India may continue to be called a developing country, but the country has a few fine airports and more are on their way to boost the air connectivity between cities and ease congestion in existing airports. Currently, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation highlighted the government’s plans to establish about 100 airports in the next 15 years at an estimated cost of Rs 4 lakh crore. Among them, 70 airports will be at new locations while the rest will be second airports or expansion of existing airfields to handle commercial flights.
Any development that requires such large-scale land bank will naturally boost the city’s real estate development. The presence of an airport will enhance the city’s image as a business destination thus increasing demand for commercial real estate as well. Furthermore, greater commercial activity in a locality will mean higher employment opportunities, which directly augments scope for rental housing.
Large-scale projects always have long gestation periods. When one considers the idea of designing an airport, it is a herculean task. This is because symbolically the designs need to embody the city’s and country’s identity by acting as the first and last handshake. Importantly, the key factors of the sensitive nature and security concerns of airports also have to be painstakingly taken in consideration in the designs.
Besides aesthetics, it is the functionality of the building that is important and involves proper segregation of visitors, passengers and the baggage system. As passengers are required to stay longer periods in hold areas, queuing immigration and check in areas, it is necessary to provide good visual effect within the building. Decreasing heat gain and maximising day light through passive strategies of good planning should be emphasised while designing airport terminal buildings.