Pop-up airport terminal opens in Geneva
Wednesday 16 February 2011
We've seen the pop-up shop and the pop-up hotel - and now it seems that the pop-up airport will be next.
Last week, Geneva Airport opened the world's first "mobile terminal," a sparkling white marquee which acts as a terminal building for passengers during the airport's busy winter season.
This is no ordinary marquee however - it's totally waterproof, heated, well lit and equipped with enough computer power to operate as if it were part of the main building.
Geneva Airport says that the construction, currently mounted in the front of the terminal to give passengers more space to check in, could be moved airside as a departure lounge if necessary, to minimize disruption during construction work.
It's the first installation by a company called TMT (The Mobile Terminal), which aims to help airports share capacity through the use of flexible buildings.
Their vision is airports which have summer and winter peaks sharing a pop-up terminal, making life more comfortable for passengers while keeping costs down for the airports and subsequently for the airlines which use them.
Although temporary terminals have been used for major sporting events such as last year's World Cup in South Africa, they have tended to be much larger and not as easy to move as TMT's solution, prompting analysts to question whether the combination of highly seasonal traffic and low-cost carriers could mean a new era of temporary airports is dawning.
For passengers, this could be a good thing, allowing more routes to small destinations, more space at airports during peak times of the year and even the possibility of using separate pop-up terminals for different airlines to handle the movement of drunk or unruly passengers, according to Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.
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