Most Traffic Efficient Airports

Hey all, today I thought of an interesting topic to myself and hopefully others! What features and designs of airports allow not only air traffic, but car traffic, foot traffic and other forms of transportation to move in a swift manner? Leave your airports below! All topics related to this are old and closed,

What qualifies an efficient airport (air traffic):
A layout that minimizes conflicts between air traffic on taxiways, aprons, runways and maybe even in the air! Also, how fast do the aircraft get to and from their gates to the runways?

In terms of car travel:
Many different parking locations that have ample connections to the main terminals and or other forms of transportation. Is the parking process cheap, expensive, painful or too long?

Other motorized transport:
Are there inter terminal subways, monorails or other people moving contraptions? If so how well do these usually operate? Are they old and out dated or new and sleek?

Passenger walkability:
Can passengers walk short distances between places of importance? Like subway stations, parking lots or terminals? If not what prevents it?

Lastly, how do all of these methods factor in together? Let’s check out some interesting airports and architecture!

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I think LAX does a pretty decent job. I mean I can’t think of a efficient airport off the top of my head that’s “efficient” just a lot of airports with 2000 mile long takeoff que lines 😂

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LAX does seem to do well especially because they have so many runways that are all capable of being used for many aircraft.

KATL
It is my home airport and there is rarely and backlog of airplanes flying in holding patterns. Also (Pre-Covid) they have three runways for arrivals and two for departures

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PANC is laid out the most efficiently in my opinion.

Change My Mind

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KATL, busy airport and fast & efficient

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EGKK. Busiest single runway airport.

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San Francisco handles quite a few departures and arrivals everyday and seems to be pretty efficient compared to some other airports in my opinion… though there have been some pretty serious incidents with aircraft over the years, the amount of departures and arrivals (normally) is pretty high. With their layout of 2 pairs of parallel, intersecting runways, it may seem like it doesn’t work out, but it does.

Arrivals on the 28s and departures on the 1s and 28s, and departures are given priority (for the 1s only) when there are planes inbound as they’re usually already in the air by the time an aircraft is nearing the airport. Multiple taxiways and runway exits, and each is large enough to hold 2 aircraft so if it gets really busy, they can prioritize arrivals before runway crossings.

There are also taxiways behind the runways so aircraft can cross those runways without causing a traffic jam. Cargo area is separate from passenger terminals, and private jets are also separate from both of those. Taxi times are never too long, especially for arrivals.

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Same thing with KBOS, my home Airport. All of the intersecting runways may seem like an issue but when using the parallel traffic flows nicely.

Brisbane airport. Two runways both seperate enough to act independently of one another with a road down the middle and eventually terminals on both sides. Plus air traffic is divided into south and north traffic and each will land on a diff runway

image

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Not gonna brag or anything but KGJT’s layout is unjammable. At any given time there is usually no more than 2 flights on the ramp. These are all tiny regional planes so there is no more than 80 passengers to board per plane meaning at most you’ll have 200 people in the terminal. However, most flights from GJT are quite empty so thus the terminal is empty. Average time from ticket counter to gate is no more than 10mins.


Denver is also quite efficient. Really the only places you’ll get bogged down there are Peña Blvd and the passenger subway. 90% of the reason why you’d miss a flight from DIA would be due to Vail Pass being under 12’ of snow.

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San Fransisco, easily. The amount of traffic they can handle with perpendicular runways (while maintaining smooth operations) is insane. Sorry @BigBert10, but the title has to go to @GlobalFlyer1 here.

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Yes I agree not baised

Especially with SOIA approaches, I see them everyday

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Wouldn’t the most efficient airport in those terms be some airport with barely any flights a day, one thin terminal that lets you pass through security quickly, and has a parking lot next to the terminal?

Santa Barbara for example. It has a thin terminal, car lot’s next to the terminal building. Runway’s next to the terminal.

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Pittsburgh is pretty good here, and for some interesting reasons. We have completely separate air side and ground side terminals, so you park, go into the ground side terminal go through security, drop off your bags, then take an automated train out to the airside terminal, this means the airside terminal can be a free floating “X” in the middle of the Air Field, so planes can go all the way around which minimizes pinch points. But to be fair a lot of our efficiency’s come from being at <50% capacity on a very busy day (thanks US Airways), but still to have to wait for takeoff is a very rare thing, I’ve never (short of a storm) seen planes have to wait for more than one other aircraft to take off, or do anything more than a small downwind extension inbound…

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To add on, Denver is one of the best airports for traffic efficiency. The design avoids the need to cross runways, and no runways intersect each other. It’s also in a pattern that allows it to be used easily from almost any wind direction, as well as the ability to build for the future. We can build six more non-intersecting runways, and expand our three terminals further and build two more.

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That’s one of the major things I think many airports lack, sufficient people movers. They make the freestanding terminals possible!

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San Jose (SJC/KSJC) is a very efficient airport. Not only does it have low delay rates, it also coping really well despite passenger growth pre-pandemic. With two taxiways (Taxiway Z and Taxiway Y), aircraft can either continuously taxi on Taxiway Y or park/pushback onto Taxiway Z. This prevents traffic from getting congested on the ground.

Even in poor, rainy weather, SJC’s delay rates are still fairly low, and most of the delays at SJC are due to mostly to the airlines, departure/destination airport, or passengers and crew…not the airport itself.

The only thing I can see is the most inefficient factor about the airport is no transportation system within the airport. One would have to walk a long distance to get from one terminal to the other. Other than that, I’d say San Jose is the most efficient airport.

Again, more reasons why DIA is the best (we just really really need some more Asian flights tho.)

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Well then you won’t like to hear that there getting rid of it here. It’s a good reason though, as I said were at <50% capacity on a good day. (even without this whole pandemic) our airport was made to be a hub which it no longer is now that US Airways pulled out, it was built for them, and they left, so now we can drop some capacity, and simplify maintenance and rebuilding costs by doing one terminal, which should be more than fine. There also getting rid of a runway, but that still leaves us with two 10,000 ft + runways and an 8,000 ft runway, so that’s more than fine for our operations. Right now this is all on hold though, was supposed to be starting now (they had actually already started some prep work, moving airlines to gates that weren’t going to be immediately worked on changing operations to not use all four runways, that stuff) but if they can get it to work with the construction and the pandemic, this would be a great time to renovate the airport tbh 😂

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