My Airport History: Baltimore (BWI)

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flighthistorian.com/airports/BWI

As one of the few Southwest Airlines focus cities (and former AirTran hubs) that serves Dayton, Baltimore generally serves as my layover to or from Orlando when I’m not able to take the one daily direct Orlando flight. However, I am now doing more personal travel on Southwest than before, so I’ve managed to pick up a few more destinations from Baltimore.

All in all, it’s not a bad airport for a layover; it’s not too huge, and Southwest’s concourses A, B, and C all converge on the central A-B food court and atrium which, though largely fast food, does manage to have a large enough selection that I can always find something I want.

It also is extremely easy to hop in and out of the secure area (particularly with TSA PreCheck) at nine in the evening, with effectively zero wait for security. This allowed me to take advantage of one of the best coincidences I’ve had in air travel. Last December, my sister and her family were moving to Germany, and the final US layover for her and my two nephews was Baltimore. Meanwhile, I had a work trip to Orlando that I’d booked a month prior that gave me an hour and a half layover at Baltimore on the same evening. Her flight was in the international terminal and mine was in Southwest’s domestic area, so meeting airside wasn’t an option, but I was able to leave the secure area and meet her landside with plenty of time to spare.

Creating a Regular Expression for US Tail Numbers

Screenshot 2015-09-03 21.27.16

One of the minor features I’ve added to the flight log is country flags for tail numbers. Every aircraft is registered to one country, and each country has its own assigned format for tail numbers, so it’s possible to look at each tail number and determine what country it’s from.

Since this operation is matching a string to a pattern, it made sense to create regular expressions for each country. For most countries, whose tail number is a unique prefix followed by a dash and three or four letters, this was easy to do. But the United States rules for valid tail numbers are substantially more complicated.

Continue reading “Creating a Regular Expression for US Tail Numbers”

Terminal Silhouettes: CVG

CVG

CVG.svg

Cincinnati was an interesting airport for me to draw, largely because I had to make some decisions about what terminals and concourses to include.

Right now, Cincinnati has one active terminal (Terminal 3) with two active concourses (A and B) and one inactive concourse (C), shown in that order on the above image starting from the upper right and going clockwise. There’s also an old terminal 2 with its own concourse, which I chose not to include on the above image.

Cincinnati used to be a large Delta hub, using all three concourses of Terminal 3 – with their regional subsidiary Comair alone taking up the entirety of Concourse C; all other airlines used the older Terminal 2. In the mid-2000s, though, Delta began substantially cutting back their flights from CVG, and by 2010, Delta was entirely operating out of Concourse B. In 2012, flights from other airlines moved into Concourse A, leaving Concourse A and B as the only active concourses in the airport.

As Terminal 2 is no longer in use, I decided not to include it in my drawing. I did, however, decide to keep Terminal 3 Concourse C – while it’s not in use now, Delta does own the lease on it until 2025, and could still move back in if they chose. This isn’t likely, but between that and Concourse C being one of the most recognizable features of CVG from the air, I decided that it was still relevant enough to include.

Terminal Silhouettes: MCO

Terminal silhouette of MCO (Orlando)

MCO.svg

My general rule for these terminal silhouettes is that I only draw the terminals and concourses of an airport; ancillary structures like parking garages and train tracks are usually excluded. For Orlando, though, the terminal to concourse train lines are such an integral part of the identity of the airport that I elected to include them in this specific instance.

“Whether you call central Florida home, or your favorite travel destination, we hope that you will return soon. Have a pleasant flight. Orlando and central Florida have so much to offer, there’s a good chance you didn’t see and do it all, so please come back and visit us again very soon. This is Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer, and we do hope you enjoyed your Orlando experience.”

– MCO Train Announcement