How do you improve on the best airport in the world? More than 5 billion travelers passed through the airports of the world in 2015, according to Airports Council International. That’s an incredible number, considering the entire planet’s population is 7 billion. A long time ago, we made an article about the Top 10 Most Amazing Airport Lounges Around The Globe. For now, we will present to you the latest trends for the airports of the future.
Airport owners and developers learned then that people—even the cost-conscious folks—will indulge themselves at the airport, allowing themselves extra time and, perhaps, a splurge item or two or three. Today, more than a decade after 9/11, the same trend has resurfaced. This time, it’s fueled by travelers’ acceptance of security lines and the utility of “connectivity,” which allows people to be at the office simultaneously and at the airport dining on a splurge steak and glass of red wine before their flight, sans guilt. And indeed, with increasing fervor, airport owners and developers around the globe are reinventing the airport as a place where people want to spend time. That includes the “always” kind of time.
The picture below is just an artist’s vision of how airports may look in the future. Still, in recent years some proposed airport developments have been criticized as being unwanted or needed ‘marble palaces’ – but who can accurately determine where the dividing line between desire and necessity is drawn?
Beijing is a vital hub for travel both within China and internationally, and its current airport is already at total capacity. According to current flight regulations, it can’t accommodate more planes traveling daily to and from the airport. Yet Chinese air travel is booming. The country’s airplane market is expected to become the world’s largest by 2030. That’s where the new airport, located in the southern Beijing suburb of Daxing, comes in.
From robots to facial recognition systems, airports are employing programs to provide efficient service to customers. According to Wall Street Journal, the future airport will recognize you, greet you by name, and know exactly where to put you.
The Airports Of The Future Could Become Hi-Tech Pleasure Domes
Airports around the world are beginning to move in this direction. At London’s Gatwick Airport, beacons identify you by your smartphone and give GPS-like suggestions to your gate, pointing out food or shopping along the way. In Germany, robots at Düsseldorf’s airport park your car and return it curbside after you land, linking your itinerary to your license plate. Researchers are developing robots that will be able to check your bags and deliver them within minutes of landing.
The World’s Biggest Airport Terminal By Zaha Hadid Architects, Beijing
Zaha Hadid Architects, the firm charged with designing the new terminal along with French airport design firm ADPI, faces a significant challenge: How do you keep a building that must accommodate 45 million passengers a year—and eventually up to 72 million annually—from overwhelming passengers? For Hadid’s designers, the answer lies in its structure: the shape of the airport, its roof, and how it’s divided.
The radial-shaped airport, which looks like when you stretch a blob of silly putty between your hands, will likely be the largest single-terminal airport building in the world when it opens around 2018. In 2025, a satellite terminal will add 4.5 million square feet of space. It’s estimated that it will cost a total of $12.8 billion.
The Next Generation Of A Cruise ship. Would You Go On It?
This is a futuristic air cruise ship imagined by Dassault Systèmes. It looks amazing.
Changi Airport in Singapore has a Balinese-themed swimming pool among its amenities. In Hong Kong, the airport entertains. Consider the outdoor nine-hole golf course and 350-seat IMAX theater that claims the giant projection screen in Hong Kong.
This Future Incredible Urban Park Will Be Inside One Of The World’s Busiest Airports
This project redefines and reinvents what airports are all about. The future airport facilities are fantastic to match, if not a little bit over the top. The airport of the future has a Waterfall, of course. The Jewel is a vast, 10-story complex in the middle of Singapore Changi Airport. The Jewel, to be built at the heart of Changi Airport and connected to Terminal 1 via an expanded Arrival hall and Terminals 2 and 3 by pedestrian bridges, is scheduled for completion by late 2018. When completed, its central “Forest Valley” will woo travelers with tiers and tiers of “verdant” plants, waterfalls, ponds, and terraces that surround luxury shops and fine dining restaurants.
Construction has just begun on architect Moshe Safdie’s lush, expansive greenhouse space at Singapore’s principal airport. Measuring over 1.4 million square feet, the garden space, known as Jewel Changi Airport, will feature winding nature trails and recreation and dining areas. At the center of the expansive glass dome that encloses the garden is a spout pouring a roaring 131-foot-tall waterfall called the “Rain Vortex.” The waterfall’s output is recycled for use throughout the building, and the cascading stream is lit up at night.
China Southern Airport City
Planning for the land, not despite it, China Southern Airport City will revolutionize the concept of master planning. This one-of-a-kind airport city designed by Woods Bagot includes the headquarters for airline China Southern and all the infrastructure needed to foster and grow their ever-expanding business. The master plan organizes the neighborhoods into three precincts. Business, cultural, and entertainment uses, as well as Southern Airlines University, defines the central precinct, creating a distinct heart that bridges the highway.
Derived from the natural layout of the intended site and Chinese tradition, the masterplan uses the natural bend in the Lui Xe River to help determine a defined center point for the project, a grand ‘ring’ as seen from above. The China Southern Headquarters is the central heart of the ring, which radiates the spirit of life toward the west and east sites.
South Korea’s New Sustainable City Inside An Airport
The first thing to understand about this South Korean airport is that it’s not comparable to an American airport. It is a behemoth, like many airports in Asia. People apparently love giant airports; for the past eight years, the Airports Council International has selected Incheon as the best airport in the world. “We were dealing with one million square feet as a starting point, and getting two million square feet in the U.S. is pretty extraordinary,” says Keith Thompson, a principal at Gensler.
Integrating sustainable elements into Incheon wasn’t easy. Unlike office buildings, airports are energy intensive for 24 hours a day, have large floor areas, are they’re sprawling, and windows generally can’t open. An airport the size of Incheon also produces as much trash as a city.
A New Vision For Floating Airports Positions London For Future Challenges
The proposed airport would float on the waters of the Thames Estuary, minimizing disruption to London residents, allowing the capital to expand beyond its land-locked airports, and offering global travelers a European hub airport able to operate around the clock. “To match the immense demands on the U.K.’s outdated airport infrastructure, we must take a completely new approach.”
The proposed vision comes when skies across the world are becoming increasingly overcrowded. In Europe, at least 7,000 additional commercial jets will be flying the skies by 2030, according to Eurocontrol. Figures from the U.K.’s Department of Transport indicate that if capacity could be provided in the southeast of England, passenger numbers could increase from 127 to 300 million per annum by 2030.
The proposed airport would generate power from marine turbines situated along the floating runways, harnessing wave energy to offset airport energy use. A floating airport would provide a reef-like environment conducive to marine life. Runways would be tethered to the seabed and the floating concourse to minimize environmental disruption. [more info here]
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