why do airports have such weird plane parking logistics, where you are have to taxi for 10 minutes after landing? Wouldn’t it be easier to have a docking station right at the end of the runway and in a similar fashion to how lorries park in a warehouse (all in one line)?


I understand that wingspan would be an issue but that can be solved by raising every second parking spot ground height by a few meters. Can’t it ?

In: Other

So I am gonna make a few examples based off the airports I know, but many try different configurations and none are that much faster as you have a lot of architectural challenges.

At DIA in Denver, we have a few runways, but a ton of traffic so basically if the main runways had docking stations at the end they would be dominated by United and Southwest as we are a hub for those airlines. It’s hard to believe that this would be fair to other planes. But we still have more than one runway…

In much of south America they have only one runway, and the limit becomes baggage and plane turnaround as they’ll bus you or let you walk across the tarmac. But there’s no good way to move that many people, so it get broken down among many gates and areas…

At Seattle Tacoma they have lots of different places along several runways for planes to dock, and then you are taken to a central terminal if I remember correctly. This would be the most similar to what you describe, but it creates commutes on the other side or requires trains like at DFW/etc…

Basically, it’s all a matter of moving people and their stuff, how big your planes are, how fast you turn em around, how many carriers, and whether or not one carrier can tell the others how to act.

Different plane sizes… not all wings are same level. Raising one might actually hit another. Also planes take off and land into the wind. If the wind changed direction u would be at the wrong end.

Great, you’ve optimized for 1 plane.

Now how do you handle 30? More gates? Okay, you’ve built a terminal at the end of the runway

Now how do you handle changes in wind direction? Planes may not always be able to land heading towards the terminal, they may have to land from the terminal heading away from it which means a long drive for the planes, or a terminal on the side.

Now what if you have multiple runways so you can still land in crosswinds? Then you have an L shaped runway config and have to put the terminal in between those

Now what if you have 90 planes coming and going per hour and the average turnaround time is an hour? Now you have to have at least 90 gates which is going to require a fairly large building

Because of all your other constraints you now have a large building off to the side from the runway with lots of gates and planes having to drive to and from the runway they need to use.

Some airports have planes landing every 10 minutes. It can take up to 30 minutes to empty a plane. There would be a jam