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Design & Construction I

Daxing International Airport is huge – at more than 7.5 million square feet and capable of hosting up to 72 million travellers annually, it is the largest single-structure airport on the planet. Future Airport talks to Cristiano Ceccato, its project director at Zaha Hadid Architects, about the challenges in building such a large structure while living up to the design ethos of the practice’s namesake, who did not live to see her star-shaped creation completed.

Design & Construction II

Situated in the north-east of Brazil, Bahia has a unique culture compared to the rest of the country. As the state’s new airport opens to the public, Future Airport talks to architect Paula Maia and Viviane Braga, architectural coordinator for VINCI Airports, about how they worked together to build an airport that truly reflects the region it serves.


In July 2019, Frankfurt Airport was one of 194 hubs across Europe to sign up to the NetZero2050 agreement, pledging to be carbon neutral within three decades. Future Airport talks to Dr Wolfgang Scholze, head of environmental management at Fraport, about how Frankfurt has been progressing, and what further measures it needs to take to fully achieve its goal.

Air Traffic Management I

Air Traffic Control is vital to the safe management of flights in and out of airports – it is also infinitely repetitive, and ripe for automation. Future Airport examines the potential of artificial intelligence to take the reins away from bleary-eyed controllers and expedite more efficient flight management.

Air Traffic Management II

In air traffic management, slowing down operations sometimes leads to more efficiencies in getting aircraft in and out of the hub than speeding them up. That, at least, is the conclusion from Gatwick, after the trial of its XMAN arrival management system led to reductions in CO2 emissions, fuel usage and holding times for aircraft attempting to land at the airport. Future Airport talks to its head of queue and capacity management solutions, Andy Shand, about the project’s development.

Airside Operations

Last year, California's state government ruled that all airport bus fleets should transition to electric-powered vehicles by 2035. Though seemingly a small component of Sacramento's overall green strategy, the proponents of the new law hope that it will not only provide an example for public transport across the state, but also make a significant contribution toward its airport's emissions targets. Future Airport talks to Samantha Bricker, chief environmental and sustainability officer at Los Angeles World Airports, and Nupur Sinha, planning and environmental director at San Francisco International Airport, about the opportunities and challenges that have come with the transition to electric vehicles for airside operations.

Terminal Operations I

Parking – whether the cost of it or attempting to find your car after returning from holiday – can prove to be a nuisance for travellers at airports. Now, two approaches toward automating the process promise to reduce this anxiety, cut emissions and introduce new efficiencies into what has long been regarded as a thankless aspect of airport management. Future Airport talks to Kyle Sundin, manager of airport parking at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, about the new DESIGNA ABACUS PARCS solution at JFK, Newark and LaGuardia airports, and Tanguy Bertolus, CEO of Lyon Airport, about its new robotic parking valets.

Terminal Operations II

For airport staff, a proficiency in multiple languages is helpful when it comes to managing the needs and concerns of millions of passengers, foreign and domestic, passing through terminals each day. Translation apps are now making that even easier. Future Airport talks to Gordon Dewar, CEO at Edinburgh Airport, about the hub’s introduction of its Pocketalk translator, and Roel Huinink, president and CEO at JFKIAT, about its use of real-time translation apps by Google.

Terminal Operations III

Recent months have seen up to half of humanity live under some form of enforced lockdown, as governments around the world do their best to halt the transmission of Covid-19 both within and without their own borders. The impact on airlines has been predictably devastating, with flights reduced to a trickle and most airports either closed or operating with just skeleton staff. As the world contemplates reopening, however, the sector has begun to reckon with a new role it will have to play in the coming years: as a first line of defence against a similar pandemic event. Future Airport talks to industry analysts to find out more.

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