Take Offs & Land­ings

Chang­ing the Ground Game – four new air­port projects around the world that are trans­form­ing the travel ex­pe­ri­ence. Changi breaks ground on T4. Air Canada lounge pre­mieres at Frank­furt. Plus new con­nec­tion news.

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE - By Jerome Greer Chan­dler

Busi­ness trav­el­ers are do­ing far more than just pass­ing through air­ports th­ese days. They’re dwelling for a spell, kick­ing back, await­ing their con­nec­tion to the next desti­na­tion while en­joy­ing the view as never be­fore.

The ease of those con­nec­tions, and the qual­ity of the ac­com­pa­ny­ing dwell time, has hubs across the planet com­pet­ing to win fliers’hearts and minds – and they’re do­ing so in style. Here are four new air­port projects that will af­fect the way you fly and the aes­thet­ics of the ex­pe­ri­ence too.

Doha’s Ha­mad In­ter­na­tional Air­port

DOH is a $15.5 bil­lion“green­field af­fair” (brand new air­port, run­ways to ter­mi­nal) set to open shortly near the shores of the Ara­bian Gulf. Sport­ing a pair of par­al­lel run­ways – com­pared to the present air­port’s sin­gle strip – this is Qatar Air­ways’ new su­per­hub, a place Josh Marks, CEO of avi­a­tion data com­pany masF­light, con­tends will vault DOH“to lev­els that com­pare [with] Dubai.”

Pas­sen­gers will dis­em­bark via an ar­ray of 63 gates. Forty-one of them will be di­rectly con­nected to the ter­mi­nal, 22 of them ac­cessed re­motely. That’s just Phase One. When the fi­nal phase is com­pleted around 2015, or a bit there­after, there will be even more new gates.

To call Ha­mad In­ter­na­tional spa­cious un­der­states the case. The check-in and re­tail ar­eas are 12 times larger than the old air­port’s. That speeds things up for pas­sen­gers, and of­fers more din­ing and re­tail op­tions while await­ing de­par­ture.

Busi­ness trav­el­ers won’t have to wing it when get­ting to and from flights. The lay­out is foot-friendly, with mov­ing walk­ways and well-thought-out place­ment of pas­sen­ger pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties to min­i­mize walk times.

Com­pas­sion­ately mind­ful that this is the desert, to con­serve en­ergy and keep fliers from more tem­per­ate climes cool, the ter­mi­nal’s shim­mer­ing cur­tain walls are coated to re­duce the sun’s sim­mer­ing on­slaught. The Cen­tral Ter­mi­nal and at­ten­dant con­courses are sil­very, curvi­lin­ear cre­ations that mimic the nearby sea. In­deed, the new Emiri Ter­mi­nal is shaped like sail boats, the bet­ter to evoke the coastal con­nec­tion of Qatar. The con­trol tower is ap­pro­pri­ately cres­cent-shaped, and vis­i­ble through­out the city.

Some say air­ports are por­tals to a city’s soul? If so, fliers touch­ing down at Ha­mad In­ter­na­tional are about to get an eye­ful.

LAX’s New Tom Bradley In­ter­na­tional Ter­mi­nal

8,278 miles dis­tant as the Boe­ing flies, on the shores of a de­cid­edly dif­fer­ent sea, lies ven­er­a­ble LAX, an air­port once sorely in need of new in­ter­na­tional fa­cil­i­ties. Now it has them.

The New Tom Bradley In­ter­na­tional Ter­mi­nal is up and run­ning. Like Doha, LAX’s curvi­lin­ear ar­chi­tec­ture is sim­i­larly in­spired by the nearby sea, a“flow­ing roofline that re­calls the rhythm of the waves break­ing on the beach,”ac­cord­ing a pre­pared state­ment by LAX. Be that as it may, lo­cals la­bel the place“The TBIT.”


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