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Old May 13th, 2015, 03:02 AM   #1
skyshakernowlive
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MISC | Airport Design: Questions, Ideas, and Opinions

Other modes of transport do not see several terminals, so why airports?

A city can have several airports, with several terminals, with several sattilites, with several gates!

Imagine if a train station did the same!
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Old May 13th, 2015, 04:02 AM   #2
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Old May 13th, 2015, 04:38 AM   #3
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the airports is built with several terminals for fools that ask stupid questions to be lost
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Old May 13th, 2015, 05:02 AM   #4
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Limited space in original terminal's location when expansion is necessary.

Just a stab in the dark.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 05:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
Limited space in original terminal's location when expansion is necessary.

Just a stab in the dark.
This does not explain why new airports can have several terminals, or why other transport methods lack such complexity. Imagine a train station expanding in such a matter, it seems possible but no one has done it.

Nor why one cannot just expand the size of the same terminal.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 06:38 AM   #6
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Probably, it allows better accommodation of runways and taxiways. In addition, I would think aircraft wouldn't have to circle the airport as much if there are different terminals/concourses.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 05:35 PM   #7
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Study biology. You would know it relates to the maximization of "total surface area" for airplanes to park at.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 08:37 PM   #8
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A few reasons:

- One terminal was built. It was expanded to the max it could be in the given location. The airport needed more capacity, so a new one was built.

- An airline wanted or needed it's own terminal, or the airport decided it was beneficial for each airline to have it's own terminal (see JFK.) In the end, this probably wasn't the best idea.

Most rail terminals only serve one rail line, so they don't have these issues. What you end up with rail lines is multiple stations stacked on top of one another. Think Penn and Grand Central Stations in NYC, where you have subway lines under and next to commuter and intercity lines.

Last edited by BBMW; May 13th, 2015 at 08:42 PM.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 09:44 PM   #9
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New Mexico City airport is going to be one of the biggest in the world with only one terminal.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 10:30 PM   #10
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Arguably, the best layout for an airport primary designed for connecting passengers would be a common terminal with separate concourses in a linear layout, similar to ATL. This is why DEN copied this layout.

On the other hand, the best layout for an airport primarily designed for origin and destination passengers is to have multiple separate terminals, since it gives airlines a more dedicated presence that is more convenient to landside traffic.
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Old May 14th, 2015, 05:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsmartman View Post
Study biology. You would know it relates to the maximization of "total surface area" for airplanes to park at.
Lets pretend we did not study biology.
What is the maximisation of ‘total surface area’ for a single terminal?
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Old May 14th, 2015, 07:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyshakernowlive View Post
Other modes of transport do not see several terminals, so why airports?

A city can have several airports, with several terminals, with several sattilites, with several gates!

Imagine if a train station did the same!
You can stretch one terminal veeery long, but then people would complain about walking inside the terminal for too much (PEK). Unlike a train station, where you walk along the train to get to your carriage. Or you could make it like ATL, with the many concourses of one terminal, but the train is a bottle neck. Best way I think is Changi (SIN), where the three terminals act as one effectively giant terminal, but with separate check-in areas for less walking time. And the terrific air-side/land-side people movers (each train handles 2 types of passengers) that help the rushers.
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Old May 14th, 2015, 07:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryuk View Post
Lets pretend we did not study biology.
What is the maximisation of ‘total surface area’ for a single terminal?
Basically, think (number of physical gates)/(m^2 of terminal). Because you can't squeeze all the planes together, nor stack them in a column, each gate must have access to the taxiway. Therefore to accommodate more gates the terminal is either one MASSIVE blob, or to maximize "total surface area" it is like a giant octopus, with "arms" reaching for the planes. And between each "arm" there has to be space for the plane access.

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Old June 7th, 2015, 02:58 PM   #14
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Let me actually take this thread a bit further and convert this into a more conversational one.

From here on out, we can ask ourselves these key questions:

- Up to how far airports can go in terms of expanding its footprint?
- How do we define an airport's maximum capacity, and how long can an airport sustain running over maximum capacity?
- Barring space constraints, what is your ideal airport terminal layout and design, and up to how much are you willing to design it? (A follow up could be, If your airport design has reached capacity, will it be flexible enough to expand further, or will you have to build another one somewhere?)

I mean, I can provide my own insights to this question, I just want to broaden its appeal further. Maybe by revising this topic's theme, I can appeal to more users...
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Old June 7th, 2015, 03:05 PM   #15
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And also, if you have any general questions and ideas on airport operations and design, from the basic "why do some jetways come in multiple floors?" to the more complex "how does the cargo handling system actually work at busy airport hubs?", you can discuss them here. Questions focused on specific topics (e.g. Aircraft, airlines, etc) must be directed to their specific threads.
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