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Monday, December 19, 2011

Airports - 2

In this post, I'm going to tell you more about airports.

Environmental Concerns

The noise generated by aircraft is major cause of disturbance to residents living near airports. Sleep can be affected if the airports operate night and early morning flights. The noise not only occurs from take-off and landings, but also ground operations including maintenance and testing of aircraft. Noise can have other health effects. Other environmental concerns include vehicle traffic causing pollution on roads leading to airports. The construction of new airports or addition of runways to existing airports is often resisted by local residents because of the effect on countryside and the local flora and fauna. Also, due to the risk of collision between birds and airplanes, large airports undertake population control programs before beginning construction. The above picture shows an aerial view of an airport.  

The construction of airports has been known to change local weather patterns. For example, because they often flatten out large areas, they can be susceptible to fog in areas where fog rarely forms. In addition, as they generally replace trees and grass with pavement, they often change drainage patterns in agricultural areas, leading to more flooding, run-off and erosion in the surrounding land. Some of the airport administrations prepare and publish annual environmental reports in order to show how they consider these environmental concerns in airport management issues and how they protect environment from airport operations. These reports contain all environmental protection measures performed by airport administration in terms of water, air, soil and noise pollution, resource conservation and protection of natural life around the airport.

Military airbases

An airbase, sometimes referred to as a military airport or airfield, provides basing and support to military aircraft. Some airbases provide facilities similar to their civilian counterparts. For example, RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, England has a terminal which caters to passengers for the Royal Air Force's scheduled TriStar flights to the Falkland Islands. Military airbases may also be co-located with civilian airports, sharing the same air traffic control, facilities, runways, taxiways and emergency services, but with separate terminals, parking areas, hangars and shelter areas. Examples of this are Bardufoss Airport/Bardufoss Air Station and Gardermoen Airport/Gardermoen Air Station, both in Norway. The picture above shows Edwards Air Force Base

A special variant of a military airfield is the aircraft carrier. An aircraft carrier is a warship that functions as a floating military airbase. Aircraft carriers allow a naval force to project air power over great distances without having to depend on land bases for aircraft. After their development in World War I, aircraft carriers replaced the battleship as the centrepiece of a modern fleet. For more info on aircraft carriers, go to my post, 'Aircraft Carriers'.

Airports in Entertainment and Popular Culture

Airports have played major roles in films and television programs due to its very nature as a transport and international hub, and sometimes because of distinctive architectural features of particular airports. One such example of this is The Terminal, a film about a man who becomes permanently grounded in an airport terminal and must survive only on the food and shelter provided by the airport. They are also one of the major elements in movies such as The V.I.P.s, Airplane!, Airport, Die Hard 2, Soul Plane, Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, Home Alone, Liar Liar, Passenger 57, Final Destination, Unaccompanied Minors, Catch Me If You Can, Rendition and The Langoliers. The picture on the top left shows Dulles International Airport, where Die Hard 2 is supposed to have taken place. Actually, the film was shot at Los Angeles International Airport.

They have also played important parts in television series like Lost, The Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model, Cycle 10 which have significant parts of their story set within airports. In other programmes and films, airports are merely indicative of journeys, e.g. Good Will Hunting.

Several computer simulation games put the player in charge of an airport. These include Airport Tycoon and the sequels: Airport Tycoon 2 and Airport Tycoon 3. There is also a Japanese series of games called Air Traffic Controller.

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