We fly a LOT.
Between the four of us in Out Adventures’ tiny Toronto office we collect Air Miles, SkyMiles and Island Miles. We’re part of the AAdvantage Program, we have a Fly Away Rewards card and up in Canada we’re part of both the Aeroplan and VIPorter program. We’ve touched down in every continent and have flown most airlines. Sooo you’ll have to forgive us for being avid about aviation.
Two weeks ago, the four of us crowded around Rob’s desktop Google imaging Mexico City’s upcoming airport NAICM. It was between our Oohs and Ahhs Rob exclaimed, “Hey, can we blog about the best airports being built right now?!”.
And here we are, a few weeks later with three airports we can’t help but gush over. Starting with – you guessed it – NAICM.
1. NAICM, Mexico
Launch: Three runways are set to open in late 2018. However, the design’s full six runways won’t be complete until 2028.
Why we’re excited: Greater Mexico City is a bustling metropolis for business and tourist travellers alike. In 2016, Mexico City International Airport saw 42 million passengers clamber through its out-dated halls, 3.3 million more than the previous year. If you’ve ever been, you know the airport has far-exceeded its capacity and can no longer keep up with the traffic demands of the Latin capital. NAICM will greatly mitigate this.
Leading architecture firms Norman Foster and Fernando Romero are piloting the design with a futuristic glass and stainless steel single terminal; think the Louvre, but less pyramid-y. The single terminal design will create shorter walking distances for passengers, few level changes and easy navigation.
Perhaps the airport’s most important feature is its minimal eco-footprint. The structure will use less energy to power than a collection of terminals/buildings could and the entire structure will be heated and cooled by 100% outside air.
2. Beijing Daxing International Airport, China
Launch: Fingers crossed, the airport will meet its 2019 open-date with full completion slated for 2025.
Why we’re excited: One word: design.
The government of China held a design competition among leading architecture firms to win the massive contract. Zaha Hadid Architects won with a five-limbed design (see pics) with each limb paying ode to the Chinese cultural elements silk, tea, porcelain, farmlands, and Chinese gardens.
The airport may only be in the early stages of construction but the exoskeleton is already something to behold. The design features dramatic, smooth curves and a modern, light sensibility. The innovative structure will perfectly compliment Beijing’s already elaborate roster of architectural marvels.
3. Istanbul New Airport, Turkey
Launch: Istanbul New Airport will see its first airplane touchdown October 29, 2018, AKA Republic Day among Turkish. Full completion is expected by 2023.
Why we’re excited: Of our three picks, Istanbul New Airport is the most expensive and ambitious. It intends to be the largest airport in the entire world servicing 90 million people per year in its first phase alone. By phase four in 2023, the airport will be able to service 150 million people!
It will be co-designed by Aecom and Pininfarina. The duo have included many odes to Turkey’s rich history including a traffic control tower resembling Turkey’s symbolic tulip. By completion, the airport will have six runways, one main terminal, two satellite terminal buildings and 88 aircraft passenger bridges. A large plaza at its entrance is planned to connect with already existing land transport ensuring easy access to Istanbul’s business district.
So what does a project of this magnitude cost? 10.2 billion euros. That’s over 12 billion USD!