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Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

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One big problem I see with CLT is the departure drop-off and the arrival pick-up areas. I have been to airports all over the world and that is the only part of CLT that makes it seem like a small-town airport. I just went to Baltimore this weekend and BWI, though not a major airport (IMO inferior to CLT) has a much broader area to disperse the arrival and departure crowds. Charlotte's drop-off and pick-up areas are so condensed, that it's tough to make traffic move consistently through them.

Also, about the LCDs for the flight monitors...I wish they would go to that, but I am in the airport often and have seen the recent change from the "bubble" television screens to the flat-screen CRTs. After investing in so many flat-screen CRTs, it would seem that they aren't ready to make that change to LCD or plasma yet.

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The Observer has an article today about Aerial Photography Service Co., which does aerial photos for postcards. The article also has a slideshow of old postcards from Charlotte. Here is one taken at the airport when it was new.

Historic Charlotte postcards

Edited by Appetite for Construction

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US Airways announced last week that they were purchasing 5 more A330-200s and leasing 2 additional 330-200s, for 2009 delivery. These are quickly becoming their standard trans-Atlantic widebodies replacing the 767s. This should allow them at least 6 more European routes. There was no commitment to any particular routes, but said they would be adding destinations from existing hubs.....I would think CDG (Paris) is pretty certain for 2009.

On the downside, they also got a gate at London's Heathrow airport that will begin next spring from Philly only. The Charlotte-London flight will still go to Gatwick, so I would assume many passangers would prefer to transfer in Philly so they can land closer to the city.

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^I assume it is a prestige thing more than anything else as I always considered it an advantage to fly out of Gatwick over the usually overwhelmed Heathrow. Heathrow isn't especially convenient to central London as a ride on the tube from there, though cheap, will take more than an hour if it is during rush hour. That leaves the Heathrow express (direct train to Victoria) or a very expensive cab ride. Gatwick is served by the Gatwick Express which also offers direct service to central London. So in reality while it is further out, it is just as convenient to get into London as Heathrow, but less hassle to fly into/out of.

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US Airways announced last week that they were purchasing 5 more A330-200s and leasing 2 additional 330-200s, for 2009 delivery. These are quickly becoming their standard trans-Atlantic widebodies replacing the 767s. This should allow them at least 6 more European routes. There was no commitment to any particular routes, but said they would be adding destinations from existing hubs.....I would think CDG (Paris) is pretty certain for 2009.

On the downside, they also got a gate at London's Heathrow airport that will begin next spring from Philly only. The Charlotte-London flight will still go to Gatwick, so I would assume many passangers would prefer to transfer in Philly so they can land closer to the city.

The Heathrow flight does not leave during the European push, which means USAirways has gate space for this flight. I doubt the 767's will go anywhere for a while. THey still got quite a few years left on them, and I doubt they would be refurbishing the planes just for them too get retired...

Kirby stated that US Airays still plans too add about 3-4 international destinations a year, and stated that since a lack of gate space is provided at Philadelphia, they {US Airways} would have to look at other hubs {Charlotte} to do international flying. This could mean switching low O&D flights from Phili that rely on connecting traffic, and switch it too Charlotte while adding Asian flights out of Philadelphia.

Pheonix could see London, and if lucky, Frankfurt.

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I am going to give you one of my best kept secrets. It is called National Express bus service. It is available outside of either Gatwich or Heathrow. It is really cheap. You can book on line. It changes at Victoria bus station but tickets can be purchased for points beyond. I usually buy a ticket to Golders Green or Hampstead. If you want a comfortable, interesting ride into London, it is recommended from Gatwich. It goes through the rolling hills and surburbs of Surrey, through inner city London. Give it a shot next time. I use national express to go to all points in the U.K. I sure beats the crowds on the rail or tubes when you have luggage.

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cheap and SLOW compared to the gatwick express. When you arrive in gatwick at 7 in the morning and head into town, the highway (m25 i believe) is a parking lot and takes ages. oh well, the day clt gets heathrow service, now that will be very exciting

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Exactly why not just take the Gatwick and Heathrow express. 20min and you're in the heart of London, cheap and fast.
Indeed. I've taken that bus before too and it is horribly slow in the mornings when your flight is mostly likely going to arrive from the USA though I do agree that you a nice tour of the rolling countryside for a while on the bus. I did not realize that USA was still flying 767s to London from Charlotte. I thought they were only using A330s.

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Does CLT have the capacity to expand? If so, what is the maximum volume of passengers per annum can CLT handle at full build out?

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The airport's plan to consolidate the Rental Car facility and expand the Ticketing and Baggage Claim area has now taken the step from Concept to Design. The City Council tonight approved contracts with various firms (LS3P is one of them) to design the new parking decks and terminal expansion. LS3P is the same firm that design the new Daily Parking Decks out at the airport that have won awards. So I would expect the new Parking Decks to have a similar look.

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The airport's plan to consolidate the Rental Car facility and expand the Ticketing and Baggage Claim area has now taken the step from Concept to Design. The City Council tonight approved contracts with various firms (LS3P is one of them) to design the new parking decks and terminal expansion. LS3P is the same firm that design the new Daily Parking Decks out at the airport that have won awards. So I would expect the new Parking Decks to have a similar look.

Yeah, those new decks are AMAZING! I expect no less from the ones they are currently designing. I am pumped about CLT - it will truly be a world-class airport after these expansion plans are implemented. Some renovations wouldn't hurt either.

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Does CLT have the capacity to expand? If so, what is the maximum volume of passengers per annum can CLT handle at full build out?

In terms of takeoffs and landings, when the new runway comes on line, there will be four runways instead of three. Also, the airport master plans show an extension of Concourse B (looks like 12 new gates or so), as well as the new international terminal, which will sit where the rental car facilities are now. Planning for work on the international terminal area was approved as part of the City Council action last night.

I know this image has been posted a blue million times, but here is the master plan again:

http://www.the-wilson-group.com/cdia-mplan.htm

I'm no airport planning expert, but it seems to me that once these improvements have been made that CLT would have no problems handling 40 million passengers per year.

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The Heathrow flight does not leave during the European push, which means USAirways has gate space for this flight. I doubt the 767's will go anywhere for a while. THey still got quite a few years left on them, and I doubt they would be refurbishing the planes just for them too get retired...

Kirby stated that US Airays still plans too add about 3-4 international destinations a year, and stated that since a lack of gate space is provided at Philadelphia, they {US Airways} would have to look at other hubs {Charlotte} to do international flying. This could mean switching low O&D flights from Phili that rely on connecting traffic, and switch it too Charlotte while adding Asian flights out of Philadelphia.

Pheonix could see London, and if lucky, Frankfurt.

How do Brussels and Zurich flight do from PHL? If the scenario you described plays out, they would seem like a good candidates to shift to CLT. Possbily Athens as well. I think Paris is the most obvious flight, though I heard it doesn't do particularly well as far as US Airways' European routes go.

What about Dusseldorf? Hamburg? Copenhagen? Vienna has been named as a possibility, as has Berlin after their new airport is completed.

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In terms of takeoffs and landings, when the new runway comes on line, there will be four runways instead of three. Also, the airport master plans show an extension of Concourse B (looks like 12 new gates or so), as well as the new international terminal, which will sit where the rental car facilities are now. Planning for work on the international terminal area was approved as part of the City Council action last night.

I know this image has been posted a blue million times, but here is the master plan again:

http://www.the-wilson-group.com/cdia-mplan.htm

I'm no airport planning expert, but it seems to me that once these improvements have been made that CLT would have no problems handling 40 million passengers per year.

Thank you for your response. I know as of 2006, CLT handled close to 29.7 million passegers; nine-teenth busiest in the US.

Edited by Shakman

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What is troubling about this is that all these numbers are basically dependant on just one airline, USAirways. Zagat, which is known for ratings of the travel industry, just did its first rankings of the Airline industry and basically USAir was rated dead last in almost every category. People don't like traveling on it, think the service is bad, is late, has terrible food and is too expensive. Eventually its going to catch up with them again.

I really wish Charlotte would do more to bring in more airlines to our airport so there are more options for travel.

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What is troubling about this is that all these numbers are basically dependant on just one airline, USAirways. Zagat, which is known for ratings of the travel industry, just did its first rankings of the Airline industry and basically USAir was rated dead last in almost every category. People don't like traveling on it, think the service is bad, is late, has terrible food and is too expensive. Eventually its going to catch up with them again.

I really wish Charlotte would do more to bring in more airlines to our airport so there are more options for travel.

I fly on USAirways at least 3x a month and have to say that service has improved dramatically and prices are actually pretty reasonable when compared with other airports and airlines. Though I do agree with bringing in more airlines. I think instead of expanding the other concourses, CLT should focus on expanding Concourse A for the non-USA flights. As I understand it, gates are at a premium there. I'd love to see Airtran or JetBlue expand even more.

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http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articl...926112007-1.htm

"Over the five-day period (Wednesday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 25), the airline's arrivals within 14 minutes of schedule (which is the measure the Department of Transportation uses to measure on-time performance in the airline industry) averaged 86.6 percent and the airline completed 99.6 percent of its scheduled flights."

<_< US Airways is the only chance Charlotte will ever have at international service, and non-stops too many destinations.

:dontknow: I guess some people rather have 50 Southwest flights too Orlando as opposed to US Airways.

US Airways went through some rough times, but things are changing.

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Hello All, long time no see :)

I fly a lot now for work, mostly between RDU and LaGuardia, but I go other places as well. LaGuardia is exceptionally old and they have pretty nasty delay issues in my experience, perhaps not as bad as JFK, but anyway.

I have credit cards for both AmericanAdvantage and USAir Dividend Miles, so naturally I am going to choose one or the other so I can collect whatever reward I can... I've had the best luck with American and they are my first choice. It seems like they have the most flights where I want to go and they seem somewhat timely.

I want to support USAir since their success somehow may affect Charlotte and/or North Carolina, so they are my second choice. My luck with USAir is spotty at best. Perhaps by sheer chance, my flights are either exceptionally late or they get cancelled. A few times though USAir has surprised me and and gotten me where I need to be nearly on time despite a very late departure or change of flights. It's still a hassle.

USAir does have the nicest terminal at LaGuardia :)

Anyway I hope they do improve, because I would use them more. USAir did give me my first flight on a Dash-8, which was extraordinary. I'm a bit of an aircraft geek.

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OK, y'all, just as NationsBank became Bank of America, USAir changed it's name to US Airways. It happened over ten years ago. Not trying to be nitpicky, but it's been a decade.

Maybe that's why my flights are frequently so late or cancelled... I've been booking with a nonexistent airline. :P

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