Airport terminal

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Renovated airport entrance of Simon Bolivar International Airport 2019 Santa Marta - Aeropuerto Internacional Simon Bolivar.jpg
Renovated airport entrance of Simón Bolívar International Airport
Terminal Five at Heathrow Airport TerminalFiveAirportHeathrowAugust2012.JPG
Terminal Five at Heathrow Airport
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Main Terminal Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand.jpg
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Main Terminal
The Tom Bradley International Terminal of Los Angeles International Airport, which handles the most origin and destination (O&D) flights in the world LAX-International-checkin.JPG
The Tom Bradley International Terminal of Los Angeles International Airport, which handles the most origin and destination (O&D) flights in the world

An airport terminal is a building at an airport where passengers transfer between ground transportation and the facilities that allow them to board and disembark from an aircraft.

Contents

Within the terminal, passengers purchase tickets, transfer their luggage, and go through security. The buildings that provide access to the airplanes (via gates) are typically called concourses. However, the terms "terminal" and "concourse" are sometimes used interchangeably, depending on the configuration of the airport.

Smaller airports have one terminal while larger airports have several terminals and/or concourses. At small airports, the single terminal building typically serves all of the functions of a terminal and a concourse.

Some larger airports have one terminal that is connected to multiple concourses via walkways, sky-bridges, or tunnels (such as Denver International Airport, modeled after Atlanta's, the world's busiest). Some larger airports have more than one terminal, each with one or more concourses (such as New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport). Still other larger airports have multiple terminals each of which incorporate the functions of a concourse (such as Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport).

According to Frommers, most airport terminals are built in a plain style, with the concrete boxes of the 1960s and 1970s generally gave way to glass boxes in the 1990s and 2000s, with the best terminals making a vague stab at incorporating ideas of "light" and "air"'. However, some, such as Baghdad International Airport, are monumental in stature, while others are considered architectural masterpieces, such as Terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris or the TWA Flight Center at New York's JFK Airport. A few are designed to reflect the culture of a particular area, some examples being the terminal at Albuquerque International Sunport in New Mexico, which is designed in the Pueblo Revival style popularized by architect John Gaw Meem, as well as the terminal at Bahías de Huatulco International Airport in Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico, which features some palapas that are interconnected to form the airport terminal.[ citation needed ] [1] [2]

When London Stansted Airport's new terminal opened in 1991, it marked a shift in airport terminal design since Norman Foster placed the baggage handling system in the basement in order to create a vast open interior space. [3] Airport architects have followed this model since unobstructed sightlines aid with passenger orientation. In some cases, architects design the terminal’s ceiling and flooring with cues that suggest the required directional flow. [4] For instance, at Toronto Pearson’s Terminal 1 Moshe Safdie included skylights for wayfinding purposes.

Baggage conveyor belt at Chennai International Airport terminal Chennai airport.jpg
Baggage conveyor belt at Chennai International Airport terminal

History

In the early history of air flight, airlines checked in their passengers at downtown terminals, and had their own transportation facilities to the airfield. For example, Air France checked in passengers at the Invalides Air Terminal (Aérogare des Invalides) from 1946 to 1961, when all passengers started checking in at the airport. The Air Terminal continued in service as the boarding point for airline buses until 2016. [5]

Designs

Typical Passengers-Terminal Configurations Terminal-Configurations.png
Typical Passengers-Terminal Configurations

Due to the rapid rise in popularity of passenger flight, many early terminals were built in the 1930s–1940s and reflected the popular art deco style architecture of the time. One such surviving example from 1940 is the Houston Municipal Airport Terminal. Early airport terminals opened directly onto the tarmac: passengers would walk or take a bus to their aircraft. This design is still common among smaller airports, and even many larger airports have "bus gates" to accommodate aircraft beyond the main terminal.

Typical design of a terminal, showing the Departures (upper half of page) and Arrivals levels. 1. Departures Lounge. 2. Gates and jet bridges. 3. Security Clearance Gates. 4 Baggage Check-in. 5. Baggage carousels Terminal overview.JPG
Typical design of a terminal, showing the Departures (upper half of page) and Arrivals levels. 1. Departures Lounge. 2. Gates and jet bridges. 3. Security Clearance Gates. 4 Baggage Check-in. 5. Baggage carousels

Pier

Mumbai Airport (Domestic Terminal), India Mumbai Airport.jpg
Mumbai Airport (Domestic Terminal), India

A pier design uses a small, narrow building with aircraft parked on both sides. One end connects to a ticketing and baggage claim area. Piers offer high aircraft capacity and simplicity of design, but often result in a long distance from the check-in counter to the gate (up to half a mile in the cases of Kansai International Airport or Lisbon Portela Airport's Terminal 1). Most large international airports have piers.

Satellite terminals

Aerial view of the Beijing Capital International Airport with Terminal 3 (orange roof) across the foreground; Terminals 2 (blue and white roof) and 1 (orange roof) in the upper right BCIA Aerial.jpg
Aerial view of the Beijing Capital International Airport with Terminal 3 (orange roof) across the foreground; Terminals 2 (blue and white roof) and 1 (orange roof) in the upper right
Departure area of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Terminal 3, Indonesia Terminal3SoekarnoHatt.jpg
Departure area of Soekarno–Hatta International Airport Terminal 3, Indonesia
Shanghai Pudong International Airport Satellite Concourse S1 one of the largest satellite terminals in the world. Shang Hai Pu Dong Ji Chang Wei Xing Ting S1Zhong Zhuan Da Ting .jpg
Shanghai Pudong International Airport Satellite Concourse S1 one of the largest satellite terminals in the world.
4th floor ticketing hall of the Kansai International Airport, Japan Kansai International Airport01n4272.jpg
4th floor ticketing hall of the Kansai International Airport, Japan
Entrance to gates at Asheville Regional Airport, United States AVLWaiting.JPG
Entrance to gates at Asheville Regional Airport, United States

A satellite terminal is a building detached from other airport buildings, so that aircraft can park around its entire circumference. The first airport to use a satellite terminal was London Gatwick Airport. It used an underground pedestrian tunnel to connect the satellite to the main terminal. This was also the first setup at Los Angeles International Airport, but it has since been converted to a pier layout. The first airport to use an automatic people mover to connect the main terminal with a satellite was Tampa International Airport, which is the standard today. The world's largest satellite terminal is Terminal S1 and S2 at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The 622,000 square meter 90 gate terminal is connected to the main terminal by a high capacity people mover using conventional subway trains. [7] Other examples include the following:

Semicircular terminals

Aerial view of Terminal 1 and 2 of Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta Airport Soekarno-Hatta Airport aerial view.jpg
Aerial view of Terminal 1 and 2 of Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta Airport

Some airports use a semicircular terminal, with aircraft parked on one side and cars on the other. This design results in long walks for connecting passengers, but greatly reduces travel times between check-in and the aircraft. Airports designed around this model include Charles de Gaulle Airport (terminal 2), Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (old terminal 2), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Seoul's Incheon International Airport, Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (terminal 1 & 2), Toronto Pearson Airport, Kansas City Airport, Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport and Sapporo's New Chitose Airport.

Other

A particularly unusual design was employed at Berlin Tegel Airport's Terminal A. Consisting of an hexagonal-shaped ring around a courtyard, five of the outer walls were airside and fitted with jet bridges, while the sixth (forming the entrance), along with the inner courtyard, was landside. Although superficially resembling a satellite design insofar as aircraft could park around most of the structure, it was in fact a self-contained terminal which unlike a satellite did not depend on remote buildings for facilities such as check-in, security controls, arrivals etc.

Especially unique were its exceptionally short walking distances and lack of any central area for security, passport control, arrivals or transfer. Instead, individual check-in counters are located immediately in front of the gate of the flight they serve. Checked-in passengers then entered airside via a short passage situated immediately to the side of the check-in desk, passed (for non-Schengen flights) a single passport control booth (with officers sat in the same area as check-in staff), followed by a single security lane which terminated at the gate's waiting area behind. Pairs of gates shared the same seating area, with small kiosks for duty-free and refreshments making up the only airside commercial offerings. Thus, other than the adjacent gate, passengers could not move around the terminal airside and there was no central waiting lounge and retail area for departures. Individual rooms for arrivals, likewise serving a pair of gates, each contained a single baggage carousel and were alternately situated in between each pair of departure gates on the same level, such that the entrance/exit of each jet bridge lied at the boundary of the two areas. Two or three passport control booths were located close to the end of the jet bridge for arriving passengers (causing passengers to queue into the bridge and plane itself) and passengers left the arrivals area unsegregated from departing passengers into the same landside ring-concourse, emerging next to the check-in desks. This allowed both arriving and departing passengers immediate access to the courtyard on the same level, where short-stay parking and taxi-pickup were located. Vehicles could enter and exit via a road underpass underneath the terminal building entrance.

For flights using jet-bridges and passengers arriving or leaving by private transport, this resulted in extremely short walking distances of just a few tens of metres between vehicles and the plane, with only a slightly longer walk for public transport connections. A downside of this design is a lack of any provision for transfer flights, with passengers only able to transit landside.

Another rarer terminal design is the mobile lounge, where passengers are transported from the gate to their aircraft in a large vehicle which docks directly to the terminal and the aircraft. Washington Dulles International Airport, Mexico City International Airport, and Mirabel International Airport have used this design.

Hybrid layouts also exist. San Francisco International Airport and Melbourne Airport use a hybrid pier-semicircular layout and a pier layout for the rest.

Common-use facility

A common-use facility or terminal design disallows airlines to have its own proprietary check-in counters, gates and IT systems. Rather, check-in counters and gates can be flexibly reassigned as needed. [8]

Records

This table below lists the top airport terminals throughout the world with the largest amount of floor area, with usable floor space across multiple stories of at least 400,000 m2 (4,300,000 sq ft).

NameCountry and territoryPlace/CityFloor areaNotes
Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates Dubai 1,713,000 m2 (18,440,000 sq ft)Three buildings connected by tunnels
Istanbul Airport Main Terminal Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Istanbul 1,440,000 m2 (15,500,000 sq ft)World's largest airport terminal under one single roof [9]
Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Beijing 986,000 m2 (10,610,000 sq ft)Three buildings connected by train. [10]
King Abdulaziz International Airport Terminal 1Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Jeddah 810,000 m2 (8,700,000 sq ft) [11]
Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal ComplexFlag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi 735,000 m2 (7,910,000 sq ft)Due to open in 2021 [12]
Beijing Daxing International Airport TerminalFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Beijing 700,000 m2 (7,500,000 sq ft) [13]
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Terminal 2Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Guangzhou 658,700 m2 (7,090,000 sq ft) [14]
Shanghai Pudong International Airport Satellite ConcourseFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Shanghai 622,000 m2 (6,700,000 sq ft)World's largest stand-alone satellite terminal [15]
Hamad International Airport Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar Doha 600,000 m2 (6,500,000 sq ft) [16]
Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok 570,000 m2 (6,100,000 sq ft) [17]
Suvarnabhumi Airport Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand Bangkok 563,000 m2 (6,060,000 sq ft) [18]
Kunming Changshui International Airport Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Kunming 548,300 m2 (5,902,000 sq ft) [19]
Barcelona Airport Terminal 1Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Barcelona 544,000 m2 (5,860,000 sq ft) [20]
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport Terminal 3AFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Chongqing 530,000 m2 (5,700,000 sq ft) [21]
Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3Flag of India.svg  India Delhi 502,000 m2 (5,400,000 sq ft) [22]
Incheon International Airport Terminal 1Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Seoul 496,000 m2 (5,340,000 sq ft) [23]
Barajas Airport Terminal 4 main buildingFlag of Spain.svg  Spain Madrid 470,000 m2 (5,100,000 sq ft) [24]
Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport Terminal 3Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Shenzhen 459,000 m2 (4,940,000 sq ft) [25]
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Terminal 2Flag of India.svg  India Mumbai 450,000 m2 (4,800,000 sq ft) [26]
Narita International Airport Terminal 1 Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Narita 440,000 m2 (4,700,000 sq ft) [27]
Soekarno–Hatta International Airport Terminal 3 Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia Jakarta 422,804 m2 (4,551,020 sq ft) [28]

Ground transportation

Many small and mid-size airports have a single, two, or three-lane one-way loop road which is used by local private vehicles and buses to drop off and pick up passengers.

An international airport may have two grade-separated one-way loop roads, one for departures and one for arrivals. It may have a direct rail connection by regional rail, light rail, or subway to the downtown or central business district of the closest major city. The largest airports may have direct connections to the closest freeway. The Hong Kong International Airport has ferry piers on the airside for ferry connections to and from mainland China and Macau without passing through Hong Kong immigration controls.

Zones

Pre-Security

The post-security zone of Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Terminal 1 early in the morning. Helsinki Airport international zone in the morning.jpg
The post-security zone of Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Terminal 1 early in the morning.

Post Security

See also

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