I INTRODUCTION Airport, transportation center used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft. Airports provide transportation not only for people but also for freight, such as mail, perishable foods, and other important items. An airport is composed of several areas and structures that are designed to serve the needs of both aircraft and passengers. Runways are the long, narrow areas where airplanes take off and land. Taxiways are paths that aircraft follow from the runways to the terminal building, where passengers board and exit aircraft at areas called gates located within the terminal. The terminal also contains ticket and baggage counters. The control tower is located near the terminal. From this tower, people involved in air traffic control coordinate aircraft movement both in the air and on the ground. Maintenance and refueling facilities for aircraft are located near the runways or in nearby hangars. For security purposes, access to major airports is usually limited to special roads. Many airports have large automobile parking areas or multistory ramps to accommodate travelers. Airports are among the busiest transportation centers. The business they create is vital to the world economy and individual national economies. In the United States, over 500 airports provide airline passenger service to about 600 million people annually. These airports also handle about 15 million metric tons of air cargo each year. Canada’s 26 airports in its National Airport System provide service to about 60 million passengers annually. The total annual economic impact of U.S. airports is estimated at over $500 billion. This value includes the price of airfares purchased by passengers, the salaries of airline and airport employees, taxes, and indirect earnings from related businesses and industries. Airports are so important economically that many companies will not locate factories or offices in cities that do not have an adequate airport. The busiest passenger airports in the world are Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago-O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, near Dallas, Texas; and Heathrow Airport in London, England. II TYPES OF AIRPORTS
Airports differ in size and layout depending on their function and the types of aircraft that use them. There are three major types of airports: military airports, general aviation airports, and commercial airports. Military airports have one or two paved runways, generally 3,000 to 4,600 m (10,000 to 15,000 ft) long. These airports are used only by military aircraft.
Airports approved as destinations for flights from other countries are known as international airports.000 to 3. passenger and freight services. They are often found in rural areas or in small towns. and refueling of aircraft at the airport.000 to 5.000 ft) long. Commercial airports are used by airlines. and airport security. Aircraft services focus on the flight. III AIRPORT OPERATIONS
Commercial airports are designed to transfer passengers and freight to and from aircraft.000 ft) in length. airport security involves ensuring the safety of passengers and aircraft by screening passengers and their luggage for weapons or explosives. In order to accomplish this transfer as efficiently and as safely as possible. Runway designs at airports differ according to the type of aircraft the runway serves. The runway of an airport allows aircraft to land at and take off from the airport.300 ft) if simultaneous approaches are to be allowed on both runways. They usually have pairs of parallel runways from 3.000 ft) long and can accommodate larger aircraft than general aviation airports can. Good design practices require each runway to have a parallel taxiway so aircraft can enter or leave the runway as directly as possible. Small commercial airports have one or two runways from 1. but many are simply grasscovered paths. Finally. Environmental factors such as nearby wildlife or obstructions to navigation such as mountains must also be considered when building runways. where passengers purchase tickets. and the availability of land. the prevailing wind direction and speed. as well as on air traffic control around the airport. are smaller than commercial airports. Some runways at general aviation airports are paved. General aviation airports have one or two runways from 900 to 1. Parallel runways at civilian airports must be separated by at least 1.400 m (6. Large commercial airports serve the world’s major cities. Terminals are designed in a variety of ways depending on the needs and size of a given airport.800 to 2.700 m (10. A Aircraft Services
The primary requirement of aircraft at an airport is an adequate runway. which cater to small civilian aircraft. Many airports have more than one runway. If runways are closer together than that.General aviation airports. Airport runways are arranged to permit the maximum number of safe takeoffs and landings in all weather conditions. Airports also provide many support services indirectly related to air travel.000 to 12. depending on the size of the airport. aircraft landings and takeoffs must be staggered to ensure that a safe degree of separation exists between aircraft during flight. and enter and exit aircraft. Facilities vary widely at general aviation airports. maintenance. and aircraft emergency services. shops.000 to 8. These airports may be small or large. such as restaurants. parking. load and retrieve baggage. support services. airport operations are grouped into four general areas: aircraft services. Taxiways are short paths followed by aircraft that connect the runways to an area
.500 m (3. Passenger services are centered in the terminal building.300 m (4.
Simple gate arrival terminals are the most common type of terminal found at small
. In cold climates. restock food and other supplies. Repair facilities range from small facilities housed in a single hangar to large complexes that employ thousands of trained maintenance technicians. issue seat assignments. and food service. passenger check-in. All major terminals provide the same services. The airline tower staff manages the flow of ground vehicles and aircraft in the immediate vicinity of the terminal building. B Passenger Services
The airport terminal building provides all major passenger services. At larger airports. and coordinate aircraft boarding. often on the opposite side of the terminal. The tower is centrally located and elevated so that an unobstructed view of the airport can be maintained from the tower at all times. baggage handling. where passengers reclaim their belongings.called the apron. satellite. Baggage systems in the terminal distribute the luggage from each arriving flight and place the bags on large rotating carousels. it moves from the runway to the taxiway. ground crews also work to keep runways and aircraft free of snow and ice. and refuel aircraft. Fuel is normally stored in large tanks above ground and transported to aircraft either by underground pumping facilities or by refueling trucks. such as the passenger list and the latest weather information. but a terminal can be organized in several different ways. They load baggage. It manages all air traffic at the airport. airline employees make flight reservations for travelers. To aid in night landings and increase visibility in foul weather. Inside the terminal. perform routine maintenance. smaller additional towers are staffed by airline employees who control the ground operations of the airlines they work for. Aircraft preparing to take off wait on the taxiway until the runway is clear. such as ticket sales. When an airplane lands. Gate arrival terminals are rectangular buildings that have aircraft parking on one side and have motor-vehicle parking as well. Other airline employees provide pilots with final flight information. which surrounds the terminal gates. It also coordinates baggage. Ground crews working on the apron area near the gates help maintain aircraft in between flights. The control tower is a structure located at or near the terminal. so that other aircraft can use the runway. Controllers inside the tower issue taxiing instructions to guide aircraft both to and from the runways and ensure that aircraft do not land or take off until the runways are clear. The four different types of terminals are gate arrival. Each type connects passengers with aircraft in different ways. and transporter. fuel. runways are lit with white edge lights and taxiways are lined with blue edge lights. pier. International airports also maintain customs and immigration areas for foreign travelers. and security.
Large commercial airports use gate arrival terminals also. Florida. Canada. The operators of such airports often find it easier to drive passengers to parked aircraft than to build an expensive new terminal. aircraft pull up directly to the terminal at predetermined areas called gates. If a given airline has use of nearby gates. Pier terminals have piers that extend outward like arms from a central building and provide boarding gates on both sides of each pier for its entire length.C. Pier terminals are in use at Los Angeles International Airport. One of the best examples is John F. They have many of the same characteristics of pier terminals. Dulles International Airport in Washington. The majority of airfreight is flown in the belly cargo compartments of aircraft used for regularly scheduled passenger flights. passengers need not walk the length of a pier. Upon arrival at the airport. since common facilities can be located in the central building instead of at each gate. Transporter terminals use a common building for the processing of passengers. Instead. Flexible covered pathways called airbridges connect the gate to the aircraft and allow passengers to board and exit the aircraft. Each pier is known as a concourse. or an entire pier. Nevertheless. pioneered this concept. movers load the freight onto pallets or into
. such as at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Pier terminals provide efficient use of space. Many airports use a combination of terminal designs. Aircraft simply park alongside the terminal. then passengers transferring to other flights may not have far to walk. Since most airports were built decades ago. Satellite terminals are in use at Houston Intercontinental Airport in Houston. the majority of terminals have been modified and expanded as the airports have grown. Ontario. Satellite terminals are often circular in layout and provide aircraft parking around their entire perimeter. Heathrow Airport in London. Freight generally consists of products from many individual shippers and is commonly transported to and from the airport by truck. However.airports. since they cannot simply walk to their connecting aircraft’s gate. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Transporter terminals work well for passengers on direct flights but are inconvenient for passengers who are transferring to other flights.. the flexibility of transporter terminal systems has made them popular at airports that have experienced rapid growth. C Freight Services
Commercial airports also transport freight in addition to serving passengers. Satellite terminals also provide common facilities at a centralized building. Texas. and passengers walk across the apron to board the aircraft. and Toronto International Airport in Toronto. who then board specialized vehicles known as mobile lounges that ferry passengers directly from the gate to the aircraft and back. and Orlando International Airport in Orlando. At most commercial airport gate terminals. transportation to gate areas is provided by buses or by automated rail systems such as people movers (see Public Transportation). D.
car rental agencies. Commercial airports also provide plenty of short-term and long-term automobile parking. In the wake of the September 11. The foam covers burning fuel more effectively than water alone and acts like a blanket to extinguish the fire. especially those areas that contain critical equipment. IV AIRPORT SECURITY
Ensuring the safety of passengers and aircraft is a major concern at airports. banking services. all of which specialize exclusively in the air transportation of small packages and the related ground collection and distribution. are protected by security personnel and are off-limits to the public. Airports must also be equipped for the removal of ice and snow from aircraft. Many areas of an airport. newsstands. Monorails. D Support Services
Most terminals at commercial airports contain restaurants. A significant amount of airfreight consists of express-delivery package shipments that are carried by integrated carriers. Security personnel operate metal detectors and X-ray machines that screen baggage for possible weapons or illegal substances. where traveling businesspeople can send and receive electronic mail and fax messages and also make telephone calls. and chapels. Larger terminals may also include observation stations. a post office. The local fire department usually provides fire protection for the rest of the airport. United Parcel Service. lounges. Integrated carriers are companies such as Federal Express. and DHL. Airport fire trucks are equipped with water and a substance called aqueous film forming foam (AFFF). Airports also maintain fire departments that are specially trained and equipped to fight aircraft fires. and other retail establishments. 2001. particularly in the United States. currency exchanges. See also Air Transport Industry: Air Cargo.specialized freight containers bound for a common destination and then load the containers or pallets onto waiting aircraft. runways. Security personnel also require that each passenger show photo identification before entering an aircraft. Airport parking is usually located in large parking ramps or nearby parking lots. but many travelers. taxiways. get to and from an airport by driving an automobile. AFFF is used to combat aircraft fuel fires. and other access roads. moving sidewalks are used to ferry passengers from the parking lots to the terminal buildings. For these travelers. Such carriers fly high-value or time-sensitive parcels on airplanes that carry only such parcels. terrorist attacks in the United States. secure and convenient parking is a necessity. Airports can be reached by taxi and public transportation. Some airports feature office areas. shuttle buses. airport security became the responsibility of the federal government. The United States Congress enacted the Aviation and Transportation Security Act in response to the
. or long.
regional port or airport authorities. Expenses involved in operating an airport include terminal and runway maintenance. A Airport Development
. time-consuming. the nearby population. Airports are owned and operated by many different agencies. or state or federal agencies. The law increased the number of armed federal air marshals flying on domestic flights and required international airlines to turn over advance copies of their passenger lists to U. electricity. Some private companies have purchased entire airports from their owners and operate them for profit. An airport also makes money from fees charged at parking lots. food service companies. including checked luggage. availability of ground access. VI HISTORY
Airports have grown from simple grass-covered fields into some of the busiest transportation centers in the world. Airports can also charge a fee on each ticket sold to pay for improvements. Airlines. As airline traffic increases. Airports receive revenue from a number of sources. The new law expanded the number of baggage screeners. Only when these tasks have been completed can actual construction of an airport begin. be screened. and building designs must be approved by the FAA before funding can be obtained. Aircraft noise plans. V AIRPORT CONSTRUCTION AND ADMINISTRATION
Selecting a new airport site is a complex. Local governments usually make the decision to construct or expand public airports. Most small airports are privately owned. it required that all passenger luggage.attacks. which had exposed a number of weaknesses in airport and airline security.S. Airport sites are selected based on airport traffic volume. and retail establishments rent portions of the terminal. all checked luggage was to be put through special explosives-detecting devices. Airports charge landing fees to the airlines for each airplane that lands and takes off from the airport. airport administration and salaries. By the end of 2002. Once a proposed site has been selected. moving millions of passengers worldwide. but some are operated by private organizations that have a contract to operate them or that lease them from their owners. Customs officials for background checks to screen out suspected terrorists. The money to fund construction for these airports comes from taxes or from the sale of bonds. and made them federal employees for an interim period of time. utilities such as water. Most airports are operated by the agencies that own them. new airports are built to accommodate more passengers. and fire and security services. and expensive proposition. imposed standards for their training. environmental impact studies. Large commercial airports are usually owned by city governments. and heat. Beginning in January 2002. and existing air traffic flows. a detailed site plan is prepared.
000 ft). and their sites were subsequently used for shopping centers. In most cities. and air traffic controllers. runways now needed to be extended in length to about 3. Terminal buildings. To correct this. and passenger-waiting and baggage-pickup areas. Terminals designed for the passenger volumes of earlier. domestic air-transport industry in 1978. introduced in the 1930s.000 ft). In this system.Early airplanes were light and had low operating speeds. Because airplane capacity was still relatively small. facilities at many existing airports became outdated or obsolete. many cities had more than one. With the introduction of jet airplanes into commercial service in 1959. provided enough space for expansion. and residential developments. These marginal sites were inexpensive. weather observers.S. The other fields were closed. snack bars. Takeoff and landing fields in the 1910s and 1920s were generally built in any location that was convenient to the population being served. Terminal buildings were usually of the gate terminal design. airlines began converting their operations to hub-and-spoke systems. Many new terminals were built by specific airlines to serve their own customers. Pilots simply positioned their aircraft into the wind and. In the years following the deregulation of the U. so they could operate from any relatively level cleared field. smaller aircraft were no longer adequate for the new jet airplanes. which is normally located at a centralized point in the airline’s route system. such as outlying farm areas or unpopulated marshlands. Passengers arrive at the hub in a wave of flights arriving at
. as well as ticket counters. New concepts in terminal design that were implemented in the 1960s featured much larger architecture than that of earlier terminals. because the airplanes did not require specially prepared or paved surfaces. These second-generation commercial airports of the 1930s were designed to serve airplanes that usually carried up to 75 passengers. To allow long-range operations by the heavier and faster jet aircraft. were often multipurpose buildings housing the offices of a few airlines. with airplanes on one side of the building and automobile parking on the other. government officials chose to designate only one airport in their region as a major airport. As a new round of airport construction began. an airline’s passengers are collected by flights from many spoke cities and are flown to a hub airport.000 m (about 10. These airfields had no designated runways. industrial parks. airport builders favored sites away from central downtown districts. after a short ground run of 300 to 900 m (1. if they existed at all. which could seat more than 150 passengers on each flight. Because airfields were relatively easy to create in the early days of aviation. took off into the air. all terminal functions were handled on a single floor. and were also clear of obstructions such as tall buildings. another round of construction and expansion began.000 to 3. were heavier and needed longer paved runways to take off and land. Multiengine airplanes.
long. The airport covers an area of 137 sq km (53 sq mi).000 mi) were traditionally flown in large wide-body jets holding from 250 to 400 seats. The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge and is served by several ferries.500. A second runway is under construction. It has five runways. The Kansai International Airport in Ōsaka.6 mi) long. was built on an artificial island located in Ōsaka Bay.5 hours). The terminal. With the advent of the hub-and-spoke system. nonstop flights have been largely replaced by shorter flights and smaller jets that fly as many as 12 connecting flights per day. These large jets flew usually once or twice per day for each airline in the market.500 m (11. as well as facilities able to meet the demands of 35 million passengers and 3 million tons of air cargo shipped annually. The airport was built on an island that was excavated 27 m (90 ft) down to reach solid bedrock and then refilled with topsoil.500 to 3. The terminal and concourses are in the center of the airfield. allowing Kansai to become the first Japanese airport that is open 24 hours a day.000 ft) long. nonstop domestic flights of 4. cover 140. It has a single runway 3. The Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport opened in 1998.000 sq ft). The runways are at least 1. passengers transfer to other airplanes that are going to their ultimate destination.000 to 5. B Modern Airports
Denver International Airport is the newest major commercial airport in the United States.000 sq m (1. Located outside Denver. and include 94 airline gates. Its location away from populated areas eliminated noise-pollution problems. permitting two or three streams of aircraft to land simultaneously. which is over 1 km (0. The total cost of the airport was $20 billion. and a second parallel runway is planned for the future. it opened in 1995. Colorado. each 3. includes 75 gates.approximately the same time. Prior to the establishment of hubs in the United States.000 km (2. This pattern is repeated throughout the day to provide service at convenient frequencies. The single runway is 3. During the time the airplanes are on the ground at the hub (about 1.300 m (4. Then all flights in the wave depart to the spoke cities and the whole process begins again.400 ft) long.000 ft) long. Japan.300 ft) apart. The airport opened for business in 1994.800 m (12. The control tower is 33 stories tall. The airport serves over 25 million passengers per year.700 m (12.