The Airport of the Future

The airports of the future might bear little resemblance with those of today…or so seem to think the winners of the recent ‘2011 Fentress Global Challenge‘. This international contest, launched by airport design firm Fentress Architects and open to architecture and engineering students, aimed to present an unconventional and unconstrained vision of the airport in decades to come.

The results of the contest are certainly impressive: from aircraft that look like flying cars to a modern concept of an airship docking facility.

Airportfuture2.jpgCredit:Martin Sztyk І Fentress Architects

Airportfuture6.jpgCredit: Alexander Nevarez І Fentress Architects

The top prize, though, went to a futuristic and environmentally sustainable vision of London’s proposed Thames Estuary island-airport, complete with vertical take-off pads for the aircraft of tomorrow.

Airport delta future.jpgCredit: Oliver Andrew І Fentress Architects

LDNDeltaAirport1.jpgCredit: Oliver Andrew І Fentress Architects

Diverse as all these proposals are, a common theme stands out: space and compactness. Aware of the increasing difficulty of expanding on existing airport facilities, it is likely that the aviation and aerospace industry will need to come up with innovative solutions to increase capacity while reducing the environmental impression. Despite the fact that these projects might have a touch of fantasy, some of these innovative ideas could soon become reality.

Visit our Future Aviation Concepts Gallery to see more

About Miquel Ros

Content Editor at Flightglobal and long-time aviation blogger (

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