Currently Reading

Terminal modernization: Why bother? Part I

Airports

Terminal modernization: Why bother? Part I


By Wilson Rayfield, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP | Gresham Smith | September 11, 2017
Terminal Modernization: Why Bother?
Terminal Modernization: Why Bother?

Entering some airports in the United States can feel like a throwback to the 1970s and 1980s when many of them received their last facelift. As an aviation architect, it’s hard to miss the design details that are clearly reminiscent of the days before government regulated baggage and passenger screening, and certainly well before the notion of self-service and mobile check-in. But knowing the complexities that come with construction at an active airport, in spaces that are operational 18-22 hours a day, it’s no wonder many airport operators tend to resist major renovations until capacity dictate them. But at what cost?

Over time and without enough TLC, these aging facilities are becoming operationally and structurally inefficient. Security requirements and passenger processing are ever-changing, while old buildings are simply less efficient. From space planning considerations based on functional changes like self bag-tagging, to upgrading mechanical and lighting systems for energy efficiency and materials specifications that are easier to clean and maintain, the processes and building must change with the times. Opportunities abound to increase efficiency, maximize opportunities for non-aeronautical revenue such as advertising, improve performance and reduce operating costs. 

 

Norfolk International Airport’s terminal modernization provided operational and functional improvements as well as brighter, more open space for passengers to enjoy.Norfolk International Airport’s terminal modernization provided operational and functional improvements as well as brighter, more open space for passengers to enjoy.

 

With the rapid advancements in technology and on-demand everything, passenger expectations are also high. They want the ability to streamline the process or they require a higher-touch experience. This translates to expectations for more choice in concessions, high-tech facilities with ubiquitous wi-fi and places where they can plug in and connect. Address these areas and in turn, airports are seeing increased revenue from non-aeronautical sources. Research shows that unhappy passengers tend to spend up to 45% less at airports and it impacts that always coveted passenger satisfaction ranking.

The airport typically bookends a person’s experience in a place, so why wouldn’t airports work to deliver an exceptional experience? The Airports Council International – North America (ACI) predicts that in the next three to five years airports will offer a wide range of new and expanded amenities. It’s critical to an airport’s success to meet the passenger’s changing needs and new expectations, not just achieve parity with other airports. Let’s choose to look at this as an opportunity for improvement.

 

Prominent airport information desks and signage eases wayfinding and improves the passenger experience at Tampa International Airport.Prominent airport information desks and signage eases wayfinding and improves the passenger experience at Tampa International Airport.

Tags

More from Author

Gresham Smith | May 7, 2021

Private practice: Designing healthcare spaces that promote patient privacy

If a facility violates HIPAA rules, the penalty can be costly to both their reputation and wallet, with fines up to $250,000 depending on the severity.

Gresham Smith | Mar 4, 2021

Behavior mapping: Taking care of the caregivers through technology

Research suggests that the built environment may help reduce burnout.

Gresham Smith | Feb 10, 2021

Using technology to design better and safer spaces

Our new technology called Gresham Smith’s Empathic Analytics allows us to measure and record a user’s perceived safety.

Gresham Smith | Sep 12, 2019

From project planning to post-construction: Navigating the commissioning process

As building system technology increases in complexity and sustainability remains at the forefront of design, the need for commissioning continues to rise.

Gresham Smith | Feb 12, 2019

The basics of building commissioning

As building system technology increases in complexity and sustainability remains at the forefront of design, the need for commissioning continues to rise. This is the first post in our series examining the basics, benefits and boundaries of building commissioning.

Gresham Smith | Jan 17, 2019

Strategies to improve the human experience during interior renovations

Over the past decade, Flagler Hospital has been undergoing a complex, phased renovation touching every patient room and almost every public space with the aim of improving the patient experience.

Gresham Smith | Sep 11, 2018

The advantages of alleys

Believe it or not, alleys started off as public spaces.

Gresham Smith | Aug 23, 2018

Data driven design: The benefits of building energy modeling

As technology advances, Building Energy Modeling (BEM) is becoming an even more powerful tool for making informed design decisions. This is the first post in our series examining the benefits of BEM in balancing occupant comfort and design features with energy efficiency.

Gresham Smith | Jul 9, 2018

Healthcare and the reality of artificial intelligence

Regardless of improved accuracy gains, caregivers may struggle with the idea of a computer logic qualifying decisions that have for decades relied heavily on instinct and medical intuition.

Gresham Smith | Jun 26, 2018

The future of the ambulatory surgery centers and acuity levels

Offering the one-two punch of cost savings and convenience, ASCs are increasingly becoming the venue of choice for both physicians and patients.

More In Category

Architects

The basics of building commissioning

As building system technology increases in complexity and sustainability remains at the forefront of design, the need for commissioning continues to rise. This is the first post in our series examining the basics, benefits and boundaries of building commissioning.




Big Data

Data driven design: The benefits of building energy modeling

As technology advances, Building Energy Modeling (BEM) is becoming an even more powerful tool for making informed design decisions. This is the first post in our series examining the benefits of BEM in balancing occupant comfort and design features with energy efficiency.


Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: