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Nashville International Airport

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Whoa, that's amazing. I doubt we've had gate occupancy that high since the American hub shut down. The current terminal is pushing 30 years old, I give it another 10 before they have to seriously consider a new one. If growth continues at this rate, they'll have to at least expand or reopen the commuter terminal (which would be very difficult considering the terrain).

Another concern is parking. Since the odds of us getting any sort of rapid mass transit to the airport any time soon, those parking lots are going to continue to get more packed. They already look close to capacity.

Edited by Nathan_in_DC

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Whoa, that's amazing. I doubt we've had gate occupancy that high since the American hub shut down. The current terminal is pushing 30 years old, I give it another 10 before they have to seriously consider a new one. If growth continues at this rate, they'll have to at least expand or reopen the commuter terminal (which would be very difficult considering the terrain).

Another concern is parking. Since the odds of us getting any sort of rapid mass transit to the airport any time soon, those parking lots are going to continue to get more packed. They already look close to capacity.

I believe there is sufficient area to the north of the terminal (along Concourse A) to add another spur or two, each with an additional 10 gates.  Also, I think Concourse D could be extended to the southeast with another 5 gates.  The primary parking garage could probably add 3 or 4 more levels and/or portions of the surface lots directly to the east and northeast could be turned into garages.  The ticketing and baggage claim areas could become too cramped, however, so the might need to be expanded to the southeast (replacing Terminal D).  

And you are right--there needs to be a completely reorganized commuter terminal integrated into the plan.


 

BNA layout.jpg

Edited by markhollin

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Per the airport's website they have included in the master plan provisions to relocate a number of roadways, expand parking, and expand the terminal building.  

https://www.flynashville.com/about/Documents/2012 Masterplan/12 BNA-ALP-TAP_MAIN.pdf

However, to Markhollin's point, it seems the main terminal/ticketing/baggage areas would become very cramped.  I rarely see issues on the departures level, but the current baggage claim/arrivals level is already beyond its vehicle and pedestrian capacity at peak times.

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Per the airport's website they have included in the master plan provisions to relocate a number of roadways, expand parking, and expand the terminal building.  

https://www.flynashville.com/about/Documents/2012 Masterplan/12 BNA-ALP-TAP_MAIN.pdf

However, to Markhollin's point, it seems the main terminal/ticketing/baggage areas would become very cramped.  I rarely see issues on the departures level, but the current baggage claim/arrivals level is already beyond its vehicle and pedestrian capacity at peak times.

Agree it doesn't happen often, but it doesn't take much to overwhelm the departures/security level.  I've encountered security lines that snake well out into the ticketing lobby after there have been large events in town.    

To your point, is it just me or does BNA's baggage claim process seem to take longer (and break down more often) than many other airports?   It's probably due for logistical and equipment upgrades.    

 

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Concurse D will likely never reopen as TSA and other offices are now in that space. Concourse A can be extended a good bit further to accommodate more gates and more potential international service, as that's the int'l specific concourse, for now.

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Agreed on the points about baggage claim. It's a cramped, inefficient setup currently, with far too few carousels. The low ceilings make you feel like you're in a basement, which doesn't help for the experience of the airport.

All that being said, I still think BNA is one of my favorite airports to fly in and out of. Overally, it's well laid out and spacious, but it's soon going to be far too small. Getting another true hub is unlikely in any event, but it's impossible with the current terminal setup. I know we won't be seeing Concourse D reopen any time soon, but it frustrates me that they've just written it off because it's used by TSA for office space. How much office space do they need?!

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Agreed on the points about baggage claim. It's a cramped, inefficient setup currently, with far too few carousels. The low ceilings make you feel like you're in a basement, which doesn't help for the experience of the airport.

All that being said, I still think BNA is one of my favorite airports to fly in and out of. Overally, it's well laid out and spacious, but it's soon going to be far too small. Getting another true hub is unlikely in any event, but it's impossible with the current terminal setup. I know we won't be seeing Concourse D reopen any time soon, but it frustrates me that they've just written it off because it's used by TSA for office space. How much office space do they need?!

Replacing the current flat "Tee" conveyors, with canted-,inclined-surface plate carousels, of the closed-oval type, found in various sizes at many larger terminals, might permit more flight-baggage stations.  I've always felt that the present style of conveyors (not true carousels) might permit greater open passenger-claiming interaction, while also allowing direct delivery of baggage to the conveyor, but they take up too much sprawl.  I realize also that to engineer such a change to closed-oval carousels would require simple or compound overhead (elevated) or below-floor feed conveyors to the discharge carousels, so it would entail some structural additions..

inclined-plate_baggage_carousel.thumb.JP

Inclined-surface plate carousels would permit passengers to stand completely around each closed loop, and this might eliminate some degree of conflicting movements among claimants.  As now set-up, a dead zone exists where all luggage that does not get claimed at the pick-up area must pass through the return curtain to the conveyor loading area, before re-entry for pick-up (taking more time to claim or to view).  I also realize that closed-loop inclined-surface plate carousels, sized for the current baggage concourse, would need to be of smaller linear capacity than the flat, spread-out conveyors, and therefore would require attendants to prevent luggage discharging from the chute (either below grade or from above) from cascade-piling onto yet unclaimed bags.
-==-

Edited by rookzie

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Several of you guys have used the term "commuter terminal". Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly are you talking about?

There is an unused concourse at BNA, Concourse D, that was designed for small commuter airliner operations for American Eagle during the American hub days. It's the one that sticks off at the head of Concourse C. The kind that doesn't have JetWays, but rather just a waiting area and gate where passengers walk out on to the apron and get on board the aircraft. When the hub shut down, it sat empty for a number of years, and was taken over by TSA (I believe after 9/11) for their operations center and for airport offices.

Edited by Nathan_in_DC

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There is an unused concourse at BNA, Concourse D, that was designed for small commuter airliner operations for American Eagle during the American hub days. It's the one that sticks off at the head of Concourse C. The kind that doesn't have JetWays, but rather just a waiting area and gate where passengers walk out on to the apron and get on board the aircraft. When the hub shut down, it sat empty for a number of years, and was taken over by TSA (I believe after 9/11) for their operations center and for airport offices.

That, plus the USO and I believe some of it is used for storage and whatever else for the airport. Commuter terminals only work at big hubs and are honestly a massive headache, case in point is the one at DC's Reagan National.

The baggage area REALLY needs a significant overhaul and redesign in multiple ways that have been covered with previous posts. It's drab and really does feel like a basement. That area can not support continued growth the airport is seeing now, much less a few years from now.

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I flew United out of BNA for the first time in years. I was surprised that the BNA-DEN route was still flying on a small CRJ-700 because Denver is a hub. I thought United was upgrading its service to larger planes for all routes out of BNA?

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I'm interested in how we're getting up to that only one gate left number? I thought there were one or two empty in A, several empty in B after USAir's move to C, and I walked by on Sunday and there were two empty on C.

 

I guess Alaska needs one, JetBlue needs one, and OneJet one gate? Or did AA decide to pick up an additional one on C?

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I flew United out of BNA for the first time in years. I was surprised that the BNA-DEN route was still flying on a small CRJ-700 because Denver is a hub. I thought United was upgrading its service to larger planes for all routes out of BNA?

They still operate both United and United Express to Denver, Houston-Bush, & Chicago-O'Hare, the latter with the addition of Washington-Dulles as a destination.

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A few minor adjustments to two carriers. Southwest is dropping their service to Newark (EWR) in April but American is starting up Saturday-only seasonal service to Cancun in March.

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And that's why airlines want in, a proven track record of solid growth end over end. 

If any expansion happens to the terminal, it'd be concourse A because of space to the north on the tarmac.

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The airport's Facebook page has a very simple image, sunset with a big question mark. The only words: "Stay Tuned." Usually a new announcement has had some for of a leak, there is zero out there right now. I have a strong hunch this could be a major announcement. London, San Francisco, perhaps Tokyo, long shot of Sydney, who knows? All that we know, BNA isn't telling, yet. 

https://www.facebook.com/NashvilleInternationalAirport/photos/a.10151526060312127.1073741827.88374197126/10153081952412127/?type=3&theater

Edited by NashRugger
Simply URL link
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Well, it could be a sunrise, too. I'd be much more pleased to see an AA flight to London over BA. I book most of my travel on awards and BA tacks on crazy fuel surcharges for transatlantic flights. 

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1 hour ago, NashRugger said:

Latest post: "Air service announcement at 9:30am tomorrow." Tuesday the 15th, expect it to be big because there is rarely ever this much secrecy from BNA.

Definitely something international. There's no need for this much public secrecy about anything except a trans Atlantic or Pacific flight. I'm writing an angry email if it's adding flights to Dayton.

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