Jean-Paul Rodrigue (2013), New York:
Routledge, 416 pages.
Author: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue
The Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) airport is the seventh largest airport
in the world in terms of passenger traffic. Opened in 1974, it represents
a pertinent example of a major international airport terminal
project located in a new site. It is
located halfway between two important urban agglomerations,
about 28 km of the respective city centers of Dallas and Fort Worth,
Texas. The DFW airport therefore benefits from the air traffic generated
by these two cities.
Since 1980, the total
passenger traffic has grown by 173% with an average annual growth
rate of approximately 10%. Cargo transportation has also become an increasingly
important facet of DFW and has seen a growth of 220% since 1980 with
an annual growth rate of 13%. NAFTA, with nearby Mexico, has been partly
responsible for this strong growth in cargo traffic and has also contributed
to a growth of 94% of international traffic since 1992.
DFW has had a consistently positive economic impact on the local
economy in Texas, generating more than $9.7 billion annually and has
created 185,000 jobs in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. Texas has a particularly
competitive advantage in the airline industry due to its central
location between the eastern and western coasts of the United States
and because of its proximity to Latin America. It thus
competes with Miami for this market. Every major city
within the United States, Canada and Latin America is within four hours
of the DFW International Airport. In fact, more than 60% of all the
traffic at the airport is related to connecting flights going elsewhere.
DFW International Airport also dominates in the air transport employment
sector largely due to its strategic role as a hub for two of the
three largest air carriers in the United States, American
Airlines and Delta Airlines.
DFW International Airport has an innovative
airport layout that is capable of considerable expansion. A
series of connected terminals in the form of half circles sets this
airport apart from other large airports. An automatic train network
links each terminal (2W, 2E, 3E, 4E) and the
airport hotel. Each terminal functions independently from each
other and offers similar services to its passengers. The current four
terminals can accommodate up to 115 planes at one time.
Although DFW is a strong consumer of space, the airport design
allows for future expansion with much larger traffic level. Many new
airports designed in the 1970s had this expectation of very strong
growth levels and secured land and developed infrastructure
accordingly. There is in
fact the possibility of adding five new terminals to the existing
four, therefore increasing the total capacity to accommodate more than
120 million passengers annually. It was estimated that by 2010, 100 million
passengers would transit through the airport. However, current
traffic levels indicate that figures for 2010 may be well below half of what was expected. There
was thus a large
overestimation of the market potential of the airport.
2. Chek Lap Kok (Hong Kong)