Chitkara University Publications

The Architecture of Airport Terminals: Gateway To A City

This paper looks at Airport Terminals as icons in a city and the design aspects for the Terminal building which is the interface between ground & air transport. The architecture of Terminal building involves diverse perspectives of analysis and understanding. As glamorous gateways to a city, Airports are representative and first impressions of the city. Hence, form and function of Terminal buildings are both equally prime aspects of planning & design. Cities vie for world class airports- domestic or international, as they are a city’s pride like any other monument or landmark, catering to visitors across cities and nations. Airports are generally planned for a longer life term functioning at least for half a century with intent of good possibility of future expansion. A Terminal has two sides to it; land-side and air-side. While passenger comfort and safety are of utmost importance, on air-side the operational activities of the aircrafts require critical planning and management. They are large establishments involving architecture and technical design detailing at various scales. Apart from the primary objectives of passenger needs, airline operational needs, airport management- safety & security, there is a community objective as well; which involves a facility for citizens; airport building itself being an aesthetic and integral part of the city. Indian cities are witnessing unprecedented growth in air travel and expectations of a good experience at the Airport is deemed prerogative. ‘Green Airports’ are the current theme in India going the social & environmental way of design & conceptualization.


Dakshayini R Patil and Mamatha P Raj, BMS College of Architecture, Bull Temple Road, Bangalore


Airport Terminals, Configuration, Architecture, Evolution



‘Norms & standards for capacity of Airport Terminals’, The Secretariat for the Committee on Infrastructure Planning Commission, Government of India. Jan 2009.

Khanna, Arora& Jain,‘Airport planning & design’, Nem Chand & Brother. 1999.

Landrum & Brown et al, ‘Airport Passenger Terminal Planning and Design, Volume 1: Guidebook’ Chapter II – Terminal Planning and Design Process. By Transportation Research Board, Washington DC under ACRP. 2010

Richard De Neufville, Amedeo and Odoni., ‘Airport systems: Planning, Design and Management’, McGraw Hill. 2013 Second edition.

Web links: Feb 02, 2019) May 05, 2019) (Accessed May 05, 2019)



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