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In the spotlight: Planning & Design

Airport report: Vancouver

Special report: Iconic terminals

Plus: Airport anniversaries and Canada’s big year

Summer can only mean one thing for Airport World, it’s time for our annual ‘planning and design’ themed issue where we take a closer look at all things related to plotting the development and, hopefully long-term success, of the world’s airports.

In terms of making an impression, arguably the first thing that most passengers notice upon arrival at a new airport is the terminal building, and that doesn’t really change whether you are a once-a-year traveller or a road warrior clocking up air miles faster than a US presidential candidate!

Beauty, of course, is always in the eye of the beholder and what one person considers the most attractive terminal in the world, another might believe to be distinctly average.

However, having said that, there are a number of terminals in the world that undeniably have the X-factor, and some of these are mentioned in the ‘iconic terminals’ feature in this issue.

What makes the feature standout is that the people suggesting that the terminals are ‘iconic’ are some of the world’s leading airport architects and design teams responsible for building many of the best-known facilities on the planet.

And, no, they don’t all suggest the airports that they have designed themselves! Indeed, some suggest terminals built in the 1960s and, although it didn’t make the cut in our feature, we know that Berlin Tempelhof’s grandiose old terminal building is a personal favourite of Foster + Partners chairman and founder, Lord Norman Foster.

I, too, appreciated Berlin Tempelhof’s elegance and style, although not so much on the day I had lunch in the staff canteen and on my way out got lost in its seemingly endless corridors, and ended up having to phone the airport switchboard to ask them to send someone to come and rescue me!

Tempelhof, of course, closed its doors for the last time in 2008 as part of the plans to open a new gateway for the city on the site of Schönefeld Airport two years later. Things obviously haven’t gone quite to plan there as Berlin Brandenburg Airport still hasn’t opened, but the good news is that its board recently announced that it is now expected to open for business in the second half of 2017.

Anyway, if you had to choose, what would be your favourite airport terminal in terms of its design? I’m sitting firmly on the fence on this one, but I am not afraid to admit that I do like Terminal 4 at Madrid-Barjas; Bangkok Suvarnabhumi in its entirety; Singapore Changi’s Terminal 3; Terminal 1 at Hong Kong; and London Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

In other planning and design news, we consider the possible future development of vertical airports – in essence skyscraper sized buildings with a landing pad on the roof – which could become a reality if vertical take-off and landing aircraft become the norm for short-haul travel 30 years from now.

And in terms of the bigger picture, we have features on regional airports as the catalysts for economic development; equipping airports for new aircraft; the balancing act between airfield enhancements and the need to protect the environment; and noise management.

The latter two issues are crucial, of course, because if airports cannot prove that they are environmentally friendly and committed to developing in a sustainable way, they will have no future.

We also learn more about the retail/F&B revolution at Washington DC’s gateways and turn the spotlight on airport development in South East and East Asia, focusing on some ambitious plans in Brunei, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Elsewhere in this edition we have a strong Canadian focus that includes a feature on Vancouver International Airport; an industry overview from Canadian Airports Council president, Daniel-Robert Gooch; and a Project Watch article on Calgary’s
new International Terminal Building (ITB), which opens in October.

If that’s not enough, we also have articles on airports celebrating milestone anniversaries; the challenges facing Russia’s regional gateways and IATA/ACI’s new Levels of Service (LoS) passenger service guidelines for airports. Enjoy!

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