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Old 05-25-2010, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,477 posts, read 2,374,371 times
Reputation: 1819

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I've been to airports all over the U.S. and the world and have found very few of them to have been as sprawled as DIA (in fact, DIA is the second largest in the world when measured by size alone). Some require some form of conveyance to get to concourses and some don't. Most larger American airports have offsite rental car lots. But by and large these are airports in developed areas with no immediate room for expansion.

DIA was different. They could have built any configuration they wanted but they went for the most spread out design possible. I find it hard to believe that the linear design they used is the only accepted configuration for new airports.

Also, while DIA is one of the busiest airports in the world, I don't think the "you call that airport a hub" statements are adding much to the debate.

Last edited by xeric; 05-25-2010 at 12:41 PM..

 
Old 05-25-2010, 11:33 AM
 
299 posts, read 630,626 times
Reputation: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeric View Post
Hmmm, I've been to airports all over the U.S. and the world and have found very few of them to have been as sprawled as DIA (in fact, DIA is the second largest in the world when measured by size alone). Some require some form of conveyance to get to concourses and some don't. Most larger American airports have offsite rental car lots. But by and large these are airports in developed areas with no immediate room for expansion.

DIA was different. They could have built any configuration they wanted but they went for the most spread out design possible. I find it hard to believe that the linear design they went with is the only accepted configuration for new airports.

Also, while DIA is one of the busiest airports in the world, I don't think the "you call that airport a hub" statements are adding much to the debate.
Looking at busy airports all over the world, I'd be willing to bet that the ones that are more compact wish they had more space! I remember when Dulles airport opened way back then, and people were frustrated that you had to ride a little bus to from the terminal to the plane. But, Dulles had so much more capacity than other airports, especially Reagan National which was closer in (by far) but a bit cramped for space. Dulles grew like crazy.

Eventually they outgrew their bus system and now they have mid-field terminals. Denver is pretty spread out, but I'm confused about what, exactly, the problem is with that. It does take a few minutes extra to get to rental cars and parking lots, but then the taxi/takeoff/landing times are incredibly low at DIA because they have so much runway/taxi space. You rarely have to wait for a gate like you do at so many other airports. And, the train between terminals is consistently fast.
 
Old 05-25-2010, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,477 posts, read 2,374,371 times
Reputation: 1819
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreMove View Post
Looking at busy airports all over the world, I'd be willing to bet that the ones that are more compact wish they had more space! I remember when Dulles airport opened way back then, and people were frustrated that you had to ride a little bus to from the terminal to the plane. But, Dulles had so much more capacity than other airports, especially Reagan National which was closer in (by far) but a bit cramped for space. Dulles grew like crazy.

Eventually they outgrew their bus system and now they have mid-field terminals. Denver is pretty spread out, but I'm confused about what, exactly, the problem is with that. It does take a few minutes extra to get to rental cars and parking lots, but then the taxi/takeoff/landing times are incredibly low at DIA because they have so much runway/taxi space. You rarely have to wait for a gate like you do at so many other airports. And, the train between terminals is consistently fast.
The Dulles to National comparison is interesting. I've frequently flown into both and I much prefer National. But what I like is that once you get out of the airport, you're right on the metro line and it's a straight shot to just about anywhere in the greater DC area. Dulles requires more hops to get into DC. It's effectively an exurban airport for the DC area. I haven't found it particularly efficient in getting planes off the ground either, but I can't say that National is better in that respect.

I'm in Fort Collins, so the trip from my house to the airport was always going to be inconvenient no matter where they put the new airport. DIA is a very busy airport so security is always going to take time. But beyond that, it would be nice if the design had facilitated a more efficient flow from parking to the gate. I'm not convinced that it's an either/or situation where you sacrifice air traffic efficiency if you facilitate passenger access to the gates (given the vast amount of empty space at the airport site). But I am convinced that the people who designed the airport considered the movement of people on the ground to be a minor consideration.

Now that I think about it, if they had to have rental cars and long term parking in locations that are remote from the terminal, then they should have extended the train to connect all points of the airport. In that scenario, each concourse could have a separate security area; people who didn't need to check in at the terminal could go straight from parking to their gates; and people who didn't have to pick up checked bags could go straight from their gates to rental cars or parking.

Last edited by xeric; 05-25-2010 at 12:53 PM..
 
Old 05-25-2010, 12:57 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,030 posts, read 102,689,903 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeric View Post
The Dulles to National comparison is interesting. I've frequently flown into both and I much prefer National. But what I like is that once you get out of the airport, you're right on the metro line and it's a straight shot to just about anywhere in the greater DC area. Dulles requires more hops to get into DC. It's effectively an exurban airport for the DC area. I haven't found it particularly efficient in getting planes off the ground either, but I can't say that National is better in that respect.

I'm in Fort Collins, so the trip from my house to the airport was always going to be inconvenient no matter where they put the new airport. DIA is a very busy airport so security is always going to take time. But beyond that, it would be nice if the design had facilitated a more efficient flow from parking to the gate. I'm not convinced that it's an either/or situation where you sacrifice air traffic efficiency if you facilitate passenger access to the gates (given the vast amount of empty space at the airport site). But I am convinced that the people who designed the airport considered the movement of people on the ground to be a minor consideration.

Now that I think about it, if they had to have rental cars and long term parking in locations that are remote from the terminal, then they should have extended the train to connect all points of the airport. In that scenario, each concourse could have a separate security area; people who didn't need to check in at the terminal could go straight from parking to their gates; and people who didn't have to pick up checked bags could go straight from their gates to rental cars or parking.
DIA was built before security was the way it is today. In the olden days, you could accompany a passenger to the gate, meet a passenger at the gate, etc.
 
Old 05-25-2010, 01:17 PM
 
299 posts, read 630,626 times
Reputation: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeric View Post
The Dulles to National comparison is interesting. I've frequently flown into both and I much prefer National. But what I like is that once you get out of the airport, you're right on the metro line and it's a straight shot to just about anywhere in the greater DC area. Dulles requires more hops to get into DC. It's effectively an exurban airport for the DC area. I haven't found it particularly efficient in getting planes off the ground either, but I can't say that National is better in that respect.

I'm in Fort Collins, so the trip from my house to the airport was always going to be inconvenient no matter where they put the new airport. DIA is a very busy airport so security is always going to take time. But beyond that, it would be nice if the design had facilitated a more efficient flow from parking to the gate. I'm not convinced that it's an either/or situation where you sacrifice air traffic efficiency if you facilitate passenger access to the gates (given the vast amount of empty space at the airport site). But I am convinced that the people who designed the airport considered the movement of people on the ground to be a minor consideration.

Now that I think about it, if they had to have rental cars and long term parking in locations that are remote from the terminal, then they should have extended the train to connect all points of the airport. In that scenario, each concourse could have a separate security area; people who didn't need to check in at the terminal could go straight from parking to their gates; and people who didn't have to pick up checked bags could go straight from their gates to rental cars or parking.
It would have been nice if the train went to the rental cars, but keep in mind that the train is behind security so they really can't do that. There would have to be a new train for the rental cars. San Francisco airport has an external train like that, as does DFW. The SFO train is very, very slow and doesn't come frequently enough, but it works.

As for your comment about preferring National airport in DC. Well, all the passengers like it - you are right at the metro, right near downtown. So, of course it's nice for the passengers. But, the flight patterns are a huge pain in the a** for the pilots and waste a lot of fuel because they have very limited approaches (due to the proximity to the city and the special security around DC) so National is famous for requiring flights to circle during busy periods. That hardly ever happens at DIA.

Also there is limited runway space at National, which means they simply can't handle enough capacity for the city - that's we Dulles and BWI and so busy.

And, there is a never-ending problem with noise coming from National. The idea was that flights would 'fly down the river' and in the 70's that worked fine. Now that the airport is full-to-capacity all day, it just takes a small shift in wind for the approach patten to change - bringing noise to residential areas ranging from Arlington to Great Falls.

My point is, everyone wants an airport that is incredibly convenient for the passengers. However, there are so many other factors - traffic, noise, pollution, runway capacity, security, future expansion, weather, etc. No airport is perfect, but it's not that hard to see why the 'big spread out airport miles from the city' is so popular.
 
Old 05-27-2010, 12:12 PM
 
9 posts, read 26,823 times
Reputation: 19
My biggest dislike about Denver is that I have to live here for another 100 days

Honestly though, the city just isn't for me. I detest the weather, but can understand why many would enjoy it. I don't like all this dry sun; that is me. On top of that, I don't drive so public transportation is very important to me. While not horrible, I had gotten used to Chicago type habits. With the area I live in there are also a lot of hills. I do not like riding my bicycle to work if I have to go up and down foothills.
Another point that I can't handle but I can see others may is how isolated the city is. Traveling to other cities for a day trip is not possible. Once again, not a place for somebody who doesn't drive.
The downtown of Denver itself is fun. I've been to a couple of concerts and plays etc., but while they were good they weren't anything unique. The 16th st. Mall and Lower Downtown are alright areas to walk around and there are a few nice restaurants and an amazing bookstore (Tattered Cover), but once again, nothing worthy of jumping up and down and moving to.
I've been here for almost 9 months, and I have learned a lot and had fun but I clap my hands at moving somewhere else. I can see how this city would work for many, but not for me.
 
Old 05-27-2010, 12:16 PM
 
299 posts, read 630,626 times
Reputation: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigith View Post
My biggest dislike about Denver is that I have to live here for another 100 days

Honestly though, the city just isn't for me. I detest the weather, but can understand why many would enjoy it. I don't like all this dry sun; that is me. On top of that, I don't drive so public transportation is very important to me. While not horrible, I had gotten used to Chicago type habits. With the area I live in there are also a lot of hills. I do not like riding my bicycle to work if I have to go up and down foothills.
Another point that I can't handle but I can see others may is how isolated the city is. Traveling to other cities for a day trip is not possible. Once again, not a place for somebody who doesn't drive.
The downtown of Denver itself is fun. I've been to a couple of concerts and plays etc., but while they were good they weren't anything unique. The 16th st. Mall and Lower Downtown are alright areas to walk around and there are a few nice restaurants and an amazing bookstore (Tattered Cover), but once again, nothing worthy of jumping up and down and moving to.
I've been here for almost 9 months, and I have learned a lot and had fun but I clap my hands at moving somewhere else. I can see how this city would work for many, but not for me.
I think it's fair to say that Denver has a lot to offer for people who are interested in specific things. But, certainly it's not the right place for everyone. The dry-summer/cold-winter cycle isn't exactly ideal weather for some, but some people like it. The isolation from other cities is nice for some, not for others.
 
Old 05-28-2010, 08:37 AM
 
6 posts, read 10,962 times
Reputation: 22
I don't own a dog but the lack of dog parks really **** me off for a community with so many dogs and dog friendly businesses.
 
Old 05-28-2010, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,181 posts, read 5,640,869 times
Reputation: 2073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morry View Post
I don't own a dog but the lack of dog parks really **** me off for a community with so many dogs and dog friendly businesses.
I'll agree with that and it seems like most of the dog parks I've encountered don't have fences. I drive my dogs to Stapleton every once in awhile because that park has a fence and I don't have to worry about them running out onto the street and/or going where they shouldn't go.
 
Old 05-30-2010, 03:26 AM
 
Location: Valley of the Sun
219 posts, read 442,202 times
Reputation: 293
I love the weather here so far. I love the outdoor lifestyle and all of the mountain culture that goes along with it. Coming from Kansas City I'm pretty sick of the rain and have enjoyed the Colorado sunshine. Also, the city seems to be pretty young. Not sure where they're stashing all the older folk but I just dont see as many here as I did in KC.
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