Next week, millions of Americans will hit the road and take to the sky for Thanksgiving and holiday season travel. In some ways, that’s more of the same: at any time of year, American airports are some of the busiest in the world, and the Thanksgiving holiday is perennially one of the busiest travel times of the year.
Yet as demand has increased over the years, much of our aviation infrastructure largely has not kept pace. Many of our aviation facilities are outdated and in need of major renovations in order to ensure public safety, maximize efficiency, and enhance the customer experience.
But that dynamic is starting to change. Safety, the new economics of flight, and consumer demand are three of the major factors shaping how airlines and airport officials are approaching the need for upgrades and renovations.
Post-9/11 security concerns are being addressed in the context of a desire for greater efficiency in passenger traffic flow, prompting airports to rethink how they lay out checkpoints and process passengers.
Trends in aviation like upgauging (the switch to larger, more fuel efficient jets) mean adjusting terminal layouts to accommodate wide-bodied aircrafts and more passengers. And air carriers and airports are making changes in response to new consumer expectations, undertaking major renovations to airport common areas, with airports adding everything from local restaurants rather than national chains, to replacing their smoking lounges with yoga rooms.
To understand how all these trends are shaping the construction of the airport of the future, check out our aviation infographic:
About the Author
MacAdam Glinn is Vice President and National Director of Skanska USA's Aviation Center of Excellence.