BirminghamAirport, England, Feb. 2008 (Wikipedia)

This week: British airport improvements, Korea’s budget terminal and more

It’s been an average week in airport newsland with medium sized stories coming through from around the planet. Nevertheless we’re sure it still makes for an interesting, weekly mix. So let’s dive straight into it.

First up, let us report about two British airports that both published news about their respective runways. There was Birmingham Airport (BHX) in the Middlands that said work had started to extend the runway at in a bid to compete for long-haul flights with neighbouring Manchester Airport (MAN). The BBC wrote that planning permission was granted in 2009 and in February final approval was given for the £40m project to extend the runway by 400 metres. The runway extension could be in use by spring 2014.

The other British airport was London’s Gatwick airport (LGW), that, according to the Telegraph, has stepped up its campaign for a second runway after an increase in passenger numbers pushed half-year turnover up 3.6%. In the article Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick, said the results were proof that competition between the various London airports was the best way of improving aviation capacity in the south east of England.

Further afield in Korea, Business Week reported that Incheon Airport (ICN), South Korea’s busiest, is considering building a dedicated terminal for low- cost carriers after budget passenger numbers surged sevenfold in three years. According to the article Incheon is already working on plans to open a second terminal by 2017, which will boost capacity to more than 60 million passengers a year. A budget terminal would be in addition to this, the airport said.

Thinking of healthy food, the USA isn’t necessarily coming top of mind, however, this week we heard from the New York Daily News which of the country’s airports scored top points for exactly that. According to the article the overall winner this year is Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey (EWR), with a 92 percent score as a healthy menu is offered in 56 of its 61 restaurants. Among the healthy options, passengers can buy falafel sandwiches as well as seaweed salad and vegetable rolls. Brilliant. Only a shame that the research focused entirely on U.S. airports only. We wonder how they would have compared with other countries?

Then there was the CNN that pointed us to a new travel website – a travel dating site. According to the article the concept works by prompting users to enter their personal interests, flight details and departure airport before matching them up with individuals with similar interests and travel arrangements. The site is called Meetattheairport.com. There’s also another site which is more geared towards professionals called Planely.

And to finish the week off, our airport news spotter Mat found an interesting article this week published in Wired, that is reporting about how incoming jets animate Atlanta Airport’s (ATL) epic data-driven sculpture. It’s a very cool thing and is best understood by watching the creator’s short video:

That’s all we have for you this week – safe travels!

[Picture of Birmingham Airport from Wikipedia – some rights reserved]