This week: Berlin builds airport, Denmark has wayfinding app & more

We’re back from our little break and have quite a number of interesting stories from the past week or so. Three stories come from Europe and one from the Middle East. The U.S., normally dominant on airport related stories is absent in our review this week, which we think, is a welcome change. However, you can re-read all posts we published throughout the week on our Twitter page (which has a few U.S. stories…).

Let’s start with Denmark where it’s capital city airport, Copenhagen’s Kastrup Airport (CPH) introduced a technological novelty this week: Passenger Terminal Today reported that the airport has introduced a new wayfinding tool that allows users to visualise their trip through the airport using 360º photo panoramas of all the passenger areas. According to the airport it is the first in the world to introduce this type of interactive tool, allowing passengers to virtually travel from the Metro station or car park, through the terminal and to the boarding gate from their PC or smartphone. You can find the app here.

Jumping to the Middle East, or more precisely Dubai, where this week word got out that their new airport terminal is supposedly opening on 27 October. Arab News wrote that Dubai’s new international airport, which started cargo operations in 2010, will open its long-delayed passenger terminal on Oct. 27 with two budget airlines launching services there, airport authorities said yesterday. European low-cost carrier Wizz Air and Saudi Arabia’s nasair will begin passenger operations into Dubai World Central, Dubai Airports said in a statement.

In England the ongoing debate about what to do with the increased demand for air traffic in the South East went into another round this week when the Economist published an article titled “Heathrow: our solution”. It’s a bold title where the magazine pitches a solution to expand Heathrow (LHR) westwards. The article outlines many pro’s and con’s of the various proposals and closes by saying that since the Airports Commission’s interim report is likely to start ruling out all proposals for entirely new airports, and rejecting any revival of Heathrow’s old third-runway plan, it should offer a clear evaluation of the two remaining, sensible options—expanding Heathrow westwards or adding runways at Gatwick and then Stansted. On the evidence so far, going west is best, the magazine concluded.

Germany’s appetite to talk about new airports are about on the same level as those in England. It’s not surprising then that a proposed new airport in central Germany faced sharp criticism over costs this week. Fox News reported that critics say [the proposed expansion of] Kassel-Calden is too close to airports such as Hannover and Paderborn. It’s also less than two hours by train from Germany’s main Frankfurt hub.

The origin of all those critics in Germany is of course based on the super delayed Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). This week a online magazine called The Atlantic Cities wrote an article about LEGOLAND’s Discovery Centre in Berlin unveiling their mini version of the never-ending construction project. Check out the photo comparisons to the real thing here.

That’s all for this week – safe travels!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by no]