Creating Airports Today
NEW DEMANDS, NEW EXPECTATIONS, NEW PLAYERS, NEW RESULTS
BY BILL HOOPER
The dynamics of designing and constructing airport facilities are evolving, with new
players and new ideas causing the aviation community to rethink the basics.
Who is the client? Five years ago this was an
elementary question: the client was the airport
or the air carrier. There were no other options.
But in the past few years, with airport authorities
increasingly unable to maintain their assets
financially and in need of further investment,
alliances have been forged with well-funded
private equity groups that are willing to invest
billions of dollars in 40-year planning horizons.
These investors are looking for the ultimate
security, the physical airport, recognizing that few
properties are guaranteed to stick around. (Sports
arenas, shopping centers, and hotels tend to come
and go in 20-year life cycles, but airport runways
and land are forever … almost.)