By Sun Kim
Posting in Architecture
What is pushing America's airports to renovate and build?
America's airports are falling apart and can no longer put off the repairs. In an article for the New York Times, Jad Mouawad reports on the national building boom of airports.
Across the country, renovation and expansion projects include entire concourses, terminals, concession areas, security lanes, boarding gates, parking, and entrances.
Investments in airports “are going to be among the largest public work projects going on around the country,” said Patrick Foye, the executive director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns five airports, including Kennedy Airport, La Guardia Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport.
What is pushing the investments in renovation, repair, and construction? Larger airplanes, bigger security lanes, an increase in foreign carriers flying into the US, and domestic airline mergers all require bigger and better facilities. The influx of foreign travellers especially is a factor and improvements are concentrated at the largest international gateways like Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport. Mouawad cites international surveys that routinely rank airports in the United States low in customer service, on-time departures, congestion, and amenities.
Better designed, better functioning facilities could sway passengers to choose certain airports over others, and consequently encourage airlines to invest in the improvements. Domestic airports hoping to attract more international travelers should look to the successful example of Amsterdam's ever improving Schiphol, with its digital nature lounges, designer hotel, and soon, a nearby golf course.
Airports Focus on the Ground [NYTimes]
Image: Robert S. Donovan
Jun 17, 2012
No they're not. A few of them are, but a few != all. Maybe you should have said, "Everyones' doing it".
All this fuss over the cost of High Speed rail, yet airlines and airports are subsidized in the $billions every year without mention. Why is the USA so far behind the rest of the world in efficient rail travel yet ready to spend yet more $billions on air travel? It may not be so practical for coast-to-coast (E-W), but when one considers, e.g., that an hour's plane trip actually takes four to five hours due to getting to and from inconvenient airports, security, and traffic jams, thus a two or three hour high-speed rail becomes pretty attractive!
Image of the interior is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chubu_Centrair2.JPG Awesome airport. Don :-)
...as opposed to tax dollars. If HSR was to be "subsidized" by the passengers riding it, I'd be all for it.