New airports to travel to next


We’ve checked out the latest information on airport construction and expansion projects around the world. Read on to learn how these new airport changes could affect your future travel plans.

Be sure to cross some of these new airports off your checklist this year. Image credit: Vladislav Starozhilov
Be sure to cross some of these airports off your checklist this year. Image credit: Vladislav Starozhilov

As the modern world continues to develop, more people are traveling the globe than ever before. China alone is building eight new airports each year, and air travel is expected to double over the next 20 years. With such a striking rise in the demand for air travel, bigger airports, larger planes, and smarter design elements are needed.

Future-savvy updates prepare today’s airports for tomorrow’s traffic

Along with the logistics of safely moving millions of travelers each year, modern airports are being updated to provide a better user experience for each guest. Large terminals can feel uncomfortable if the right design elements are not introduced.

Many modern airports, such as Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, are taking relaxed themes and modern designs to the grand scale. In the airport’s Terminal 2, which opened in January 2018, you’ll find soft natural light, neat gardens, and restaurants that cater to today’s modern traveler.

Whether it’s an airport being built from the ground up or a current airport being expanded to allow for more traffic, there are many changes happening within the airport world.

Modern new airports are changing the world of global travel

If you have travel dreams to accomplish over the next 10 to 20 years, you’ll have new options for what airports to use. Check out these new airports that either recently opened or will be coming soon.

Istanbul Airport: Open now

Turkey is a major player in the global travel economy, and with Istanbul Airport in operation, their role stands to grow even larger. With a capacity of more than 200 million passengers a year and an award-winning design, this airport may become a major hub in the future. The airport partially opened in October and is expected to become fully operational by March 2019. When the airport is finally completed and operating at full capacity in 2028, it’s expected to be the biggest on the planet.

The futuristic design by Grimshaw, a London architectural design firm, features elements of Byzantine roots, such as dome ceilings and a tulip-shaped control tower. Tulips are the national flower of Turkey.

The airport’s green architectural design harnesses outside light and focuses it into important areas of the terminal. There are modern recycling facilities and rainwater collection systems. The finished airport will include an “airport city”, featuring office buildings, apartments, hotels, a medical center, an art museum, and a shopping mall.

When it comes to perks for guests, the airport offers plenty of modern touches. You’ll find virtual reality and gaming arcades, holograms, and smart tools in the shopping centers, such as high-tech mirrors that allow you to virtually test out items.

The interior of Istanbul's new Airport. Image credit: Istanbul Airport
The interior of Istanbul Airport. Image credit: Istanbul Airport

Murcia-Corvera Airport: Open now

In the past, travelers who were headed to the Spanish city of Murcia had to fly into the San Javier Airport, which is actually a military base with a passenger terminal.

You can now fly into the area via Murcia-Corvera, which is located between Murcia and the neighboring city of Cartagena. Jet2 and EasyJet are two of the airlines with routes planned to the airport so far.

The exterior of Murcia-Corvera Airport. Image credit: Murcia-Corvera Airport
The exterior of Murcia-Corvera Airport. Image credit: Murcia-Corvera Airport

Navi Mumbai International Airport: Estimated opening in 2020

This airport will relieve Mumbai’s other airport, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International, of some of its traffic and bring more economic activity to the area. Once phase one of the terminal design, created by Zaha Hadid Architects, is completed, it’s expected to handle up to 10 million passengers each year. The government hopes to have the airport operating by 2020, but delays in the project, most of which revolve around the displacement of hundreds of people due to the airport’s construction, may push the date back by a couple of years.

After the first phase is complete, expansion will continue from there. Eventually, more than 60 million people will be able to travel through Navi Mumbai each year.

Beijing Daxing International Airport: Estimated opening in late 2019

With a fluid-like design that seems to dance upon the surrounding landscape, Beijing Daxing International Airport offers modern architecture and practicality in one.

The terminals are designed to prevent guests from having to walk long distances. Along with workspaces, restaurants, bars, and shops, the airport will offer a pet hotel, a nursery and daycare center, and a company showroom. It will be the new base for both China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.

Render by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects
The terminal building is designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. mage credit: Render by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects

Berlin Brandenburg Airport: Estimated opening in 2020

Considering how long this airport has been in the works, its grand opening should be quite the special occasion. It was originally supposed to open in 2012, but the project was delayed due to problems with safety regulations and a damaged fire-detection system.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Image credit: Brandenburg Airport
Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Image credit: Brandenburg Airport

Long Thanh International Airport: Estimated opening in 2025

This airport will bring much-needed relief to Ho Chi Minh City’s congested Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The ultra-modern design, developed by South Korean firm Heerim Architects and Planners Co., features a lotus-shaped terminal and a large landscaped garden between the road and the main building. The interior design maintains a cohesive theme, offering guests relaxing features to enjoy, such as lush interior gardens and lily ponds.

Long Thanh Airport will be located a little more than 40 kilometers east of Ho Chi Minh City. Upon completion of all phases of the development, it will have the capacity to move 100 million guests and 5 million tons of cargo each year.

Western Sydney Airport: Estimated opening in 2026

Construction has already begun on Sydney’s newest airport. The airport is planned to be a modern hub that encourages the use of public transit, including Uber’s futuristic flying cars, which are scheduled to begin carrying guests as early as 2023. It will operate round the clock, unlike Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney, which is subject to the city’s noise curfew.

Sydney’s new airport is expected to generate a lot of growth for the local community of Badgerys Creek. It’s expected to create up to 28,000 jobs.

An aerial render of the proposed Western Sydney Airport. Image credit: Western Sydney Airport
An aerial render of the proposed Western Sydney Airport. Image credit: Western Sydney Airport

Warsaw Central Polish Airport: Estimated opening in 2027

Between January and August of 2018, nearly 12 million people traveled through Warsaw Chopin Airport. This was a big jump from the year before, signaling the need for a new international airport in Poland.

It makes sense that Poland is becoming such a large hub. It sits at the crossroads between other major cities, like New York City, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Tehran.

The new Warsaw Central Polish Airport will have the capacity to handle 45 million travelers a year. It will be located in Baranów, which is a little over 40 kilometers east of Warsaw. There will be a 15-minute fast train to shuttle passengers back and forth.

Exciting updates to current airports

Not every area of the world has the open space to build an additional airport, but plenty of major airports are updating their design structures and other features to keep up pace with the modern world.

Los Angeles International Airport: Meeting today’s demands

The major renovations going on in Terminal 1 are now wrapped up. There are new common areas as well as an automated baggage inspection and upgraded security. There are also small upgrades throughout the airport, such as the new check-in kiosks in Terminal 6.

The Landside Access Modernization Program is a plan created by the city to improve traffic congestion at LAX by 2023. Transportation facilities will be updated to help people get where they need to go much more quickly.

The interior of Los Angeles Terminal 1. Image credit: LAX Airport
The interior of Los Angeles Terminal 1. Image credit: LAX Airport

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport: A big new terminal

This terminal expansion endured a few delays, but it’s set to open in May of 2019. The 1.029 billion USD remodeling job is much needed as the airport has been experiencing increased traffic in recent years. Rather than individual security checkpoints for each concourse, the new terminal will feature one large security area that guests will pass through before being free to explore the airport’s three concourses.

The terminal design, which was a team effort between Manning Architects, Pelli Clarke Pelli, and the Crescent City Aviation Team, will feature an airy theme with huge windows. Food and shops will be located at the center of each concourse, providing more seating and viewing areas near the windows. Like many modern airports, there will be interior gardens to help create a more relaxing atmosphere for travelers.

LaGuardia Airport: Improved space and light

New York’s most crowded airport has always been known for its cramped terminals with small corridors and confusing navigation. Now, it’s getting a major reboot with a fresh new design.

Along with six new concourses and a new terminal that will have plenty of windows and natural light, LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is getting a new parking complex and a link to the metro train. This should help lessen the traffic congestion that gives the airport such a bad reputation. The new terminal is expected to be completed by 2022.

Pittsburgh International Airport: A total revamp

Changes in airport traffic and flight plans have left Pittsburgh International out in the cold. Ever since American Airlines merged with U.S. Airways in 2015, the airport has seen a major drop in traffic. However, the airport is now undergoing a 1.1 billion USD renovation effort, scheduled to be completed in 2023.

The airside terminal and the landside building will be merged into one large structure, and the gate areas will be completely revamped. These changes will make the airport, which was once a major travel hub for the East Coast, more desirable for both airlines and travelers.

Changi International Airport: Seeking higher standards

Singapore’s Changi International Airport (SIN) is already considered one of the world’s best. It won best airport in the Skytrax World Airport Awards in 2018. Now, it’s being expanded to become an even more unique and modern travel hub.

Along with the addition of Changi Airport Terminal 5, set to be completed by 2030, there’s also the recently added Jewel Complex, a $1.7 billion tourist destination. Travelers on long stopovers or new arrivals to the city will be able to rest in the hotel, play at the amusement park, relax beside the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, or explore more than 10 floors of shopping and dining.

Changi Terminal 5 will have room for more than 150 million travelers each year. It’s part of the Changi East project, a huge expansion, which includes complex underground tunnel systems, infrastructure, runways, and cargo storage facilities.

Changi Airport. Image credit: TommL/iStock
Changi International Airport. Image credit: TommL/iStock

Al Maktoum International Airport: Big setbacks for an ambitious project

Dubai’s second major airport opened in 2010, so it’s relatively new. Big updates are planned, but as of October 2018, the project has been put on hold. Developers hope for the airport to grow to become the biggest in the world, but financial complications and other issues have delayed it for five years.

Despite the delays, there’s still every reason to believe Al Maktoum International has a promising future. Dubai plans to invest $36 billion into the project and the surrounding complex.

Newark Liberty International Airport: A fresh start

Once a dreary location with poor lighting and mold issues, Newark Liberty is getting a second chance at life. Its modernization project, which is set to be completed in 2021, will soon have it competing with other major airports around the world.

The interior design will feature trees, art installations, and sleek, futuristic lines. There will also be a parking complex with room for approximately 3,000 cars.

Manchester Airport: Increased traffic

Renovations are underway at Manchester Airport to accommodate long-haul flights. Image credit: Manchester Airport
Rendered image of Manchester Airport renovation. Image credit: Manchester Airport

Manchester is one area of the world that’s feeling the increasing demand for international travel. The airport is being completely renovated in order to add more long-distance routes. Terminal 2 will be demolished, and a larger terminal will be added. This project is set to be completed in 2020.

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