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 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.”