BY
MASITA BINTE MOHD YUSOF

Advancement in technology is changing the way we work, live, and play. As technology becomes more portable and accessible to the mass, location dependency is no longer needed, giving rise to a new set of people who can work anywhere. As they seek constant changes in environment, airport – where they often find downtime at – become a common place to pass through. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), 7.2 billion passengers are expected to move through the airport in 2035 92016). Cited as a non-place (Auge, 1992); a mere place of transition, lacking meaning and identity, can airports accommodate the intensification of human movement globally and what kind of experience can airports offer? This thesis scrutinizes the typologies of airports, framed as a city for the transient, in the contemporary context to understand how airports have evolved over the years as technology advances, to analyse the most efficient model and the experience(s) it has afforded and to understand the function(s) specific to the airport and its relevance.

3 out of 6 Case Studies (from left to right)
Paris Charles De Galle Airport, Amsterdam Airport Schipol, Singapore Changi Airport

Six case studies allow us to understand the management of airport infrastructure from the planning perspective: the facilities parallel what we see around the cities, surrounding airport terminal(s). While the shapes and sizes of these airports differ, there are common functions and facilities tying them together. These functions, evident in every international airports are as Easterling (2014) describes as the repeatable spatial formula that shapes spaces. With digital infiltration, some of these functions are becoming obsolete and can be removed altogether. The airport is posited as a state of exception (the norm being independent of the host country’s domestic laws) providing the opportunity to rethink the existing notion of the airport and speculate the airport of the future borrowing from the theories of Agamben (2005) and Easterling (2014).

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