The New Race for Space

Finding Efficiencies in Airport Spaces

By Melissa Kelley

Picture this: Your flight arrives at the airport, and you’re ready to make the mad dash to catch a connection. Retrieving your carry-on from the overhead, you head out of the plane and up the ramp to the terminal, making a beeline for your gate.

A sea of people slows your progress, but you eventually arrive to find the only available seating at the gate is on the floor. Reluctantly, you find a spot and settle in to wait for your next flight.

Solving a Growing Problem

This scenario is unfortunately not uncommon. As airports and air travel continue to evolve, increases in traffic are occurring at passenger terminals across the country and around the world. This influx of new passengers in an already tight airport environment places a premium on airport spaces. Higher capacities mean more congestion, which negatively affects both the customer experience and the ability of employees to effectively perform their jobs. Common spaces, including ticketing counters, seating at gates and bathrooms — even employee support spaces — often are outdated and inefficient, causing high costs and headaches for the airports, airlines and the customers they serve.

Space planning studies are a part of airport terminal design that offers a solution to this increasingly apparent issue by examining the state of the front-of-house and back-of-house spaces. The process provides airlines with options to save money, gain efficiency for its employees, and increase its level of customer service by modernizing spaces and creating consistent airline branding and standardization across all locations. Doing so offers customers a better experience, allows for more flights, and creates cost savings and increased revenue for the airline and the airport.