Aviopolis or Aerotropolis are terms thrown around to describe a city of the skies. (See previous post Aviopolis and Aviopolis: The Future of Sydney’s Kingsfordsmith Airport)
No, it’s not building castles on clouds. And it doesn’t defy gravity by floating in the skies.
It relates to the idea that architecture and urbanism can relate itself to a booming industry: air travel.
Yes, oil prices are rising, and flights are getting cheaper, miraculously thanks to the Freemiumship business strategies of low-cost airlines. Also, in response to the oil prices and environmental awareness comes the Airbus A380; a technological advent that cannot be overlooked, even by architects and urbanists. The invention of the A380 could have an immense impact on building industries and city growth itself!
It’s strange; while Iraq suffers from an oil wrestle, the rest of the Middle East countries seem to be investing in air travel (highest consumer of fossil fuel in transportation). Emirates is buying up a whole batch of A380’s. Qatar Airways invests in large numbers of Dreamliners. Etihad prepares to dominate the air routes to Abu Dhabi (up and coming city growth), probably awaiting a spark similar to that of Dubai’s.
There does not seem to be a clear indicator that the amount of oil is decreasing. Nevertheless, the only thing that we can observe is the digital readout on our petrol pumps that seems to rise almost everyday. Low-cost airlines are making their way to the top of the ranks, transporting large amounts of people for a relatively cheap price, doing away with all the frills that has made commercial air travel chic and fancy.
Jetstar; Qantas Australia’s low-cost fleet has been voted Best Low-Cost Airline in 2007. Low-cost airlines travel point-to-point, making it easier for everyone to travel at a low rate.
The Airbus A380 Superjumbo is first flown commercially by Singapore Airlines, and its first route: Singapore-Sydney-Brisbane. The large bird can carry up to 500 passengers per flight, almost doubling the aged Boeing 747. This as a result puts pressures on the receiving airports as more and more people would be passing through its nosebridges, hallways and concourses. The congestion will result in larger amounts of vehicles, cargos, wear and tear of the airport infrastructure itself.
The population influx will have to be addressed.
The previous posts on this blog dealt with proposals for the current Sydney Kingsfordsmith Airport that was founded in 1920 and grew ad-hoc from then on. This aged airport is badly planned, maintained and is even now privatised, much to the dismay of the general public. Nevertheless, the role it plays in Sydney’s economy is undeniably important, and Sydney will have to start coping with a large amount of passenger traffic. In and out.
A new airport has to be built or planned.
Already, other cities are preparing for expansions;