World’s Coolest, Most Technologically Advanced Airports

With air travel growing every year airports are doing more than ever to cope with an ever-increasing number of passengers. Dealing with several (if not tens of) thousands of passengers on a daily basis has pushed architecture, engineering and design to its very limits in an effort to make a passengers journey smooth and relaxing. Here are a few of the most notable examples:
London Heathrow (Terminal 5)

The world’s newest airport terminal cost £4.3 billion ($8.5 billion) and is going to ‘revolutionise’ air travel with check in and departure procedures totally redesigned. A state of the art baggage system works in partnership with computers at security, check in and departures, making sure your luggage only boards the plane if you do. So no more delays due to a late passenger’s bag being offloaded.

Dallas Fort Worth (Terminal D)

Completed in 2005 DFW is capable of handling up to 37,000 passengers per day with the aid of Skylink- the world’s largest airport train. The first major American airport terminal to be built post 9/11 the terminal features the most advanced security features available with state of the art systems.

Denver International Airport

The white, peaked, fabric roof of the Jeppesen Terminal minimised the building’s impact on this stunning region; with its backdrop of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. With six de-icing pads- each capable of holding five planes – and with all de-icing fluids collected and recycled – the terminal operates in even the worse conditions.

Beijing Capital International (Terminal 3)

Built to meet the increased demand of the 2008 Olympics passengers can expect to have their luggage just 4.5 minutes after the plane in unloaded; thanks to a $240 million luggage transfer systems. With the dedicated Olympics Hall passengers can expect a seamless journey at a major time in Beijing’s history.

Incheon International, Seoul

The only airport in Asia to have ILS Cat-IIIb: an instumental-landing device that allows airline operation when visibility is as low as 50 meters. As well as a host of other incoprehensible software and hardware, Incheon suffers few diversions or cancellations due to extreme weather conditions and is regarded as one of the safest in the world.

Singapore Changi

Stuck in the airport for a while? Why not take advantage of the free Singapore tour that will whisk you into the city to see the sights before your connection departs. Or you can relax in the spa, fitness area or pool, book into the in terminal hotel for a quick sleep or perhaps just wonder around one the nature trails. If you have the energy you could check out the 24 hour shopping, free Internet and free movie theatre or perhaps just grab a sunlounger for a nap before your flight.

Kansai International, Japan

Built on a man made island in the middle of Osaka Bay engineers had to deal with the high risk of earthquakes, typhoons, storm surges, sinking of the reclaimed land and the construction of a 3km long bridge to link the airport to the mainland. Having sunk 8 meters already architects have places adjustable columns under the terminal to compensate for the shifting land. Despite that sinking feeling, the airport has emerged unscathed from several severe earthquakes that have hit the region in recent years.

East Midlands Airport, England

Named most eco friendly airport in the world East Midlands has focused its technology on decreasing their carbon footprint. The airport is working towards being carbon neutral by 2012 and has installed ground- heating pumps, wind catchers, water recycling facilities and also hope to include wind turbines to fill up to 10% of its energy needs.

Madrid Barajas International (Terminal 4)

The world’s largest airport in terms of terminal area 1 million square meters (11 million sq feet) designed its new terminal with a range of environmentally friendly techniques that allow natural light, and the associated heat, to reduce energy needs. The 1km long wing shaped building is open plan, allowing light and travellers to move freely from check in to departure.

Hong Kong International

In a city where space is at a premium an entire mountain was flattened to create the 13km sq island on which this airport stands- increasing the size of the city by 1%. With an integrated transport centre the airport is linked not only to central Hong Kong but Mainland China; with a partly automated customs and immigration on site (rather than at the border) to allow smooth passage onto the mainland.

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