Which airports should be completely demolished and rebuilt?Back to Forum
I had the misfortune of travelling through Edinburgh yesterday. The security area is now at the far end of the upper floor accessed through the food and beverages area with the resultant bottleneck an inevitable consequence.
The security area itself involves the new method of queuing to put your liqds, laptops etc in trays. You not only queue to get into the tray area but then queue to get to the single conveyor belt once there. As is often the case a large section of the security area remained closed.
Once through this you are forced to walk through a narrow duty free shopping arcade which doubles back on itself i.e doubles its length and incnvenience. I cannot stress how much I object to these arrangements which exist at many UK airports. I just want to get to the lounge or gate, if I want to shop I will do so but I do not expect to be forced into a shop.
This is a new development solution at Edinburgh so whilst you are correct that the airport does not need demolishing but reorganising I fear that this is the outcome of the reorganisation. I would prefer the demolition option!24 Sep 2015
Totally agree. It is my nearest airport and what was a typically beautiful Norman Foster building developed as London’s 3rd airport has been wrecked. Sadly, I will no longer use it and avoid it at all costs.24 Sep 2015
@ FDOS_UK – 24/09/2015 11:35 BST
Agreed: LTN it has to be. The shed concept must have been taken from B&Q – or was it the other way around? For this reason alone, the costs of demolition ought to be relatively modest.24 Sep 2015
Well, Heathrow, obviously. All of it.
Ditto CDG and AMS. Both ghastly places. DFW.
And my final vote, which may surprise some – HKG. The original design was to have been X-shaped, allowing far more gates than the underlined-Y that was built. Result – a satellite terminal with no lounges which can only be accessed by bus, and they are now building another midfield terminal to be accessed by train. It has just outgrown itself. Great airport, but like so many others the experience will get worse and worse as it gets busier and becomes reliant on bolt-on terminal buildings which weren’t part of the original master plan. Ah well…25 Sep 2015
Ian, you’ve succinctly identified the issue. But who to blame……
The original architects that could and should have designed future proofed plans…Thus future proofing further expansion…
Existing architects either agreeing to build cheap sheds or on the opposite scale ,buildings that are grandiose extension of their egotistical personality. And in both cases ignoring the ergonomics of the original …
Or do we blame the bean counters , that insist on cramming as many retail outlets into a space that is used by people whose primary mission isn’t shopping…
And now, we have people in the industry, inventing innovative ancillary fees to charge us for what was mundane processes….
Let’s not forget …..terrorists……
And finally, is it possible to put the blame for these carbunckles at our own feet……We demand things, we tolerate things, we demand different things, and importantly we shrug our shoulders and suffer.
So, to second Markyah, EDI is probably my fault….25 Sep 2015
Future proofing an airport is all very well but it is up to the airport operator to take advantage of it. Stansted was built with the future in mind with ample space for expansion but from I read on this thread they have decided not to use it.
regarding shopping malls masquerading as airports, this seems to be a uniquely British phenomenon. Does anyone have any idea how a campaign could be started to change this? I wonder if Health & Safety rules could be used as forcing everyone to go through a crowded duty free must create issues if an evacuation was needed.25 Sep 2015
Oh canucklad, you have also hit the nail on the head. The original plan from Sir Norman was, I believe, the X-shape, with a significant element of future-proofing. So I don’t blame him. Who I *should* blame is a whole different (and very lengthy) story…
The only airports I can think of that I have genuinely enjoyed as an experience – but this is in the early days before they started being expanded – were Koh Samui, Hong Kong and Singapore (Changi). All have outgrown their original designs and become a lot more painful.
I should have included another one in my original list, though, which I loathe with a truly visceral hatred (because it was such an incredibly wasted opportunity) – Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. They had the ability to build a truly iconic, well-thought-out, efficient hub airport. Instead they built a complete mess with incredibly long walks required on every single trip I have taken from there or transit I have made through there. The check-in area is dire, the lounges are woeful, and I can’t think of a single thing about it that I like. And to think they started with a completely clean sheet, and not that long ago… At least some awful airports had the excuse that their original design was fit for purpose. Suvarnabhumi was a disaster from the very first day.25 Sep 2015
Strangely I do not mind Suvarnabhumi too much – whilst I am still mobile!
Totally agree the walking distances can be huge and that is the flaw in a single gigantic terminal layout. But in my experiences – and I travel to and transit through it regularly – is that it works reasonably well. But you do need to be fit!
Is it an improvement on the old Don Muang? I would say so. Anyone recall the open air walkway that linked its international to domestic terminal? Now that was a hike.25 Sep 2015
Well Ian, I’m scratching my head to think of an old airport I’ve used recently that was fit for purpose and an enjoyable experience. Andhas expanded gracefully.
And the only one I can think of is….YVR, yet it still has its critics.
Like you I don’t get Bangkok and because I don’t have the luxury of the lounge at HKG, it sadly has lost its appeal, specifically when I’m departing
Now, you’ve made me laugh Bath_VIP…. The reason I’ve fallen out with HKG is the replacement of the Sports Bar with a pizza express….Now there is only a poncy overcrowded piano bar, at EDI I’ve no such worries.
Yet ,and here’s you’re H&S campaign point. Its more ironic and some would argue hypocritical to allow EDI to forcefully flow all passengers,including children past alcohol and tobacco than anywhere else in the UK. Simply because the SNP has correctly targeted “DRINK” (imagine Father Jack) as a problem Scottish society has to get to grips with…
Yet, you pass security and after a pathetic walk retracing your steps you’re met with lovely lassies tempting you with spirit….25 Sep 2015
Once remember having to negotiate a crowd as I negotiated the compulsory duty free area at Glasgow airport on my way to a 7am flight. The cause? A free tipple of vodka – at 6:15 on a Tuesday morning.25 Sep 2015
Those free tipples at GLA are a real nuisance. After one of my friends innocently tripping over his bag at check in the lovely woman behind the desk enquired about how drunk we were (not even close to merry FYI). She then insisted we don’t have anything more to drink once through security, which we half-heartedly agreed to.
Upon arriving in duty free we were met by another lovely member of staff who proceeded to allow us to test the entire backlog of Stolichnaya vodka (minus the Gold brand)… all the while regaling us with stories of how he once had liver failure after drinking an entire bottle of the stuff.
Safe to say we floated onto the aircraft after a few more beverages in the pub.
Only in Scotland…25 Sep 2015