AVIATION SOLUTIONS AERO DYNAMIC
with a new breed of mega airport rising in Asia and the Middle East, and western hubs reinventing themselves to stay in the game
CHANGING FACE OF AIRPORTS
IN 2012, THE AVIATION INDUSTRY CARRIED 2.9 BILLION PASSENGERS, ON A RECORD 31 MILLION JOURNEYS.
Its growth has far outstripped the global economy over the last two decades, and it shows no signs of slowing. By 2030, passenger numbers are expected to more than double to 6.3 billion, an average annual rise of 4.5%.
In an increasingly interconnected world, airports themselves have become potent symbols of a place’s status and ambition. Flagship projects for developed and emerging economies alike, they are the inspiration for ever greater feats of architecture, engineering, logistics and communications technology.
The modern airport is many things – major employer, vital social and trade link, landmark and luxury destination in its own right. Airports have always been gateways to cities, countries or regions, but now they are also catalysts for economic development or regeneration and key bargaining chips in the global competition for power and wealth.
Read on to find out how WSP Genivar is delivering some of the world’s most exciting aviation facilities, from brand new cities in the desert to community gathering places in the Arctic.
In April 2013, the State
of Qatar shook the aviation industry by offering to serve as the permanent seat of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. It was an audacious attempt to lure the UN agency from Montréal, Canada, its home since 1946. The offer was withdrawn a month later but the message was clear: the aviation industry’s centre is shifting eastwards, and with considerable momentum.
Jim Ratliff, lead director aviation – UK, Middle East, India and Africa
Over the last decade, global patterns of air travel have changed radically. In 2001, the world’s 15 busiest airports were largely in the west – 10 were in the US, four were in Europe and just one was in Asia. By 2012, the US had only five and Europe three, while Asia is now home to seven. One of the fastest growing is Dubai International, centre of the Emirates airline network. The emirate has capitalised on
the fact that two-thirds of the world’s population are within an eight-hour flight to build a vast transfer operation, now second only to London’s Heathrow – a success story that its neighbours are seeking to repeat.
“The traditional notion that European and North American carriers ruled the roost has long since disappeared,” says Graeme Power-Hosking, a specialist in airport development and design and senior technical director at WSP Genivar. “Now Middle Eastern carriers such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways are taking a large chunk of the global market. In such a competitive environment, these countries can tap into a massive global market to support constant growth and expansion.”
While growth has been modest in Europe and North America over the last five years, globally
Patterns of air travel are changing radically,
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