modern airport design

Modern Airport Design

Earlier this year, the Biden Administration added another $1 billion in grants to improve airport infrastructure at 114 airports nationwide on top of the $2 billion granted since 2021. Many cities and states are also pledging tax dollars to help with the updates and modernizing airport design. If you are one of those airports with funds to update, your goals should include modernization and accessibility. However, you should also want to include updates that meet the needs of travelers while also serving the airlines, car rental companies, and other vendors on the property.

What Do Passengers Want?

In a 2022 survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the overwhelming theme to the improvements passengers want to see is modern technology that can improve the conveniences during their visit. Surveys conducted by individual airports throughout the country reflect a similar sentiment. Some of the wish list items from passengers we saw in the many local surveys include:

  • Speedier baggage delivery/tracking of their baggage
  • Limiting announcement noise
  • Shorter TSA lines
  • Better wayfinding for those with vision, hearing or language limitations

As an architecture firm designing airport renovations and new construction, we know that technology and design solves those four big requests.

Keys to Passenger Satisfaction

Some airports are in geographical areas where passengers can choose to fly to or from your facility because of multiple nearby airports (like DC and LA). Other times a passenger has the option to fly through one or two airports for their travels. In order to be the airport of choice, you need to provide the elements passengers want. Tampa International Airport, which recently completed a major renovation, consistently ranks high in customer satisfaction, and one reason is the strong and free wi-fi. Southwest Florida International Airport also boasts high satisfaction because it includes concessions both before and after security. Something that few airports master is the complaint of no available power outlets. Today’s travelers spend too much time waiting for flights without power and wi-fi, both of which are especially important to business travelers.

Modern Airport Design is About Aesthetics Too

Modern airport design doesn’t only mean including outlets and technology, but also smooth transitions between spaces. Consider rounded corners. Add expansive windows for natural light. Seating should be comfortable and available to all types of passengers. Walking areas need to be wide enough to accommodate the volume of travelers without feeling too big. Ask yourself and your team what you can do to balance functionality of all the space in an environment where passengers feel calm rather than anxious.

Call Sandbar Architecture for Your Airport Design Needs

Whether you are planning a renovation, expansion or both, Sandbar Architecture is ready to help. We understand the needs of the traveler. We will work to help you with a modern airport design that fits into the budget you have to work within. Schedule your free consultation by clicking here or calling (727) 308-1773.