Tag: airport

China is building the world’s largest airport – too bad New York can’t do the same

th_65d1300db123ce22f6e2569fb36764f8_zha_beijingnewairport197-e1430239766500

China’s upcoming Daxing District airport in Beijing is intended to eventually take the mantle of the world’s largest airport. While the completion date is still years away, airport officials are beginning to spill the beans on what makes the project so special. Here’s what we know so far:

It’s designed to look like a Phoenix. Iraq-born British architect Zaha Hadid chose the phoenix motif in part to contrast with Beijing’s current dragon-inspired Beijing Capital International Airport airport. The phoenix effect may be lost on those pulling up to the departures curb, but anyone coming in for a landing is sure to spot the firebird in all of its aerial glory.

Service will begin in 2019. According to china.org, 45 million passengers will be served by the airport’s first four runways to open in 2019. By 2025, another two runways will open, bringing the total annual passenger count up to 72 million.

Expansion will make it the world’s largest airport by 2040. Granted, similarly grandiose airport projects in the Middle East — or even London — may knock Beijing off of its perch before it ever stakes its claim to the world’s largest title, but current projections expect the phoenix to process 100 million annual passengers by 2040.

It will be seriously speedy. Customs-to-boarding gate times are set to take just 8 minutes. And the baggage claim process is promised to set travelers back only an additional 13 minutes. Zoom zoom!

It has already been called a Wonder of the Modern World. The Guardian has this “megastructure” on its global watch list, already bestowing the modern marvel title on the new airport.

This does not explain why New York’s La Guardia or JFK airport look and function like something out of the developing world.

Yan Baczkowski

Advertisements

JFK, LGA Workers To Strike Wednesday Night

JFK, LGA Workers To Strike Wednesday Night

PHOTO: A plane readies for takeoff at John F. Kennedy International Airport. (Courtesy of Thinkstock)

Air travel at New York City’s two biggest airports could be snarled for the next two days as contract workers for Service Employees International Union’s Local 32BJ voted to walk off the job at 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 22 at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 7.

The strike is scheduled to end at 1 a.m. Thursday, July 23 then resume at 6 a.m. the same day at LaGuardia Airport unless an agreement is reached.

The more than 1,000 contract workers, which include baggage handlers, security officers and wheelchair attendants, all work for Command Security Corp. subsidiary Aviation Safeguards. SEIU has said Aviation Safeguards tried to stop its employees from unionizing, a charge the company denies.

In a statement, the union said, “While the airlines have been making record profits and the Port Authority has approved billions of dollars to modernize LaGuardia airport, the airport workers who make these profits possible are struggling to survive.”

JFK processes more than 50 million passengers a year and Terminal 7 is home to three of its biggest airlines – United, British Airways and Cathay Pacific.

It appears the union workers made at least a conciliatory gesture in starting the strike at 10 p.m., a time when fewer flights are coming in and out of JFK. But if the walkout continues into Thursday at LaGuardia, it could have an effect on Delta Air Lines, which controls more than nearly a quarter of all traffic at LGA.

In a statement issued to Bloomberg News, Delta said it “will be taking measures to ensure that our more than 35,000 customers booked through LaGuardia on Thursday are not affected.”

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which runs New York City’s airports, told Bloomberg in a statement that it “has taken significant steps in recent years to encourage wage and benefit increases for employees of airline contractors at its airports.”