Airport Plans From Around The World
As the airports industry continues to boom in Asia, what of the rest of the world? Well, it seems that investment is just as ferocious as it is in Asia. Here, at The Wise Traveller, we give you a brief overview of what’s happening across the continents and where you could be landing next in the not too distant future.
Related: Asia's Airport Plans
The biggest debate at the moment in this sector is the building of a second runway at Gatwick in the UK to enable it to boost its landing capacity. The airport has announced plans to invest £256m to make the second runway viable.
This financing will see the creation of jobs, £46m for infrastructure around new homes in the area and even £5m to help insulate existing homes from noise. Most of the money - £131m – will go towards buying surrounding properties presently lying in the proposed path of the second runway.
The UK government has also approved plans to for London Luton Airport to be expanded that will eventually see it handling 45,000 extra flights.
Investments in regional airports are also on the radar in the UK: for example, Birmingham, is having its runway extended by 400 metres to enable it to enter into the long-haul market. It means aircraft can now fly further, with direct flights to the Far East, America’s west coast and South America.
Zurich’s Flughafen Airport is getting in on the expansion act, with the opening of the southern end of its Terminal 2. The four-year revamp will enable extra flight capacity and greater passenger comfort. Terminal 2’s northern end will now undergo a major renovation and is slated to finish by mid-2016.
Turkey, which straddles Asia and Europe, is also fast catching up with the rest of the world in the flights market. While its national carrier, Turkish Airlines, seems to be taking all the industry awards for a first class flying experience, airports in Turkey are also being upgraded.
While the main talk is focused on a complete replacement airport for Istanbul International in future years, Izmir has undergone a massive transformation. The country’s third largest city on the West Coast recently unveiled a new €265 million domestic terminal, over 200,000 square metres, with eight boarding bridges and located next to the existing international terminal.
In the north of Europe, Finland is poised to invest heavily across its international domestic terminals. At the helm will be Helsinki Airport, with investment aimed at enabling the airport to handle 20 million passengers by 2020. Helsinki’s Terminal 2 will be the focus of the majority of the improvements and better infrastructure.
Other investments in and around Europe will also see major upgrades at Munich; Berlin; St Petersburg, in Russia; and Schiphol in Holland.
Leading the charge for splurging the cash in the US is Salt Lake City, with plans being announced for a complete new airport operation. Work is now underway for a $1.8 billion upgrade that includes a new terminal and will make it one of the most efficient airports in the country.
However, Colorado’s Durango-La Plata County Airport is bursting at its seams and with passenger traffic up by nearly 30 per cent, officials there are now contemplating whether a new airport should be built or a new terminal be constructed to handle expansion plans.
A $138 million revamp of ten gates at San Francisco International’s east boarding area of Terminal 3 sees passenger experience at the forefront of the investment with a yoga studio, food and retail shops, and a children's play area.
Meanwhile, Denver International Airport is working on a $544 million project that includes a major infrastructure turnaround with a hotel and conference centre. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is part way through a seven-year terminal renewal programme with emphasis on giving its four terminals a major facelift.
Los Angeles has $4.1 billion to spend with its centerpiece being a $1.9 billion renovation of the Tom Bradley International Terminal; New York is seeing major upgrades to Terminal 4 at Kennedy International Airport and a $3.6 billion replacement is planned for LaGuardia Airport's Central Terminal Building.
In Florida, a $1.1 billion plan is underway at Orlando International Airport with an expansion of facilities through to 2017. New Orleans Louis Armstrong International will be getting a new North Terminal that will have two concourses, 30 gates and a consolidated checkpoint.
Paraguay has announced plans to build a new airport terminal at Asunción at a cost of $184 million US dollars. The plan involves a 30,000 square metre terminal to support two million passengers a year.
And Panama’s main airport has continued to experience growth in both passenger capacity and airline routes, with the country’s Copa Airlines announcing a series new routes across the globe.
If Asia is leading the airspace race, then the combined efforts of Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi are giving it a run for its money as the airport boom continues apace in the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi, CNN reports, is angling for the tallest terminal building in the world when it opens in 2017. With a staggering $6.8 billion investment for a seven million square foot terminal, the building will be an impressive sight.
Meanwhile, Doha, in Qatar, continues to build apace with the world’s second largest runway underway at its Hamad International Airport, while Saudi Arabia’s main airport, King Khaled International, is undergoing an $800 million expansion with the aim of handling 50 million passengers year-on-year.
And Dubai is also getting in on the act, with plans for expansion to enable it to handle an average of 15% per year growth in passenger numbers.
Related: Asia's Airport Plans