pacomartin
pacomartin
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April 24th, 2011 at 2:32:16 PM permalink
Aerotropoli is a buzzword that has been circulating for about ten years now. Although the availability of air transport has long been an engine of economic development, and Airports have increasingly been fleshed out with dining options, sometimes connected hotels, the word Aerotropoli is a step up in development.

Aerotropoli (literally airport cities) typically attract industries related to time-sensitive manufacturing, e-commerce fulfillment, telecommunications and logistics; hotels, retail outlets, entertainment complexes and exhibition centers; and offices for business people who travel frequently by air or engage in global commerce. Clusters of business parks, logistics parks, industrial parks, distribution centers, information technology complexes and wholesale merchandise marts locate around the airport and along the transportation corridors radiating from them.

The wikipedia article list the following 8 airports (% of takeoffs is shown)
6.06% Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
4.46% Chicago O'Hare International Airport (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
3.82% Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, United States)
2.18% Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Willow Run Airport (Detroit, Michigan, United States)
2.39% Newark Liberty International Airport (Newark, New Jersey, United States)
1.60% Washington Dulles International Airport (Washington D.C., United States)
0.72% Memphis International Airport (Memphis, Tennessee, United States) [FEDEX]
0.55% General Mitchell International Airport (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States)

While admitting that the wikipedia list is probably not very scientific, it does omit busy airports like LAX, Denver International, JFK, and Las Vegas.

What infrastructure and social changes do you think have to happen to turn Las Vegas airport into an aerotropolis? Is it possible?

If there existed a 2.5 mile underground tunnel connecting the airport terminal to the strip and on to the now existing warehouse space to the west of I15 could that be transformed into a modern aerotropolis? Is the education level of Las Vegas too low to ever support that kind of transformation?
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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April 25th, 2011 at 11:32:32 AM permalink
I don't think it will happen. Las Vegas is too close to Ontario, California (a major airfreight hub for the southwestern U.S.) to make the investment for most companies worthwhile.
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Lote
Lote
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April 25th, 2011 at 12:51:19 PM permalink
I would also contend that Newark isn't an aerotropolis because of the fact there there is a competing shipping industry within sight of the airport.
7outlineaway
7outlineaway
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April 25th, 2011 at 1:02:01 PM permalink
Aren't there long term plans to build a new LAS further south on I-15? The date on this has probably been pushed back due to the recession but I don't think it's been shelved entirely. There's really no way to expand the current LAS's footprint, and not a whole lot of places to put new industries, unless it becomes agreeable to tear down residential areas.

I believe RNO is a bigger logistical hub than LAS.
Wavy70
Wavy70
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April 25th, 2011 at 1:03:00 PM permalink
Quote: 7outlineaway

Aren't there long term plans to build a new LAS further south on I-15? The date on this has probably been pushed back due to the recession but I don't think it's been shelved entirely. There's really no way to expand the current LAS's footprint, and not a whole lot of places to put new industries, unless it becomes agreeable to tear down residential areas.



Out by Whisky Petes they are building the new freight hub.
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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April 25th, 2011 at 1:15:56 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

I don't think it will happen. Las Vegas is too close to Ontario, California (a major airfreight hub for the southwestern U.S.) to make the investment for most companies worthwhile.



Good point. Ontario is comparatively empty of passenger traffic, unlike the other Southern California airports. You have the population of 12 million within easy trucking distance. But for international traffic, Las Vegas is the bottom ranked of the top 20, but is probably the only one that has no international flights conducted by a domestic airline.

Sooner or later Southwest must begin to expand seriously into international flying. They are partnering with Volaris for flights into Mexico. But given their domestic flight dominance at Las Vegas, maybe they will base a lot of their international flights there. Perhaps a less intensive airfreight business, but one more dependent on international travel should be developed.




JFK John F. Kennedy International Airport
MIA Miami International Airport
LAX Los Angeles International Airport
EWR Newark Liberty International Airport
ORD O'Hare International Airport
ATL Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
SFO San Francisco International Airport
IAH George Bush Intercontinental Airport
IAD Washington Dulles International Airport
DFW Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
PHL Philadelphia International Airport
BOS Logan International Airport
HNL Honolulu International Airport
FLL Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
MCO Orlando International Airport
DTW Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
SEA Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
CLT Charlotte/Douglas International Airport
MSP Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
LAS McCarran International Airport
Wizard
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Wizard
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April 25th, 2011 at 2:20:16 PM permalink
I think a legitimate hotel and easy public transportation to the center of the city should be requirements. The Miami airport perhaps should be added to the list, for having a large hotel (I stayed in it two months ago), and a public bus transit center.

One nice thing about the Vegas airport is that it is close to the center of the action, so there isn't as much need for a hotel. There is already plenty of convention space nearby. So I don't see LAS being a good candidate.

A bit off topic, but I hope when the monorail goes fully bankrupt the city will take over and extend it to the airport. That may not make it an "aerotropli" but will certainly help.

Quote: pacomartin

Sooner or later Southwest must begin to expand seriously into international flying.



When I was in Hawaii I read in the Honolulu newspaper that Southwest is buying larger planes, capable of reaching Hawaii from the mainland. It was speculated that was a reason, but maybe they have international destinations in mind.
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FleaStiff
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April 25th, 2011 at 2:54:02 PM permalink
Airports used to take people from places where they are not to places where they don't want to be. Each end of the flight involved an undesired trek. Putting hotels on an airport made the destination bearable but the strip clubs were always off the airport proper.

Now its more a question of efficient air transport. A feeder airport is often better. A smaller town with a good airport will prosper. Businesses only need an 800 number, a fax machine and a FedEx account. I've posted before about the Los Angeles Label Company whose phone number is in a Los Angeles area code but which rings in Montana. You can FedEx a roll of bar-coded labels from Montana even faster than delivering it from some distant area of Los Angeles county.

One of the Best of Las Vegas bakery firms is a franchise and the franchisor is still located in a small town of 400 residents in Idaho or something. You don't need a convention center sometimes.

Its possible to live in Phoenix and attend all the basketball games. If you try the same thing in Los Angeles it takes half the night, your car will have some stray bullets in it and you will spend much of the time in frustrating stop and go traffic. Smaller cities often work better than larger ones.

Free Flight will soon be coming to US civil airspace. Things will really change then!
pacomartin
pacomartin
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April 25th, 2011 at 4:51:18 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think a legitimate hotel and easy public transportation to the center of the city should be requirements. The Miami airport perhaps should be added to the list, for having a large hotel (I stayed in it two months ago), and a public bus transit center. One nice thing about the Vegas airport is that it is close to the center of the action, so there isn't as much need for a hotel. There is already plenty of convention space nearby. So I don't see LAS being a good candidate. A bit off topic, but I hope when the monorail goes fully bankrupt the city will take over and extend it to the airport. That may not make it an "aerotropli" but will certainly help. When I was in Hawaii I read in the Honolulu newspaper that Southwest is buying larger planes, capable of reaching Hawaii from the mainland. It was speculated that was a reason, but maybe they have international destinations in mind.



I don't think a requirement is necessarily that the airport have a hotel in the terminal, but certainly connected by monorail would suffice. As you said the real center of Las Vegas already is the airport so your part way there. If the monorail ties in UNLV then you will have an educational institute as part of the mix.

Southwest will probably start by flying to Hawaii from several destinations. But for them to invest in a new class of planes after decades, they must have more than one destination in mind.

But more than transportation infrastructure you need some institutions and some buildings. In San Diego they have about 230K international passengers and have historically never been been higher than 300K. The complaint was always that San Diego has a very low percentage of people that have passports, and the tourist business is not enough to justify the flights. But still 230K is far fewer than the over 2 million international passengers at Las Vegas. But all international traffic is from foreign carriers.

When a study was made 12 years ago to rank world cities by Economic characteristics, Political characteristics, Cultural characteristics, and Infrastructural characteristics it wasn't surprising that London and New York were the two alpha ++ cities. But the bottom of the list was the gamma minus cities:
Detroit, San Diego, and Columbus in the USA; Calgary Canada; Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, in the UK; Guayaquil,San Salvador, in Central America; and Wellington, Riga, Porto, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Port Louis, Islamabad, Doha, and Almaty elsewhere in the world.

Las Vegas did not make the list at all. Despite international fame, it was deemed to not have any characteristics of a world city. But it has so much of the necessities that other cities don't have. World class restaurants, plenty of hotel rooms, condominiums. The weather is nice, and the probability of a natural disaster is very low. If they could just build on that besides adding more entertainment.

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