Airports A-B

Abu Dhabi International Airport

Airports are meeting points not only of cultures but also of religions. Abu Dhabi Airports recently opened a multi-faith prayer room at Abu Dhabi International Airport T3, reflecting the company's (and country's) determination to implement values of respect, acceptance and diversity. All travellers and all religious beliefs are welcomed. What a powerful statement in a divided world.

The extraordinary shape of things to come as Abu Dhabi International Airport's magnificent 700,000sq m Midfield Terminal Building nears its long-anticipated opening in 2019. When completed it will be one of the world's great airports.

This is the terminal, the light
Gives perfect vision, false and hard;
The metal glitters, deep and bright
Great planes are waiting in the yard
They are already in the night.
– From ‘At The San Francisco Airport’, Yvor Winters

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport

The roll-call of the world's greatest airports includes many works of architectural genius. Adolfo Suárez Airport Madrid-Barajas Terminal 4 (pictured above and below) surely ranks near the zenith of any such list.


The terminal, opened in 2006, was honoured with the Stirling Prize of the Royal Institute of British Architects; the International RIBA European Awards 2006; Best Engineering Project 2005 by the Institute of Engineering Spain; and the Design Award T + L 2006 in the category of ‘Best Public Space’. More simply, it's a place of wonder. [Photos: PPS Publications]

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Athens International Airport

Airports as cultural not just commercial gateways is a pervading theme of this special publication. The Eleftherios Venizelos permanent exhibition (below) at Athens International Airport (above) honours the founder of Greece’s first Ministry of Aviation (1864-1936). The exhibition offers visitors an insight into how Venizelos, a key figure in modern Greek history, shaped the country's destiny. [Photos: PPS Publications].

Another lovely shot that captures Athens International Airport's unwavering determination to mirror Greece's rich cultural heritage.

Beijing Capital International Airport

Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3 captured in all its breath-taking splendour. [Photo courtesy of DutyFreeExpert]

Beijing Daxing International Airport

The Chinese capital city's stunning new US$11.5 billion dollar aviation hub is expected to open in September 2019. In its first phase, it will boast four runways (climbing eventually to seven) and a terminal the size of 97 football pitches. The airport is expected to accommodate 72 million passengers and two million tons of cargo annually by 2025. [Images: Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects]

Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport

The gateway to Lebanon contains a world-class retail offer, courtesy of Phoenicia Aer Rianta Company, a partnership between Phoenicia Trading and Aer Rianta International, trading as Beirut Duty Free.

“The airport is the only place you can walk around with no shoes, a glazed look on your face, and sleep on the benches and no-one judges you.”- Coriander Woodruff, The Call of the Spectacled Owl

– Coriander Woodruff, The Call of the Spectacled Owl

Belfast International Airport

This great aerial shot of the Northern Ireland gateway was taken when the 39th G8 Summit was held in Belfast in 2013.


It perfectly encapsulates the operating capabilities of Belfast International Airport with the two cross runways visible against a backdrop of the lush greenery of the Irish countryside.

Brisbane Airport

Few airports encapsulate the great notion of Sense of Place better than Brisbane Airport, the main gateway to Australia's vast state of Queensland. The much-loved Aussie concept of 'the great outdoors' is expressed brilliantly here.

The great outdoors? You better believe it. On the eve of the current Australia v India cricket series, a warm-up match actually took place in the middle of the airport's International Terminal with teams made up of senior travel personnel from the two countries, including a certain Aussie fast-bowling legend, Brett Lee, pictured below. Howzat for innovation? (And for the record India won by 77 runs to 68 with no windows broken).

Bristol Airport

Sense of Place is a key consideration to differentiate the customer experience at Bristol Airport in the Southwest of England. Several design features are integrated to help define the region, including natural finishes such as timber and reeds, interior planting, colours and textures and sculptures and graphics.


This hand-made Bristol Blue-inspired glass chandelier in the departures lounge reflects the shape of the River Avon and adds a tone of serenity to the relentless pace and bustle of an airport.

Brussels Airport

Love is in the air: A ravishing 1636 work by great Flemish artist Sir Peter Paul Rubens, The Feast of Venus (1636) was brought to life in the most contemporary manner at Brussels Airport. Belgian company SkullMapping, commissioned by tourist agency VisitFlanders, used projection mapping technology to offer the impression that Cupid was breaking out of the painting and flying around to inspire love among passengers waiting for their own flights.


The Cupid of Rubens ‘will fly’ until April 2019, when it will be replaced by new artworks inspired by Brueghel.

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine | Spotlight Series – Special Report | 17 December 2018