In the latest developments at major airports, JetBlue customers get a new venue at New York Kennedy; an artist’s rendering shows what the “new” LaGuardia will look like; new technology helps Dallas travelers find parking spaces; London moves forward on a third runway at Heathrow; and a world capital with very few flights opens a big new passenger terminal.
At New York JFK, JetBlue has cut the ribbon on a new outdoor passenger lounge on top of its Terminal 5 roof. It’s open to travelers who have passed through the security check, and offers views of the Manhattan skyline and of Eero Sarinen’s classic old TWA Terminal next door. There’s even a dog-walking area, along with some food and drink carts and kiosks.
A few months ago we reported that the New York/New Jersey Port Authority was moving ahead with a massive, years-long reconstruction of its cramped, aging LaGuardia Airport — preferred by travelers for its proximity to Manhattan, but not for much else. New York’s Global Gateway Alliance — a group dedicated to airport improvements — has released an artist’s rendering of what the new Central Terminal at LGA will look like when the project is finished — and its sweeping curves and soaring lobby look nothing like the existing utilitarian terminal.
Passengers at Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport who use the huge (6,050 covered spaces) Terminal A garage can now take advantage of the latest in airport parking technology: A $176 million improvement project has provided parking sensors throughout the facility. Each parking space will now show a status light with its color indicating whether it’s available, and for how long. “The lights are clearly visible from several hundred yards away, and signage at the end of each driving aisle also indicates how many spaces, and what types of spaces, are available adjacent to travelers’ departure gates,” said a spokesman for INDECT USA, which did the work.
In London, a U.K. commission assigned to review options for airport expansion has recommended that the government move forward with a controversial $28 billion plan to build a new runway at Heathrow. Worried that failure to do so would mean the loss of business to large airports on the continent, the commission said a new runway could mean a 40 percent expansion of flight capacity at the congested airport. Meanwhile, Heathrow’s 47-year-old Terminal 1 closed its doors this week as planned; it will be torn down to make room for expansion of Terminal 2.
Only a few airlines operate there, offering just a handful of flights mostly to China and Russia, but North Korea’s Pyongyang Airport this week cut the ribbon on a big, gleaming new passenger terminal. The facility got a new control tower as well, and Kim Jong Un himself showed up for the festivities. It has modern conveniences like a pharmacy, jewelry store and a coffee bar. The North Koreans are said to be working on ways to expand their foreign tourist arrivals.
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