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Australia’s top airports – Canberra doesn’t exist

Felix the Cat 3 February 2012 53

Mr Snow will be most upset to learn that the Daily Telegraph has an article titled Australia’s best – and worst – airports revealed and Canberra airport fails to even get a mention!

This oversight is quite understandable, it’s not like Canberra is anywhere important, it’s just the capital of Australia.

Here is the list of the top Australian airports:

Favourite Australian airports

    1. Melbourne
    2. Sydney
    3. Brisbane
    4. Gold Coast
    5. Adelaide
    6. Perth
    7. Darwin
    8. Hobart

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53 Responses to Australia’s top airports – Canberra doesn’t exist
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dungfungus 7:00 pm 01 Apr 12

[quote comment="396812"][quote comment="383030"][quote comment="382955"]Snow certainly plans to build a hotel out at the airport, and I bet he has a secondary plan to then turn bits of it into units. There's all that land to the east of the airport too, I'd eat one of my smaller and more palatable hats if he wasn't eyeing that and thinking about housing.

Sydney airport is utter crap! The fact that you cannot walk to each terminal is a fatal flaw, even the dreadful LAX allows that (if you have time, feet and a good trolley). Sydney airport is in effect two airports. Even funny old Melbourne is better, you can walk to all bits, and there's a civilised thing, they have showers with hot water in most of the toilets. Sydney has free showers but they're hidden and most don't find them.[/quote]

The domestic and international terminals at the airport at Amsterdam (Schiphol or Shithole as the locals call it) are joined by walkway but it takes 20 - 30 minutes to push your trolley between them. The security staff are the rudest I've ever met. This is a real shame because it is KLMs hub port and KLM are a great airline. The transfer between domestic and international in Sydney is dreadful for this day and age. They need the underground rail at the domestic terminal to link with the international. They have something like this in Barajas, Madrid and it only costs 3 euros to go anywhere in Madrid from there by the metro. (3 euros! No wonder Spain is broke)[/quote]

Amsterdam has a domestic terminal ????? I thought you could walk across Holland in an hour or two ![/quote]

That's "domestic" in respect of all the Schengen countries within the EEC. I thought you of all people would have known that EJ.

Kim F 1:04 pm 01 Apr 12

[quote comment="383030"][quote comment="382955"]Snow certainly plans to build a hotel out at the airport, and I bet he has a secondary plan to then turn bits of it into units. There's all that land to the east of the airport too, I'd eat one of my smaller and more palatable hats if he wasn't eyeing that and thinking about housing.

Sydney airport is utter crap! The fact that you cannot walk to each terminal is a fatal flaw, even the dreadful LAX allows that (if you have time, feet and a good trolley). Sydney airport is in effect two airports. Even funny old Melbourne is better, you can walk to all bits, and there's a civilised thing, they have showers with hot water in most of the toilets. Sydney has free showers but they're hidden and most don't find them.[/quote]

The domestic and international terminals at the airport at Amsterdam (Schiphol or Shithole as the locals call it) are joined by walkway but it takes 20 - 30 minutes to push your trolley between them. The security staff are the rudest I've ever met. This is a real shame because it is KLMs hub port and KLM are a great airline. The transfer between domestic and international in Sydney is dreadful for this day and age. They need the underground rail at the domestic terminal to link with the international. They have something like this in Barajas, Madrid and it only costs 3 euros to go anywhere in Madrid from there by the metro. (3 euros! No wonder Spain is broke)[/quote]

Amsterdam has a domestic terminal ????? I thought you could walk across Holland in an hour or two !

Felix the Cat 10:15 am 01 Apr 12

It seems Canberra still doesn't exist - http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/australias-worst-airport-revealed/story-e6frea6u-1226314469411

p1 9:54 pm 05 Feb 12

[quote comment="383224"]

It is the best (by far) commercial development in Canberra. The fact that it is on land which actually made it possible for it to happen is hardly surprising.

[/quote]

Yes. It couldn't happen in a town centre. Because it isn't a town centre. A town centre is in the middle of a town, where the people live all around, and with shops and services they can visit without driving extra distances. Instead it is all out on its own, requiring more use of transport, upgrading of roads, unnessesary traffic congestion, etc, etc, etc.

Ohhhh, and anthropogenic climate change from CO2 emissions is actually happening.

p1 8:24 pm 05 Feb 12

[quote comment="383222"]It made a lot of business sense to Snow. I don't think it's fair to put the burden of local government planning on a businessman. The government(s) stuffed up and let a lot of potential vanish out of the public grasp.[/quote]

When I said it didn't make sense, I was talking about from a "didn't make sense to anyone not making money from it" point of view. Snow et al are perfectly rational.

I am not suggesting that property developers be the ones who have to consider the public good (well, it would be nice if they weren't totally immoral bastards....). In this case the problem was the nature of the land, the the face that the ACT planners pretty much had no say in what Snow could do. The feds are to blame for that.

breda 8:06 pm 05 Feb 12

p1, there is no way that a development like the BBP could have been built in Woden or Belconnen or Tuggers. The Kommissars (not to mention the NIMBYs) would never have allowed it.

It is the best (by far) commercial development in Canberra. The fact that it is on land which actually made it possible for it to happen is hardly surprising.

Once upon a time, people welcomed successful enterprises. They fell over themselves with thanks when these enterprises were high quality, above and beyond the bare legal minimum.

Nowadays, we have ugly, cheaply built town centres courtesy of the Kommissars and people sniping at the Snows. Go figure.

Skyring 7:43 pm 05 Feb 12

[quote comment="383205"]I think most people's problem with Snowtown (at least my problem) was the construction of it in a place which made no sense at all, and forced the city and it's people to invest a lot of time and money to connect it, money which in the long term only benefits a private corporation.

As far as the quality of planning Snow vrs Canberra Town Council Local Gov't, it is pretty clear that Snow has made his vision happen, it looks good, and he didn't go broke doing it. The ACT can't even build a road all the lanes...[/quote]It made a lot of business sense to Snow. I don't think it's fair to put the burden of local government planning on a businessman. The government(s) stuffed up and let a lot of potential vanish out of the public grasp.

p1 5:49 pm 05 Feb 12

[quote comment="383195"]

The Snows get a lot of stick in Canberra, but the Brindabella Business Park and now the airport demonstrate that they actually care about the quality of their projects. Having worked at BBP and as a frequent user of the airport, I wish people would look at Woden and Tuggers and explain to me how leaving it up to the Planning Kommissars has produced better results.[/quote]

I think most people's problem with Snowtown (at least my problem) was the construction of it in a place which made no sense at all, and forced the city and it's people to invest a lot of time and money to connect it, money which in the long term only benefits a private corporation.

As far as the quality of planning Snow vrs Canberra Town Council Local Gov't, it is pretty clear that Snow has made his vision happen, it looks good, and he didn't go broke doing it. The ACT can't even build a road all the lanes...

harvyk1 5:10 pm 05 Feb 12

[quote comment="383202"]My understanding is that the east side will be Qantasland and the west side Virgin Territory.[/quote]

That's my understanding as well, of course at only 40% completed, not even Qantasland is at full size yet...

Skyring 4:57 pm 05 Feb 12

[quote comment="383193"]Back on topic, I suppose there is nothing stopping good ole QF from moving the business lounge to a better position once the other half of the airport is finished. For all we know that is simply a temporary spot for it and it'll be moved to a more prominent spot in the centre of the airport once finished.[/quote]My understanding is that the east side will be Qantasland and the west side Virgin Territory.

breda 4:08 pm 05 Feb 12

Things are definitely improving at the airport, and thank goodness we now have (and will continue to have) an enclosed taxi rank. Having experienced coming home at night in winter, -4 degrees, and standing on a freezing, windswept taxi rank hoping for a cab, yay for that.

One question - why do airports do the zig-zag, rats-in-a-maze thing for disembarking passengers? Is it a security thing, or a way of slowing down the traffic flow?

I fondly remember the days when we would go to the airport's cramped, grubby little bar on a Sunday because it was the only place that plebs could get a drink. There would be interesting conversations (journos) to overhear as well.

The Snows get a lot of stick in Canberra, but the Brindabella Business Park and now the airport demonstrate that they actually care about the quality of their projects. Having worked at BBP and as a frequent user of the airport, I wish people would look at Woden and Tuggers and explain to me how leaving it up to the Planning Kommissars has produced better results.

harvyk1 3:40 pm 05 Feb 12

[quote comment="383186"][quote comment="383174"]I find it amusing the Qantas Club has the nice view, and the Qantas Business Lounge has the view of the carpark, however I've been to many a lounge where the view was not exactly a good one. (Ever been to the Business Lounge at Melbourne International? It feels like a dungeon.[/quote]Uh-oh. You're not talking about the First lounge where I'll be spending a couple of hours next month? The Sydney one has the best view of any lounge, not to mention service and meals - I was hoping for something similar in Melbourne.[/quote]

Whilst this is probably getting into the territory for a certain other forum, no I wasn't referring to the first lounge in Melbourne, I was referring to the business lounge down stairs underneath the main concourse with all the other lounges for the different airlines. (or at least where they used to be, I haven't been out of T2 in MEL for a while so don't know if it's still there). The first lounge in Melbourne is upstairs above the main concourse

PS. Certainly not wrong about the First lounge in Sydney... :)

Back on topic, I suppose there is nothing stopping good ole QF from moving the business lounge to a better position once the other half of the airport is finished. For all we know that is simply a temporary spot for it and it'll be moved to a more prominent spot in the centre of the airport once finished.

Skyring 3:07 pm 05 Feb 12

[quote comment="383174"]I find it amusing the Qantas Club has the nice view, and the Qantas Business Lounge has the view of the carpark, however I've been to many a lounge where the view was not exactly a good one. (Ever been to the Business Lounge at Melbourne International? It feels like a dungeon.[/quote]Uh-oh. You're not talking about the First lounge where I'll be spending a couple of hours next month? The Sydney one has the best view of any lounge, not to mention service and meals - I was hoping for something similar in Melbourne.

farnarkler 1:57 pm 05 Feb 12

Mr Evil you must fly Virgin all the time from Canberra. There is no skybridge to the Qantas Dash 8s so you do walk across the tarmac. Too bad if it's raining.

One thing that annoys me about the airport is the width of the corridor when you get off Qantaslink. You turn right and all of a sudden you're confronted with pax waiting to board the plane you've just left.

harvyk1 12:34 pm 05 Feb 12

[quote comment="383030"]The transfer between domestic and international in Sydney is dreadful for this day and age. They need the underground rail at the domestic terminal to link with the international[/quote]

The underground rail at the domestic terminal does link with the international terminal, the actual train ride takes somewhere between a minute and a half to two minutes (I don't remember exactly).

Also provided you fly with an airline with some sort of agreement with Qantas or Virgin (or fly internationally with either of these two) they also provide buses which take you from T2 \ T3 to T1...

I agree with Skyring's comment about the Qantas lounges at CBR, I find it amusing the Qantas Club has the nice view, and the Qantas Business Lounge has the view of the carpark, however I've been to many a lounge where the view was not exactly a good one. (Ever been to the Business Lounge at Melbourne International? It feels like a dungeon)

I know that many people like to bag Mr Snow out, and I agree with a lot of the comments made about him, but I think he is onto an absolute winner with the new airport, and I for one can't wait for it to be finished.

Mr Evil 11:26 am 05 Feb 12

Canberra Airport has certainly improved over the past three years - checking-in seems to be a much smoother process now (although that is partially because of the introduction of more e-check-in hubs) with more room to move and better traffic flow through the new check-in area.

At least going to Canberra Airport doesn't seem like a time-warp to the 1960s like it was over the past 10 years, when I always expected to be marshalled out across the tarmac to the awaiting DC-3, DC-4, Fokker Friendship or Vickers Viscount!

More signage would be nice too, although as has been mentioned, things will make more sense once stage two is completed.

Just a pity Snow felt it was more important to build the rest of empire up, before working on the terminal though! At least now when you go to the airport, it actually looks like an airport - not some sort of bus terminal built next to a runway.

switch 9:59 am 05 Feb 12

I really like Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam). The only place I've ever got a very nice meal while waiting for my plane.

bikhet 4:29 pm 04 Feb 12

[quote comment="383075"]I'm not a fan of any airport really. The only reason I go there is because I'm traveling. FWIW, I quite like the approach taken by Orlando airport with having terminals connected by shuttle trains.[/quote]

+1 to Orlando. It's the only airport where my baggage is consistently on the carousel by the time I get there. And that's not because the shuttle trains are slow.

[quote comment="383089"]But perhaps a better analogue for Canberra is Washington's domestic airport at Reagan, about the same distance from the city centre as ours. Airliners follow the Potomac, their wingtips seeming to brush the tip of the Washington Memorial. It is not much bigger than Canberra International, but vastly busier. It is the only airport where I have seen an airliner cross the main runway while another is on final approach.[/quote]

And it's great fun flying into Reagan during a storm. Like riding a crazed dodgem car down the Potomac!

Skyring 9:14 am 04 Feb 12

[quote comment="383075"]I'm not a fan of any airport really. The only reason I go there is because I'm traveling. FWIW, I quite like the approach taken by Orlando airport with having terminals connected by shuttle trains.[/quote]The best large airports are those designed as a whole. Orlando has one of the best, with a great deal of planning and thought put into the design. Older airports, such as San Francisco or Dallas/Fort Worth, also work well through the harmony of travel nodes. Hong Kong has a fantastic airport, with a subway running the length of the very long terminal.

Dulles, the international airport for another national capital, was one of the first designed for the jet age, and although the vision is spectacular, it was also deeply flawed, with passengers moved around in enormous people-mover vehicles.

But perhaps a better analogue for Canberra is Washington's domestic airport at Reagan, about the same distance from the city centre as ours. Airliners follow the Potomac, their wingtips seeming to brush the tip of the Washington Memorial. It is not much bigger than Canberra International, but vastly busier. It is the only airport where I have seen an airliner cross the main runway while another is on final approach.

Canberra is extremely lucky with its airport. It is close to the city centre, the approach and departure corridors are largely vacant, the site is not cramped, and the terminal is modern and well-planned. Once the construction is complete, we should have a facility that is a perfect and impressive arrival point. I have no doubt that hotel and convention facilities will appear in due course.

However, I can't see how the design could reasonably be extended to cope for a greater density of flights or a significant volume of international movements. As we often hear when Canberra is proposed as "Sydney's second airport" at the end of a VFT link. Another terminal in the general aviation area, perhaps, or expansion of the old Fairbairn facilities.

Deref 8:39 am 04 Feb 12

IMO Adelaide airport is the best in Australia. Similar size to Canberra's but logically laid out and as pleasant as it's possible for any airport to be.

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