What to do with disused airports?

Aug 11, 2014

New terminals are cropping up all over the world at a stratospheric rate– but what happens to the ones that are no longer useful? Jonathan Glancey investigates.

It is hard to predict quite what commercial flight will be like in future decades, yet we can be sure that many of today’s ambitious new airport terminals, some designed by the world’s most highly rated architects and engineers, will be redundant faster than you can say Concorde. Because so many more of us want to fly each year, ever further, more frequently and as cheaply as possible, aircraft and airports are multiplying at a stratospheric rate. Airport terminals, however, are big, highly specialised and costly buildings. Are they doomed to be demolished as numbers multiply or can new uses be found for them? Much, it appears, turns on just how big they are.