Sunday, November 27, 2011

World's Best International Airports

Today in the world of quick transportation and world travel, airports have come to play a major role. The last years of the decade have seen a massive development and upgradation of different airports of the world in order to grab the awards for spaciousness and passenger friendliness. Here are your top ten choices of international airports, in case you are planning an itinerary worth remembering this 2011.

Hong Kong International Airport
A bird's eye view of Hong Kong International Airport yy Wylkie Chan (Wylkie Chan) CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on the island of Chek Lap Kok, the Hong Kong International Airport is the nerve centre of the crisscrossing highways, bridges and railways covering the city. Inaugurated in July 1998 for commercial use, this airport sprawling over 1,255 hectares was originally designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster. Today it is counted as not only one of the largest but also most modern and technologically well-equipped airports ever built in the 20th century. Its two runways and two terminals cater to about 90 airlines world-wide, over 40 billion passengers and more than 3 million tones of cargo annually.
Terminal 1 Departures Hall of Hong Kong International Airport.
Entrance gallery at Hong Kong, China's ultra-modern Chek Lap Kok Airport designed by famed British architect Sir Norman Foster.
Hong Kong International Airport with its runway length of 3,800 meters happens to be the hub for a number of international airways, including the likes of Hong Kong Airlines, Dragonair, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Express Airways and Air Hong Kong. This is largely because Hong Kong is the prime stopover for a host of flights taking to the Kangaroo Route between Australia and Europe. The airport has a workforce of about 65,000 providing 24 hours of service all year round. There are 59 frontal stands and 27 remote stands for passenger aprons and 34 stands for cargo apron at the aircraft parking bays.

Singapore Changi Airport
© Changi Airport Group
Popularly known as Changi Airport, this airport is regarded as a main aviation hub in Singapore as well as the entire South East Asia. Stretching to 13 square kilometers in area, this airport is only 17.2 kilometers away from the Changi commercial centre. It has two parallel runways of 4000 meters length and 60 meters width. Going by the records of September 2010, Singapore Changi Airport serves over 100 airlines connecting 200 cities across 60 countries and international destinations. This makes it the 18th busiest airport in the world and also the fifth busiest in Asia. Owing to its strategic position, it functions as the secondary hub for Qantas airlines, ferrying more than 2 million passengers annually.
Interior of Changi Airport, Singapore
Singapore Changi Airport is run by the Changi Airport Group, which functions as the home base for SilkAir, Singapore Airlines Cargo, Tiger Airways, Singapore Airlines, Valuair, Jetstar Asia Airways and Jett8 Airlines Cargo. An interesting fact about the Changi Airport is that it adds up a major contribution to the Economy of Singapore by hiring more than 28,000 of its people. Because of its remarkable service excellence since its opening in 1981, the Changi airport has won more than 360 awards till date.
Intern of departure hall in Singapore Changi Airport.

Incheon International Airport
Photo from kalevkevad
As the largest and busiest airport in South Korea, Incheon International Airport serves as the main airport for the Seoul national capital area. The airport is strategically positioned between the Yongyu and Yeongiong islands, on a superbly designed artificial tract of land recovered from the former shallow sea. Both the islands as well as the artificial land area fall under the jurisdiction of the district of Jung-gu. The Incheon Inetrnational Airport Expressway connects the airport to the mainland as well as the Gimpo International Airport.
Seoul Incheon airport railway station - Photo from kalevkevad
Incheon Airport - Photo from riNux
Being the eighth busiest airport of Asia, Incheon International Airport is connected with a thick network of bus, limousines and ferry service from almost all parts of South Korea. It presently serves as the main hub for Polar Air Cargo, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines. It connects about 176 destinations world-wide and handles 70 airlines annually, which is inclusive of a major part of cargo air traffic and flight passengers in East Asia. The airport has 35,000 air personnel and 74 boarding gates, with 30 gates in Concourse A and 44 gates in the main terminal. It has received a 5-star ranking by Skytrax because of its elaborate luxury arrangement of casino, spa, golf course, ice skating rink, private sleeping rooms, etc.

Munich Airport
© Flughafen München Gmb
The Munich Airport is located near the old German city of Freising and is the second busiest airport of the country. It is located within 28.5 km of the city center of Munich and functions as the hub Star Alliance airlines and also the second hub of Lufthansa other than Frankfurt. Interestingly, the land allotted to the airport belongs to four different municipalities, namely Marzling, Freising, Oberding and Hallbergmoos.
© Flughafen München GmbH
Photo from anee.baba

The Munich Airport covers 760,000 sq km of area and it has 75 aircraft parking positions, 47 Boarding Stations, 24 passenger bridges and 4 stands for regional jets. It has two parallel runways, each of which is 4000 meters in length and 60 meters in width. Besides, it also has two different terminals for streamlining flight traffic. Terminal 1 is 1,081 meters in length and has a capacity of handling 20-25 passengers annually and 19,200 pieces of luggage per hour. Terminal 2 has total floor area of 260,000 sq km of total floor area, 124 check-in counter and capacity of handling 14,000 pieces of luggage per hour. Besides these, the airport also has other facilities like 4 multi-storey car parks, 6 underground car parks and 20,000 parking spaces for visitors and holiday-makers.

Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing International Capital Airport - Photo from neutralSurface
Situated 32 km to the northeast of Beijing, this airport is owned and run by the Beijing Capital International Airport Company Limited. It happens to be the second busiest international airport of the world, just after Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. It also features in the Top 30 international airports of Asia in terms of both passenger and cargo traffic. It functions as the hub for Air China, China Southern Airlines and Hainan.
Beijing Capital International Airport, Terminal 3 - Photo from thewamphyri
In 2008, the airport opened a spacious Terminal 3 for accommodating rapidly increasing traffic volume. In 2009, Beijing Capital International Airport was named as the World’s Best Airport after an elaborate survey, which considered the categories of cleanliness, luggage handling, clarity of signs and speed of immigration and security clearance. It is hailed as the fifth largest airport building in the world by its area and the second largest airport terminal after Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport.
The Amazing Airport - Photo from Stuck in Customs

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Schiphol airport
As one of the 5th busiest international airport of Europe, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is synonymous with order and good management. It also clinches the 17th spot for largest cargo tonnage in the world. The airport is located in the southwest of Amsterdam and is just 20 minutes drive away from the Dutch capital. It has 6 runways used for general aviation aircraft. Schiphol Airport is uniquely constructed as a single terminal consolidating 3 large departure halls and 4 terminals.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport - Photo from caribb
As per the records of 2009, the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport connected 265 destinations world over, carrying about 45.3 million passengers, 12% of which headed to and from North America, 67% to and from Europe and 9% to and from Asia. Currently, Frankfurt Airport, London Heathrow Airport, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and Madrid-Barajas Airport are the closest competitors of this star-rated Dutch airport. As such, the airport handles 124,000 passengers on 1,016 flights on a daily basis and regarded as the Gateway to Europe.

However, in view of the increasing traffic and landing related issues, the airport has been expanded recently to incorporate a 7th runway, a Terminal 4 and plans are under way to create a separate new terminal between the Zwanenburgbaan and Polderbaan runways.

Zurich Airport
Zurich Airport
Also known as Kloten Airport, Zurich Airport is located in the canton of Zurich in Switzerland. It is operated by the Flughafen Zurich AG and is the largest hub and international airport of Swiss International Airlines. The airport has been awarded a 4-star ranking by Skytrax, sharing the honor with 8 other internationally reputed airports around the globe. The Zurich Airport is connected to the far corners of Switzerland as well as Germany via train, tram and inter-city bus services.
Waiting area in the Zurich airport
The Zurich Airport undertook a massive expansion project in 2003, in the course of which it introduced a new parking garage, an automated underground train to ferry passengers between the old and the new terminals and a new midfield terminal. After 2008, Unique Company undertook plans to completely revamp the fingerdock ‘B’ structure of the airport and the Terminal ‘E’ will be shortly connected to the main building using a quick ride on the underground Skymetro. The record of handling 22.9 million passengers annually will be set to boost once the renovation work completes.

Auckland International Airport
The International Terminal at Auckland International Airport, New Zealand.
Photograph taken by Lee Kindness, 30/09/2005.
Ferrying more than 13 million passengers every year, the Auckland International Airport in New Zealand is definitely the busiest air traffic handling center of the southern hemisphere. It is conveniently located in the suburban area of Mangere, which is just 21 kilometers away from the heart of Auckland’s business district. Its 321 operating staff offer 24 hours of service, with no record of curfew till date. It has more than 8,400 car parks and almost 60 outlets in the passenger terminals.
Gate 8 in Auckland International Airport - Photo from Velaia (ParisPeking)
It expands over 1,500 hectares of land area and reserves another 363 hectares for property development in future. The international terminal of this airport has 14 airbridge stands and 10 remote stands while the domestic terminal has 12 gate stands, 8 airbridge stands and 4 remote stands. As the fourth busiest international airport in Australia, Auckland International Airport records 45 flight movements every day. It serves as the main hub for Air New Zealand as well as the secondary hub for Pacific Blue.

A third northern runway is being constructed since November 2007 for accommodating the landings of smaller airplanes and keeping the main runways clutter-free. Voted the 8th best airport in the world, it shares the top three positions for handling 5-15 million passengers in a year.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Main Terminal Building and Tower at KLIA
By Craig (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Hailed as one of the most important aviation hubs of Asia, Kuala Lumpur International Airport is situated in the Sepang district, which is about 50 km away from the Malaysian capital. Being located at the tip of southern part of Peninsular Malaysia, the airport is surrounded by the cities of Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Shah Alam and Malacca in its four sides. It also functions as an attractive joint for business opportunities, relaxation and entertainment. Its natural forest setting gives it a feel of homely and friendly airport, which is quite unique in its greenery.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport - internal rain forest
Photo from leozaza
The interior of the international airport of Kuala Lumpur.
If you are a car racing enthusiast, you can have some adrenaline rush at the Formula One racetrack near the airport. In fact, this racetrack is used to hold the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix even every year in March, which is quite a crowd-puller in its own right. Other than this, the track also serves as a magnet for other sports activities throughout the year like rally racing and cycling. You can enjoy a perfect time unwinding in the 80-room Airside Transit Hotel or the 5-star The Pan Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur, both located near the airport. It’s chiefly this combined scope for adventure and relaxation that has helped the airport win the World’s Best Airport award thrice in a row.

Copenhagen Airport
Photo from Diego’s sideburns
Situated on the island of Amager, Copenhagen Airport serves as the main international airport not only for Copenhagen but also for Denmark and the Oresund Region. It is only 8 kilometers away from the Copenhagen city center while the Malmo city center lies 24 kilometers to its east, on the other end of the Oresund Bridge. Copenhagen Airport is upheld as the largest and busiest international airport of the Nordic countries and counts amongst the oldest ones in Europe.
Copenhagen Airport Terminal 3 - Photo from Terry Wha
Owned by Københavns Lufthavne, Copenhagen Airport is the main hub for Scandinavian Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia, Cimber Sterling and Norwegian Air Shuttle. It handles 60, 000 passengers per day and has 60 scheduled airlines. It records a capacity of 83 loadings per hour and has space for accommodating 108 airplanes.

Source :

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...