Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Low-cost airlines are now the new major players

05.06.2008
Flexible design in airports essential for courting them

Leading low-cost airlines with a preference for small, inexpensive airports are now the largest airlines in the United States and Europe, according to an MIT expert on airport design and operations, who said that airport planners in major metropolitan areas need to accept this paradigm shift and build flexibility into airport design.

Professor Richard de Neufville of MIT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering said that airport planners have been slow to grasp the reality that the business model of their largest customers has changed dramatically. Low-cost airlines require terminals about half the size of those of the legacy airlines, because they use space more intensively—shared gate lounges, and none or few retail shops and restaurants. The reduced commercial activity results in fewer airport employees going through security checks and helps cuts passenger turnaround time in half.

"Airport planners are still building airports with fancy architecture and lots of retail space, but the low-cost airlines often won't use them. And the low-cost airlines are not necessarily small anymore; they are a growing sector that represents the future. They want smaller, cheaper airports that increase efficiency," said de Neufville, who added that, in general, smaller airports have fewer ground and air traffic control delays than large airports.

In a recent issue of Transportation Planning and Technology, de Neufville states that the largest carriers in the U.S. domestic and European markets are now low-cost airlines that have outpaced the traditional large legacy airlines in terms of market capitalization, airplanes owned (as opposed to leased), and newness of aircraft. To meet the needs of these new industry leaders, airport planners should rely on flexible design, so that a terminal's shape can be altered, say by building and tearing down walls, or expanding up or out.

De Neufville recommends flexible design that encourages airport planners to recognize that major airlines may go out of business, air traffic patterns and distribution may change or move to another airport, and incoming airlines may well reject the facility vacated by a previous customer. The solution is to think through the likely possible scenarios, anticipate responses to those, and incorporate maneuverability into design and operations. This may prevent business failures, such as expensive new terminals designed specifically for legacy airlines that later declare bankruptcy, leaving empty space that low-cost airlines won't use.

"The traditional airport design process is based on a 'most-likely forecast' that ignores uncertainties. These forecasts are always wrong, in that the actual level of traffic in five, 10 or 20 years and the types of traffic occurring are routinely very far off from original predictions," he said. "This can lead to some very embarrassing situations and expensive failures for airport owners."

According to de Neufville, the new JetBlue terminal at New York's JFK Airport will serve twice the number of passengers (20 million) as the recently built international terminal, using just half the space. The new building will cost about the same as Delta's new terminal at Logan Airport (roughly half a billion dollars), but it will serve four times as many passengers. At Logan, JetBlue processes about 0.5 million passengers per gate annually, about twice the number of its neighbor, Delta.

Denise Brehm | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mit.edu

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gecko adhesion technology moves closer to industrial uses

13.12.2017 | Information Technology

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research reveals how diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>