This is the most important function of an airport, traveller’s need to be able to reach the airport else nobody will be going anywhere. An airport needs to supply access for all the different ways customers travel to the airport whether it is by public transport or by car. Public transport links include road and rail links. With most airports you would find that airport access roads and railways are built especially for airport access. Within the airport complex, there must be provision for bus stations, taxi ranks, and rail stations.
This is important so that customers are encouraged to use public transport instead of using their cars which will create congestion and over use land for car-parking. The main area where this needs to be encouraged is in London where congestion is a big problem. Car-Parking Car parks are found close to the airport as possible to help provide quick access to the airports for customers. Car parks found outside the airport entrance are known as short stay car parks, this is used mostly for dropping off customers as people are not allowed to stay in this car park for long periods of time.
The long stay car parks are found further away from the airport and people are transported to the airport by shuttle bus. People are able to leave their car in the long stay car until the return from their holiday. Airports are now introducing “mid-term” car parks which are basically car parks that are found in the middle of the short and long car parks and are in the middle when it comes to price as well. Check-In Areas The check-in area is basically a large room at the front of the airport where customers can only stand and queue, nothing else.
The room is full of TVs’ which provide information for all flights departing that day so everybody knows what time their flight is. At the back of the room there is a long line of desks which is where passengers queue up and check themselves in for their flight. Departure Lounge This area is where customers go after they have passed through passport control. Now they are airside of the airport. In big airports this is a good area as it is full of shops and eating facilities, toilets are provided as well as more screens for information on flights. From there passengers travel to the gates.
The gates are where they actually board the plane by either Air Bridge or steps. HM Customs and Excise Offices These are offices that are located next to the baggage claim area in arrivals as passengers must pass through customs as soon as they collect their luggage. Police and Emergency Services Each airport has its own emergency service located on the site of the airport. Passengers won’t necessarily know of their presence unless emergency occurs. Police presence is more obvious currently to emphasise security. Baggage Reclaim The belts for reclaiming baggage can take up a lot of space in a large airport.
Also there is a large area devoted to moving baggage on a conveyor system underneath many large airports. The passengers do not see this part but often wonder what happens to their luggage between leaving them and ending up in the plane. Other Areas Most airports will provide children’s play areas in the departure lounge and most airports provide aviation viewing areas for plane spotting enthusiasts. Even though airports are non-smoking airports dedicated smoking areas will be provided. Airport Facilities Airports hold plenty of facilities all under one roof so that a passenger can get everything they need and not miss their flight.