Adele Chidakel Schwartz has been an aviation journalist for more than 40 years, and is ATW's airport specialist. She has previously worked on Aviation Daily, airport forum magazine and other industry publications.
THAILAND'S CAPITAL CITY HAS A big beautiful new airport with a big ugly problem. Suvarnabhumi International is enormous and has the potential to rival Singapore Changi for Southeast Asian hub traffic. More than 40 years in the planning, it opened to full operations last Sept. 28 with the usual new-airport glitches: Confusing signage, unbalanced lighting and cooling, not enough toilets, balky new systems and the like. These have, for the most part, been corrected.
Then in late January, cracks began appearing in airfield pavement, first in taxiways and later in runways.
Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulamont ordered Bangkok's Don Muang International Airport reopened to both international and domestic flights in order to prevent overcrowding at the new Suvarnabhumi International.
Thailand's Dept. of Civil Aviation postponed renewal of Suvarnabhumi International Airport's safety certification, which expired last week and originally was issued to comply with ICAO efforts to standardize international airport documentation. No Thai airport is currently certificated by DCA. Although lack of certification has no impact on operations at the new Bangkok airport, Thai politicians are trumpeting it in their campaign to discredit the deposed Thaksin government, which built the facility (ATWOnline, Jan.
Pavement cracks at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport are being cited by politicians as a reason to oust Airports of Thailand officials appointed by the deposed Thaksin government, which built the new facility. But a senior member of the airport's professional staff told this website that the cracks are in a few sections of taxiway, not the runways as claimed by airport critics. ATWOnline observed crews repairing small rough spots, probably caused by water seeping under the pavement, in the taxiway adjoining the aircraft ramp.
Although airlines serving European airports have worked with common-use passenger handling systems for decades, US carriers have resisted the technology and US airports have been reluctant to impose it on them. Gradually this is changing. Raleigh-Durham International will build the system into its new Terminal C, making it the first airport in North Carolina to adopt it.
Determined to continue to give Phoenix air travelers the high level of customer service they now enjoy, Sky Harbor International Airport's managers are upgrading and expanding terminal facilities to keep up with the airport's 5% annual growth rate. FAA approval is expected this month for a new terminal complex, taxiway system and people-mover.
When the Greater Toronto Airports Authority added a mezzanine level to Pearson International's new terminal to separate Canada-US passengers from domestic and international travelers and changed the shape of the building's airside edge, it gained some unexpected advantages.
New Orleans Aviation Director Roy Williams is looking to the US government to make up much of the estimated $300 million in damages and lost revenue to the city's principal airport from Hurricane Katrina.
The sixth-busiest AIRPORT
in the world wants to get a whole lot busier. With a stunning new 2.1-million-sq.-ft. international terminal and 21 domestic gates left vacant by Delta Air Lines' departure, Dallas/Fort Worth International's air service development staff is courting carriers all over the world, telling them how they can make money deep in the heart of Texas. It is offering an incentive package worth up to $22.2 million to any
A big warm California welcome awaits the A380 in San Francisco. Four of the available gates in the 1.8-million-sq.-ft. international terminal, the largest in the US in passenger-processing capacity, are scaled for new aircraft with two-level boarding.
With more than two years' experience operating the first all-airport in-line baggage screening system in the US under its belts, Jacksonville International is planning upgrades to the physical facility that will smooth the operation. Later on, the Jacksonville Airport Authority's executive director hopes to join the
authority's German partner in selling the baggage handling expertise they are gaining to other airports and airlines around the world.
When the newest commercial airport terminal in the US opens this month, Ft. Myers airline tenants will get not only a complex twice as large as the old one but also a commitment by the airport director to lower their operating costs.
Looking like a tiny abstract sculpture in the midst of the giant terminals of 21st century John F. Kennedy International Airport, architect Eero Saarinen's 1961 TWA World Flight Center sits empty on what Richard Smyth, JetBlue Airways' VP-JFK redevelopment, calls "the best ramp on the airport."
Thales is aiming to close its $400 million acquisition of JetBlue’s LiveTV subsidiary this summer, but Thales Avionics CEO Dominique Giannoni is remaining tight-lipped on other potential acquisitions....More
Airbus was unable to display its planned design for 11-abreast seating on its A380 at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, despite indicating that a cabin mock-up would be there as recently as last week....More