Travel and Tourism- Airport Business Operation - Tourism Essay Example

Travel and Tourism- Airport Business Operation



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There are many modes of transportation that cater to any of our travel needs from inner city ground transportation, to rail, sea and air transportation.   Our options are limitless!  So far, air travel is the busiest of all transportation modes.  Our airways are filled with oodles of people traveling to various destinations, either for business or for pleasure.  Let’s face it, we live in a very busy rush, rush, hurry up, get out of my way, I’m late, type of society. People want to get to their hot spot destinations as quickly as possible, no if, ands, or buts about it.  Most airports such as the John F. Kennedy airport (JFK) in New York City may support this type of urgency by way of quick access to all terminals, while others such as the Heathrow airport in London may lack in this capacity.

Every airport varies in regards to passenger traffic.  Airports in larger cities are usually gateways to national and international cities.  Minor airports that have low passenger levels are obviously located in smaller cities.  The JFK airport is considered to be the busiest international, air passenger gateway, to the United States.  Nearly 100 airlines, from over 50 countries, operate regularly through JFK.  It was originally designed to be a relief airport for LaGuardia, due to its insufficient capacity levels in the 1930’s.  New construction for JFK airport took place in 1943 with a 6o million dollar price tag.   Today, it shelters eight passenger terminals with 151 gates.   A steady stream of passengers flow through these eight terminals by the seconds, via moving pavements and other devices.  To assist with such sturdy traffic, a unique attribute was created- the JFK Airport Railway System.

The JFK airport railway is definitely a magnificent conveyance system designed with efficiency and urgency.  The train runs every five minutes during peak hours, and every ten minutes during off peak.  It takes a quick two minutes for the train to travel from one terminal to the next, and less than ten minutes for it to travel the entire terminal loop.  The train conveniently connects to all airline terminals, rental car and hotel shuttle facilities, daily, long term and valet parking lots, as well as to local New York city subways and buses.  These services are available twenty four hours a day.  This system alleviates any doubt concerning passengers arriving to their designated designations, promptly!   So far, not all international airports have this luxury.  That is, not yet.

Heathrow airport is one of the busiest in the United Kingdom and handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world.   The BAA, a British transport company that owns Heathrow, boasts that it handles more international traffic than any other airport in the world.  In fact, the JFK London- Heathrow route is the leading U.S international airport combination, with over 2.9 million passengers in 2008 alone.[1]   Heathrow has two main parallel runways that run east and west, along with five operating terminals.  In 1953, the first slab of the original modern runway was ceremonially placed by Queen Elizabeth II.   Today, Heathrow airport is used by over 90 airlines which fly to 170 world wide destinations!   Certainly the magnitude of such regularly scheduled traffic demands a swifter system in which to transport passengers to air terminals.


The map of the London Heathrow airports illustrates there is no circular rail service between terminals one, two and three.     These terminals are within walking distance of each other.   Currently, passengers needing to connect to terminal four, utilize Heathrow Connect trains or buses.   Passengers who then need to transport from terminal four to five, utilize Heathrow Express trains or buses.  This can be quite an inconvenience shuffling between sets of transits when compared to the JFK airport rapid rail system, which services all eight of its terminals.

It is quite evident that one railway system would be ideal for Heathrow.  Such a system would aid passengers in speedier access to all five terminals.


Works Cited
Author, W. (2010, May 9). JFK AirTrain Transportation. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from New York Airport Limousine Service:

Authors, V. W. (2010, May 9). John F. Kennedy Inyternational Airport. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from

Authors, V. (2010, May 9). Retrieved May 9, 2010, from London Heathrow Airport:

Szeremeta, A. (2010, May 9). Heathrow Airport Map. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from




[1] Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation (2006). “U.S. International Travel and Transportation Trends, BTS02-03” (PDF). Retrieved 2008-06-15.

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