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:34 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Fri May 01, 2020 3:27 am

What killed Mirabel, I believe, was the fact that Mirabel was built so far away from Montreal. I would like to hear from Canadians about what they used to do to avoid having to go to--or through--Mirabel. For other aerodromes, check out these links . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_d ... _in_Canada
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_d ... l_airports
"Tough times never last. Tough people do." - Dr. Robert H. Schuller
 
User avatar
hic787
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:29 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Fri May 01, 2020 5:38 am

Obviously Berlin Brandenburg comes to mind... hope maybe it'll open sooner rather than later with Tegal now temporarily closed and the declining state of Schoenefeld
 
FGITD
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Fri May 01, 2020 3:00 pm

Mirabel is a fun combination of poor timing, poor planning, and poor execution.

It came about when international flights were no longer requiring fuel stops. It was built entirely too far from the city. And by keeping both airports open, there was no reason to use it. Now, public support wasn't great to begin with, but had the government forced all airlines to Mirabel, it would've most likely worked. But instead they gave the option of staying put at the convenient airport, or going miles out to a new airport that won't be served by anyone else. Then moving JUST the international carriers there was an even bigger mistake, as now you're destroying connections via both airports.

In order to have multiple airports serving the same city, the city either has to be big enough to warrant it, and with enough service demand, or both airports must fulfill individual requirements that work together to greater benefit. You can't just have 2 airports that serve the same purpose
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4323
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Fri May 01, 2020 6:07 pm

In Europe there are hardly any white elephant airports left. Most of them have become "Ryanair airports".

After London Stansted was built it basically became a white elephant for some time, no airline wanted to fly there. That is, until Ryanair moved in. Nowadays it's their largest base, making Stansted quite a busy airport.

Here in the Netherlands we have another airport under construction which some people believe will become a white elephant. Personally I'm not afraid of that. I'm talking about Lelystad, which was upgraded from a general aviation airfield to become a relief airport for Amsterdam. It's not open yet and it remains to be seen when it'll open, but once it does I'm pretty confident airlines like Ryanair and Wizzair will market this airport as "Amsterdam Lelystad Airport" and make it fairly busy.
 
vegasplanes
Posts: 691
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:22 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Sun May 03, 2020 2:33 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
In Europe there are hardly any white elephant airports left. Most of them have become "Ryanair airports".

After London Stansted was built it basically became a white elephant for some time, no airline wanted to fly there. That is, until Ryanair moved in. Nowadays it's their largest base, making Stansted quite a busy airport.

Here in the Netherlands we have another airport under construction which some people believe will become a white elephant. Personally I'm not afraid of that. I'm talking about Lelystad, which was upgraded from a general aviation airfield to become a relief airport for Amsterdam. It's not open yet and it remains to be seen when it'll open, but once it does I'm pretty confident airlines like Ryanair and Wizzair will market this airport as "Amsterdam Lelystad Airport" and make it fairly busy.


Interesting - how large is the Lelystad area or metro area which the airport would draw from, I assume for some parts of Amsterdam it may make sense.

I was there last Spring to visit the aviation museum, I highly recommend!
 
User avatar
aemoreira1981
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:17 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Sun May 03, 2020 2:36 am

hic787 wrote:
Obviously Berlin Brandenburg comes to mind... hope maybe it'll open sooner rather than later with Tegal now temporarily closed and the declining state of Schoenefeld


I think the days of BER being a white elephant are over, since I cannot see TXL reopening. Instead, I see SXF being redesignated BER with an airside shuttle between the two sites. (The ICAO code for both is EDDB.)
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4323
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Sun May 03, 2020 10:05 am

vegasplanes wrote:
Interesting - how large is the Lelystad area or metro area which the airport would draw from, I assume for some parts of Amsterdam it may make sense.

I was there last Spring to visit the aviation museum, I highly recommend!


Amsterdam as a city is not that big, so you can't really say that for some parts of Amsterdam it makes sense. For the whole of Amsterdam Schiphol is closer. But since that airport is full and there's no room for growth Lelystad was opened. Lelystad would cater the flights that don't fit in Amsterdam.

Lately I heard someone make a comparison with London, where Heathrow is obviously the big hub airport close to the city. Similar to Schiphol. Lelystad would fulfill a role similar to Gatwick, only of course Lelystad is much smaller than Gatwick. It's not like Gatwick is more convenient for any part of London than Heathrow, but still it gets plenty of passengers. Lelystad would be the same. Or perhaps it could better be compared to Luton or Stansted, who knows?
 
SCQ83
Posts: 5811
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Sun May 03, 2020 10:10 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
hic787 wrote:
Obviously Berlin Brandenburg comes to mind... hope maybe it'll open sooner rather than later with Tegal now temporarily closed and the declining state of Schoenefeld


I think the days of BER being a white elephant are over, since I cannot see TXL reopening. Instead, I see SXF being redesignated BER with an airside shuttle between the two sites. (The ICAO code for both is EDDB.)


Dresden and Leipzig are white elephants though. Huge terminals built after the reunification for a passenger traffic that never took off. At least Leipzig is used for cargo.
 
User avatar
aerolimani
Posts: 1323
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:46 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Sun May 03, 2020 9:42 pm

I think Ciudad Real Central Airport, in Spain, pretty much takes the cake. It was originally built to handle 2 million passengers per year, but never saw anywhere even close to that. Over 200 km from Madrid, it was a dismal failure. Even Ryanair couldn’t make it work.

It was closed for years, but reopened last fall 2019. Now, there’s an MRO there, Direct Aero Services, and some GA movement. I’d be shocked if commercial flights ever return.
 
bfitzflyer
Posts: 431
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:02 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 04, 2020 1:51 am

Mid America Airport near STL developed as a reliever to STL and then STL didn't need it anymore. I think maybe allegiant flies there
 
Kent350787
Posts: 1560
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 04, 2020 5:24 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
hic787 wrote:
Obviously Berlin Brandenburg comes to mind... hope maybe it'll open sooner rather than later with Tegal now temporarily closed and the declining state of Schoenefeld


I think the days of BER being a white elephant are over, since I cannot see TXL reopening. Instead, I see SXF being redesignated BER with an airside shuttle between the two sites. (The ICAO code for both is EDDB.)


Wasn't BER most recently scheduled to open in October this year. Will shutdowns in Europe really last until then, even if BER is finally ready?

I'm hoping our post COVID trip is to Berlin, and we have friends in Lichtenrade. BER finally finished (I recall visiting the red cube over 20 years ago) would be helpful.

Sydney's new airport can learn a lot from the Montreal experience, although Sydney is a larger market. Freight and LCC/Leisure will surely be the initial focus.
S340/J31/146-300/F27/F50/Nord 262/Q100/200/E195/733/734/738/744/762/763/77W/788/789/320/321/332/333/345/359
 
mxaxai
Posts: 2058
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 04, 2020 8:47 am

SCQ83 wrote:
Dresden and Leipzig are white elephants though. Huge terminals built after the reunification for a passenger traffic that never took off. At least Leipzig is used for cargo.

"Huge" is a bit of an overstatement. They have 6 jetbridges each. Also DRS gets used by EFW for heavy maintenance, cargo conversions and testing.
 
Joelatbsl
Posts: 801
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:51 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 04, 2020 9:58 am

How about Kassel-Calden in the middle of German nowhere? Kassel is not a massive city in itself, and then it takes ages to get to Calden. Still, some people thought it might be good to redevelop the entire airport a few years ago, but since Germania's demise I doubt that there is much going on up there ...
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4323
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 04, 2020 1:41 pm

Joelatbsl wrote:
How about Kassel-Calden in the middle of German nowhere? Kassel is not a massive city in itself, and then it takes ages to get to Calden. Still, some people thought it might be good to redevelop the entire airport a few years ago, but since Germania's demise I doubt that there is much going on up there ...


Good one. They couldn't even get Ryanair to fly there, and they sure aren't too picky when it comes to airports.
 
User avatar
aemoreira1981
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:17 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 04, 2020 3:07 pm

What about Oslo Rygge? That was a Ryanair only airport.
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4323
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 04, 2020 4:01 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
What about Oslo Rygge? That was a Ryanair only airport.


Not entirely, Norwegian had some flights from there as well. But indeed, it wasn't a lot. There's a good reason it's closed. They couldn't compete with Gardermoen and Sandefjord-Torp.
 
User avatar
aemoreira1981
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:17 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 04, 2020 4:50 pm

Also, Beja only justifies its existence because of Hi Fly (use for parking and maintenance).
 
Joelatbsl
Posts: 801
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:51 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 04, 2020 5:01 pm

At least Beja has a lot of military traffic from the Portuguese Air Force. It is nowhere near as much a commercial failure as any of the other airports mentioned here. This does not mean that there have not been attempts to fly commercially in and out of Beja.
 
bohica
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:21 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Tue May 05, 2020 5:46 am

The ultimate white elephant in the USA is Everglades Jetport (TNT) about 33 miles west of MIA. The ambitious plan was to have 6 parallel runways and be the SST airport of the future. One runway was built before the project was abandoned. Before the widespread use of simulators, airlines would use the facility for pilot training.

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/FL/Air ... N.htm#dade
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4323
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Tue May 05, 2020 10:04 am

bohica wrote:
The ultimate white elephant in the USA is Everglades Jetport (TNT) about 33 miles west of MIA. The ambitious plan was to have 6 parallel runways and be the SST airport of the future. One runway was built before the project was abandoned. Before the widespread use of simulators, airlines would use the facility for pilot training.

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/FL/Air ... N.htm#dade


Kind of reminds me of Dubai World Central, although at least that sees some traffic. But just like Everglades it was far too ambitious and never completed.
 
PANAMsterdam
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:45 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Tue May 05, 2020 10:24 am

It's not an entire airport but perhaps in hindsight STL's 11/29 runway?

It required moving seven major roads and destroying about 2,000 homes, six churches, and four schools in Bridgeton. Work began in 1998 and continued even as traffic at the airport declined after the 9/11 attacks, the collapse of TWA and its subsequent purchase by American, and American's flight reductions several years later. At $1.1 billion, it was the costliest public works program in St. Louis history.


After the collapse and buyout of TWA and AA de-hubbing the airport, they really didn't need it anymore.
Every country has an airline. The world has Pan Am.
 
Joelatbsl
Posts: 801
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:51 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Tue May 05, 2020 11:08 am

Another German example "auf der grünen Wiese" would be Zweibrücken. Not too far away from Luxembourg, Saarbrücken and Hahn, this former airbase also served as a destination for TUIfly and Germanwings. The place is large enough to accommodate an An-124, but there is simply not enough folk living around Zweibrücken to justify it as an extra airport along the others mentioned ...
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4323
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Tue May 05, 2020 1:13 pm

Joelatbsl wrote:
Another German example "auf der grünen Wiese" would be Zweibrücken. Not too far away from Luxembourg, Saarbrücken and Hahn, this former airbase also served as a destination for TUIfly and Germanwings. The place is large enough to accommodate an An-124, but there is simply not enough folk living around Zweibrücken to justify it as an extra airport along the others mentioned ...


True, but as you said, it's built upon a former airbase. If you have that available anyway, might as well do something with it. A number of other small airports in Germany and the rest of Europe were built that way, the level of success varies. However mostly they can consider themselves lucky if they can get Ryanair to fly there.

Some former military airports that have been converted into civilian airports:

Frankfurt Hahn
Dusseldorf Weeze
Munich Memmingen
Karlsruhe
Warsaw Modlin
Paris Vatry
Doncaster-Sheffield
Oslo Rygge

If you would have created a civilian airport from scratch, you might not have chosen those locations. But the fact that the airport was already there and you only had to put up a terminal made some people give it a try anyway.
 
Joelatbsl
Posts: 801
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:51 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Wed May 06, 2020 11:36 pm

I think politics played their part in Zweibrücken also. The fact that ZQW is in a different state than Saarbrücken and obviously Luxembourg meant that money from a different source was available there, so they gave it a go. And failed ...

Another one for your list would have to be Lahr, former Canadian airbase which still gets used every now and then in connection with visiting teams of SC Freiburg flying in and out. Some years ago, they also had some visitors for the nearby Europapark, such as Europe Airpost B737-300s.
 
User avatar
T18
Posts: 601
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:28 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Thu May 07, 2020 2:47 pm

bfitzflyer wrote:
Mid America Airport near STL developed as a reliever to STL and then STL didn't need it anymore. I think maybe allegiant flies there


Yes, they use BLW 'Near' St Louis (38 miles) for a few flights like 'St Louis' to 'Orlando' (Belleville to Sanford). Although story goes when the Air Force was closing bases, the facilities of Mid-America attached to Scott AFB 'saved' the base from closure.
“Racing's important to men who do it well. When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.” ― Steve McQueen (Le Mans) 1971
 
User avatar
conaly
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 10:50 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Sun May 10, 2020 8:19 am

Germany does have quite a few airports, that would almost count as white elephant. Many of them are not completely deserted, but still have very low traffic and far too many of them are build close to each other. Kassel/Calden is maybe the worst example, but it is not the only one in that area. Some 60km northwest of Kassel, there is Paderborn/Lippstadt, another small airport with only a bit more than half a million passengers per year. And from Paderborn, you can reach several other airports within an hour drive:
- Dortmund (80km to the West): classified as regional airport, but has grown massively over the last few years and has now even more pax/year than Leipzig (so not a white elephant at all)
- Münster/Osnabrück: (90km to the Northwest): classified international airport but has only marginally more traffic than Paderborn and still much less than Dortmund
- Hannover (100km to the Northeast): big international airport

That area may have an airport or two too much. Not sure if there is really a need for either Paderborn or Kassel as commercial airports.


Also in Bavaria, there are the airports of Augsburg and Hof, which currently don't have any scheduled traffic at all. From Augsburg you have around 65km to either Munich or Memmingen, so I don't see the need for scheduled traffic, but as far as I know, the airport is pretty well used for general aviation, pilot training and some maintanance facilities for small airplanes are located there, so maybe this isn't a white elephant at all.
Hof on the other hand is a small airport in the middle of nowhere in a low population are. Up until ten years ago, it had a daily connection to Frankfurt, but at the moment, it is used only for general aviation. One of the taxiways is even closed for any traffic, as it is used as a test track for cars by BMW.
Airports 2019: ADB, ALG, AMD, ATL, BOG, BOS, CDG, CTS, DEL, DTW, DUS, EWR, FRA, FUK, HAM, HFT, HIJ, HND, HVG, IST, ITM, JFK, MUC, NGO, NUE, OKA, PHL, SIN, STN, TOS, YYZ, ZRH
Airports 2020: ALG, CTS, FRA, HKG, HND, MSQ, MUC, NUE, TLV, ZRH
 
TheEuphorian
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:35 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Sun May 10, 2020 12:18 pm

Not exactly one yet, but BKK and to an extent, DMK, are both potential "White Elephant" airports, due to the possible decline of tourism into Bangkok, and the possible liquidation of TG.
 
User avatar
albertocsc
Posts: 190
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:09 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Sun May 10, 2020 4:21 pm

aerolimani wrote:
I think Ciudad Real Central Airport, in Spain, pretty much takes the cake. It was originally built to handle 2 million passengers per year, but never saw anywhere even close to that. Over 200 km from Madrid, it was a dismal failure. Even Ryanair couldn’t make it work.

It was closed for years, but reopened last fall 2019. Now, there’s an MRO there, Direct Aero Services, and some GA movement. I’d be shocked if commercial flights ever return.


I'm starting to think I am the only person who thinks Ciudad Real was a good idea, but failed because of a really bad timing:
it was delayed (and downsized) around four years as the airport was being built on a bird protected area, thus giving Madrid the lead in the race for low-cost traffic.
Also it was not a good idea to open the airport without its star feature, a railway station that would enable travel times to Madrid of 55-60 minutes. After that, the Great Recession and a political change in the region finally killed off the airport for the following 7-8 years.

The airport was conceived in 1997 as a cargo gateway to Ciudad Real and Puertollano, and maybe the south of Spain, as Vitoria is to the north and Zaragoza is to the Madrid-Barcelona-Valencia triangle. It was due to open in 2004, the year of Don Quixote anniversary, thus also bringing anniversary related tourism to the area. After that, some airlines that were willing to serve Madrid but couldn't find space or reasonably-priced fees started to be interested in the facilities and in the rail link previously mentioned (Ryanair, Blue Air, bmibaby, Wizz, Jetairfly,...), and the airport renamed itself as "Madrid South Airport". Also an aircraft storage area was planned from the beginning, but only partially opened in 2020, so now Teruel has captured most of that business in Spain.

Finally, it was opened in 2008 as "Central Airport CR", but without the train station it was restricted to serving Ciudad Real and Puertollano. Madrid lowered taxes around 2006 to attract new companies to Terminal 1, as Terminals 4 and 4S had opened that same year, just attracting all the airlines that were supposed to operate from CQM. We already know the rest of the story.

Currently, there are already two MROs working at the airport: Direct Aero as you mention, and Jet Aircraft Services. Also a cargo operation was announced recently, in relation to the ongoing pandemic, but we yet need to see any cargo flights returning to the airport.
 
mchei
Posts: 195
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:20 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Sun May 10, 2020 4:38 pm

As shown, Germany offers quite a noticeable selection of airports nobody needs in the middle of nowhere. Local politicians have been wasting money for decades but with the rise of LCCs, they really went crazy because they thought they’d attract millions of passengers. It’s a shame what happened to taxpayer money here.
Kassel-Calden (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kassel_Airport) is THE example of local politics gone wild.
F70-F100-E145-E170-E190-319-320-321-735–736-737-738-752-763–742-744-333-343-ATR72-Metroliner-Saab2000-Lockheed Electra-C172-C182-C182RG-MD11
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4323
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Sun May 10, 2020 10:25 pm

TheEuphorian wrote:
Not exactly one yet, but BKK and to an extent, DMK, are both potential "White Elephant" airports, due to the possible decline of tourism into Bangkok, and the possible liquidation of TG.


I'm not afraid of them becoming white elephant airports. Their numbers will shrink somewhat, but there'll still be plenty left.

You're only mentioning a decline in tourism, but by far most passengers in Bangkok are business travelers. They'd fly there anyway. Besides, a lot of tourists don't even fly to Bangkok. They fly straight into Phuket or wherever they're going without transferring in Bangkok. So even if tourism in Thailand declines, Bangkok won't be hit so hard by it.

Sure if Thai Airways collapses that will mean a significant decrease of passenger numbers in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. But what remains is enough to keep the airport busy, it still won't be a white elephant. And Don Mueang isn't in any danger, it's an important hub for Thai AirAsia and a number of other airlines which will make it through the crisis.
 
Joelatbsl
Posts: 801
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:51 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 11, 2020 12:35 am

conaly wrote:
Germany does have quite a few airports, that would almost count as white elephant. Many of them are not completely deserted, but still have very low traffic and far too many of them are build close to each other. Kassel/Calden is maybe the worst example, but it is not the only one in that area. Some 60km northwest of Kassel, there is Paderborn/Lippstadt, another small airport with only a bit more than half a million passengers per year. And from Paderborn, you can reach several other airports within an hour drive:
- Dortmund (80km to the West): classified as regional airport, but has grown massively over the last few years and has now even more pax/year than Leipzig (so not a white elephant at all)
- Münster/Osnabrück: (90km to the Northwest): classified international airport but has only marginally more traffic than Paderborn and still much less than Dortmund
- Hannover (100km to the Northeast): big international airport

That area may have an airport or two too much. Not sure if there is really a need for either Paderborn or Kassel as commercial airports.


Also in Bavaria, there are the airports of Augsburg and Hof, which currently don't have any scheduled traffic at all. From Augsburg you have around 65km to either Munich or Memmingen, so I don't see the need for scheduled traffic, but as far as I know, the airport is pretty well used for general aviation, pilot training and some maintanance facilities for small airplanes are located there, so maybe this isn't a white elephant at all.
Hof on the other hand is a small airport in the middle of nowhere in a low population are. Up until ten years ago, it had a daily connection to Frankfurt, but at the moment, it is used only for general aviation. One of the taxiways is even closed for any traffic, as it is used as a test track for cars by BMW.


At least in Augsburg they did not invest in massive facilities like a large terminal or so. The infrastructure suits its purpose and the entire MRO business is actually quite something there.

Some of the places you named are still suffering from the Air Berlin collapse. The airline at least made them relevant to leisure travellers who relished the chance to board a flight at 4 in the morning to get to Mallorca or Antalya, as you could do at PAD and FMO in particular. Both airports are quite handy for sports charters however, as teams (as well as supporters of course) can easily fly home from there after games in Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen and the likes, even at 2 in the morning after a 9 o'clock kickoff in the Champions League ...
 
Jetty
Posts: 1323
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:27 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 11, 2020 9:05 am

TheEuphorian wrote:
Not exactly one yet, but BKK and to an extent, DMK, are both potential "White Elephant" airports, due to the possible decline of tourism into Bangkok, and the possible liquidation of TG.

In an extreme scenario DMK might close as initially planned with the opening of BKK, thus still no white elephant.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4682
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 11, 2020 11:14 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
hic787 wrote:
Obviously Berlin Brandenburg comes to mind... hope maybe it'll open sooner rather than later with Tegal now temporarily closed and the declining state of Schoenefeld


I think the days of BER being a white elephant are over, since I cannot see TXL reopening. Instead, I see SXF being redesignated BER with an airside shuttle between the two sites. (The ICAO code for both is EDDB.)


I agree, Berlin Brandenburg has been a mess to build, but once it finally opens it will be one of the major airports of Europe, easily the dominant one in north/north-eastern Germany.

IMO, the former Schönefeld won't see paying passengers once Brandenburg gets running with both the main terminal and the low-cost shed. It will be repurposed as a VIP/Luftwaffe terminal, as was always the plan.
 
AMP44
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:01 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Mon May 18, 2020 1:31 pm

Panama (the country) has a few white elephant airports. Couple of years ago the government invested over $200 million in several airports around the country:

$58 million to rebuild the terminal at ONX (Colón) and the airport has seen no service since then.

$53 million were invested to build a brand new airport, RIH (Río Hato), and for a while it was unused, but now Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines operates flights there.

$28 million were used to build a new terminal for DAV (David) and for years it only served Panama City with Air Panama, but now Copa Airlines serves the route too.
 
maint123
Posts: 396
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:18 pm

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Wed May 27, 2020 12:19 pm

Read this if you want a really empty airport -Mattalla international airport in Sri Lanka.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes ... paksa/amp/
1536 passengers in 2019 as per wikipedia.
Opened in 2013 at a cost of 210 m usd.
 
filipinoavgeek
Posts: 501
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:18 am

Re: Worst “White Elephant” Airports

Wed May 27, 2020 10:09 pm

The Philippines really only has one true "White Elephant" airport: Cagayan North International Airport in Lal-lo, Cagayan, which apparently was built more for political reasons than anything (it was supposed to be part of some "economic zone" but as far as I can tell it hasn't come to pass). It sees no commercial service of any kind and has only seen a handful of charter flights from China (mostly gamblers who go to the casinos in Santa Ana over an hour away). Most of those who actually go to the province use Tuguegarao airport instead (about two hours away, but more centrally-located as it's the capital). There's also an argument that Subic Bay has become a white elephant, but it used to be a FedEx hub until the mid-2000's and still sees some military and general aviation use, and it was built on an existing military base so I don't think the investment was too high. Some fear that Clark's new terminal could become a white elephant, although at least the airport has some local demand and also serves as a reliever for Manila.

maint123 wrote:
Read this if you want a really empty airport -Mattalla international airport in Sri Lanka.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes ... paksa/amp/
1536 passengers in 2019 as per wikipedia.
Opened in 2013 at a cost of 210 m usd.

Ah Mattalla International Airport, the airport built in the middle of nowhere just because their ex-president hailed from that region. Pretty much a case study in both the Belt and Road Initiative and where (not) to build airports.

PatrickZ80 wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
What about Oslo Rygge? That was a Ryanair only airport.


Not entirely, Norwegian had some flights from there as well. But indeed, it wasn't a lot. There's a good reason it's closed. They couldn't compete with Gardermoen and Sandefjord-Torp.

Still remember seeing an advertisement for Rygge on Ryanair's inflight magazine when I flew with them back in 2013. The ad seemed so promising and they were advertising the benefits of the airport. Who knew at the time they were already in trouble and would close down just three years later. At least the site remains active as a military airbase so it's not a total loss.
RIP 9V-SKA
2007 - 2019

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: PatrickZ80 and 10 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos