An airport has two major components; an airfield and terminals. A
typical airfield is composed of a runway for takeoffs and landings as well as two (or one) parallel
taxiing lanes (taxiway). Connecting lanes between the runway
and the taxiing lanes usually have an angle permitting the quick exit from the runway for planes
that have just landed. Modern airfield designs provide two of three exiting options per
landing direction depending of the plane's size. A small aircraft will
take less distance to brake than a large aircraft and has thus the opportunity
to exitthe runway, freeing valuable takeoff or landing slots., freeing valuable takeoff or landing slots.
Although there is a wide variety of terminal designs, most fit within
- The linear orientation of terminals (1) allows several
planes to board passengers at the same time (through
jet bridges) and represents one
of the most common terminal design. The drawbackoffthis type
of terminal is when they are of large size, movdhis type
of terminal is when they are of large size, movements of passengers
and luggage can be long particularly if they are used as hubs (e.g.
Frankfurt, Chicago, Brussels, Minneapolis / St. Paul).particularly if they are used as hubs (e.g.
Frankfurt, Chicago, Brussels, Minneapolis / St. Paul).
- The islet (2), or satellite, is an answer to the lack
of terminal space problem by
permitting the stowage of several planes on a smaller terminal surface. The
satellite is often linked to the rest of the airport by a hall or an
underground passage (e.g. Charles de Gaulle, Terminal 1, Dallas/Fort Worth).
- Some airports opt for shuttles (3), which enables to
reduce the size of the terminal and maximize the number of planes
that can be serviced but may involve longer boarding times. This
type of design is however less common for a whole terminal, but
commonly applied to parts of a larger terminal. This can be the
case for smaller domestic planes that are parked on a pad and
serviced by buses. In situations of congestion shuttles can be used for unloading passengers,
which frees valuable gates for boarding. In a normal situation,
freight planes are loaded and unloaded by shuttles (haulers
air unit load devices), so the shuttles design is prevalent
in air cargo operations.