Airports go for enhanced “intermodality”

Schiphol, Miami and Hong Kong point the way to the future

High oil prices and environmental concerns are increasing the desire for intermodal transport connections at air hubs around the world. “Intermodality” is fairly common in Europe, where rail, bus and road links can improve an airport’s catchment area. At Schiphol, for example, the trains arrive directly below the airport terminal, putting city residents as well as tourists in close touch with the airport’s retail stores and business complexes landside, making it an “aerotropolis”.
But the idea is less common in North America where cars dominate access to airports. This may be changing. In Miami, work has begun on a five-kilometre airport link to the city centre, due for completion next April. Passengers will then use the Miami Intermodal Centre to switch to an elevated automated transit system that will have a 3,000-passenger-per-hour capacity.
Hong Kong International Airport is possibly the most interconnected air hub in the world, with its Airport Express reaching the city centre in 24 minutes and links to China’s mainland and the Pearl River Delta; 460 coach trips daily to 115 Pearl River Delta destinations; and ferries via the new SkyPier. HKIA’s intermodality vastly increases its catchment area.
Jane’s Airport Review
[pictured: Miami Intermodal Centre]