uptownliving

Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

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I was driving back into Charlotte this weekend from out of town and coming up 85 past the airport.  I was reminded yet again about the lack of presence that Charlotte Douglas has along it's major interstates that pass nearby.  Outside of the airplane icon on some of the exit signs and one exit on each that says Charlotte Douglas Airport, there are virtually no other markings that one of the country's largest airports is nearby.  On top of that, outside of the park 'n fly there aren't really many other businesses that look like they're near an airport.  

Is this because Charlotte is built so much around connecting traffic?  I know our O/D numbers are relatively small, but based on the full parking lots and busy pickup / dropoff lanes there is still a good amount of vehicular traffic going to the airport daily.

Some of the things that I have seen in other cities that I think would be really beneficial  and make the airport / city feel bigger include:

  • More signage about airlines and in which concourse they're located
  • Electronic signage specifically regarding airport traffic
  • Larger exit ramps and dedicated (no stops) roadway to the airport (I know this is continuing to be improved with the changes in the past year)

Does anyone have any thoughts about why the city / state / airport haven't done these things already?

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18 minutes ago, allthingsplanes said:

I was driving back into Charlotte this weekend from out of town and coming up 85 past the airport.  I was reminded yet again about the lack of presence that Charlotte Douglas has along it's major interstates that pass nearby.  Outside of the airplane icon on some of the exit signs and one exit on each that says Charlotte Douglas Airport, there are virtually no other markings that one of the country's largest airports is nearby.  On top of that, outside of the park 'n fly there aren't really many other businesses that look like they're near an airport.  

Is this because Charlotte is built so much around connecting traffic?  I know our O/D numbers are relatively small, but based on the full parking lots and busy pickup / dropoff lanes there is still a good amount of vehicular traffic going to the airport daily.

Some of the things that I have seen in other cities that I think would be really beneficial  and make the airport / city feel bigger include:

  • More signage about airlines and in which concourse they're located
  • Electronic signage specifically regarding airport traffic
  • Larger exit ramps and dedicated (no stops) roadway to the airport (I know this is continuing to be improved with the changes in the past year)

Does anyone have any thoughts about why the city / state / airport haven't done these things already?

Signage about airline concourses likely isn't a priority because check-in and security for all airlines is in the same terminal. Due to CLT being completely connected behind security, there isn't really a reason to specify ahead of time if an airline is in Concourse B or Concourse A - you go to the same spot more or less for check in / departure, give or take a couple hundred feet. By the time you get to the terminal, there are signs to lead you to the spot that has an airline's check in counter. If you had a sign that said "United - Concourse A", "American - Concourse B", etc... people would probably be driving around looking for a separate terminal when there is really just one terminal for all airlines. 

Most of the information on roadways leading into the airport is related to parking, which was probably the biggest complaint people had. As you drive in now, you can know ahead of time which parking lots are open / closed, etc... 

The state isn't going to do much about the state owned interstates and highways in the Charlotte area. They've shown Charlotte is a rather low priority for them per person compared to expanding rural highways in towns with 5,000 people. Hopefully the traffic becomes a non-issue once the new roadway project and terminal drop off/pick up area is complete. 

Edited by CLT2014
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One consistent complaint I hear from people that travel into and out of CLT is that it's so sprawling and large and the only way to go from Concourse A to Concourse E in a short period of time is sprinting for their life. I think CLT should invest in a people mover that travels through different terminals. Also question, Is CLT going to build a new terminal separate from the others and if so how would passengers get there? Here is a picture showing a separate terminal for example. 

See the source image

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45 minutes ago, Cadi40 said:

One consistent complaint I hear from people that travel into and out of CLT is that it's so sprawling and large and the only way to go from Concourse A to Concourse E in a short period of time is sprinting for their life. I think CLT should invest in a people mover that travels through different terminals. Also question, Is CLT going to build a new terminal separate from the others and if so how would passengers get there? Here is a picture showing a separate terminal for example. 

See the source image

if the island terminal is built it would be connected by an under ground train system.

 

i agree though that the airport is tough to get around without more moving sidewalks and a train system.  I think that MIA has a train system that is actually sort of on top of the terminals.  I dunno if it was an after thought or how it was made, however I would propose that as a solution as this airport continues to grow.  i dont think it would be practical to tunnel all around the airport to place it under ground.

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1 hour ago, Cadi40 said:

With the new expansion it will only make it worse. Pray for those who will have to go from  the very end of E to the very end of A

The new expansion will be occupied by airlines other than American so there should be minimal connections from the other concourses (largely AA) to the new A-North (non-AA).

Edited by CLT2014
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I think he was referring to the fact that American will backfill the current A concourse. So there will be connections from E to old A.

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Even without a people-mover, the walk between any of the E gates and the A/B/C/D gates is still shorter than walks in many other airport hubs. I would say congestion in the concourses and the center atrium makes the walk seem much longer than it actually is.

As noted above, there is no need for signage on the airport approach road designating which airline operates out of each concourse, given CLT operates a single terminal concept. However, as Concourse A North expands and eventually becomes Terminal 2 (?) complete with its own check-in and baggage claim facilities, CLT will eventually need to implement signs designating what airline operates from each terminal. But that's years away.

My biggest gripe is the lack of signage on I-77 north of Uptown for the airport. There should be signs near exit 19 on I-77 saying "Airport Traffic use I-485" or something like that.

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