The new KPF-designed terminal should be the blueprint for all air travel hubs, says the U.K. publication.
Chosen as the location for Tom Cruise’s longest chase sequence in Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1, the airport impressed The Times with its swooping, futuristic look; highly efficient layout; luxe amenities; and, above all, its next-generation efficiency. “Every airport in the world should aim to be as good as Abu Dhabi International Airport,” opines The Times in a recent story about the new 700,000-square-meter terminal, which will be renamed Zayed International Airport in February.
Convenience is the name of the game for air travelers who have grown weary of Kafkaesque security procedures and long journeys from check-in to boarding gates. Abu Dhabi airport does away with both. New technology enables passengers to clear passport control and security using facial recognition and new scanners mean laptops and liquids can stay inside luggage. The terminal’s X-shaped layout, meanwhile, means no gate is more than a seven-minute walk from check-in. As The Times discovered, that extra time is well spent in the terminal’s central hub of shops and restaurants or in one of its many lounges.
“Every airport should copy Abu Dhabi’s layout. The central hub of shops and restaurants is big enough for the 45 million passengers who will pass through it each year — up from 20 million at the old airport — and the gates are arranged on lots of short tentacles leading off it in different directions. From above, the airport looks like an octopus. This means walking distances to the gate are very short, unlike at Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok or the new Istanbul airport, where you set off for the gate in spring and arrive in autumn,” writes The Times.
“The new Gulf hub not only looks great from the outside, it’s so bright and airy inside it does not feel like an airport,” writes The Times in what is possibly the best compliment of all. Read the full story here.