This past week, I took a trip to Tokyo via Dallas/Fort Worth. Since I just completed my Tokyo–Narita terminal silhouette yesterday, I used it to create a size comparison of the two large airports I visited on my trip.
I’ve had an issue with certain airports equipped to handle large quantities of large aircraft – in many cases, the jet bridges are not connected directly to the terminal structure, but instead are connected to immovable “fingers” extending from the structure. These fingers allow the aircraft to be further from the terminal, and support using multiple jet bridges for faster loading and unloading of very large aircraft.
As I discovered when I created my terminal silhouette for Vancouver, it’s not immediately clear whether the fingers should be considered part of the jet bridge (and should therefore be omitted from the drawing) or part of the terminal (and should therefore be included in the drawing).
Tokyo–Narita has similar fingers in both Terminals 1 and 2, and I debated for a while whether or not I should include them, and even started drawing them:
Ultimately, though, the terminal silhouettes are an aesthetic representation of an airport, and I liked the simplified, fingerless version of Narita better. I decided to learn from my Vancouver silhouette, and drew Narita without the fingers.
Beyond that, my other decisions were what buildings to include in the drawing at all. Satellite maps of NRT seem to show an airside connector of Terminals 2 and 3; however, airport maps (and my recollection of Terminal 2) seem to indicate that this hallway is not available for the traveling public, so I ultimately decided to exclude it. Likewise, there were a few buildings touching the southeast side of Terminal 2 which appeared to be purely administrative; since they were self-contained structures that weren’t deeply integrated with the terminal, I left them out as well.
Narita International Airport · Narita, Chiba, Japan
First visit: 10 February 2019 · flighthistorian.com/airports/NRT
This was my first trip to Japan, and as such, my first time visiting a Japanese airport. Since both my incoming and outgoing flights were on American Airlines, I only got to experience Terminal 2.
As the customs exit left me in the landside part of the terminal and I had to catch a shuttle into Tokyo anyway, I didn’t have the opportunity to explore the terminal on my way in. However, on my way home, I made sure to arrive at NRT about three hours before my flight so I’d have time to look around before departing.
The landside part of the terminal had a decent amount of shopping and I still had a couple of souvenir requests from friends to fulfill, so I headed up to the T2 shops. While I was up there, I found an observation deck.
After going through security and exit immigration, I took a walk around all of the international gates of Terminal 2.
The Platinum status I’ve earned with American Airlines grants me lounge access on international itineraries, so after I was done exploring I decided to go visit the Admirals Club.
It was a nice enough airport and I wouldn’t mind flying here again, though if I do, I might try to fly a Star Alliance or SkyTeam airline so I can check out Terminal 1.
Flying out of a smaller city like Dayton, I’m used to having flight layovers on the way to nearly everywhere I travel. While any layover is going to lengthen a trip, one of the most common complaints I hear from traveling companions is when a layover forces them to fly east to go west, or vice versa.
I started thinking about a way to quantify how bad a layover was, and ultimately decided that it would be best to compare the sum of the (great circle) distances for each of the flights flown compared to the (great circle) distance of a direct flight from the origin to the destination:
This would give me a ratio of how much further I flew than I needed to, where a higher ratio would mean a worse layover. A ratio of 2 would mean I flew twice as far as I needed to, a ratio of 3 would mean three times as far, and so on. A ratio of 1 would mean a layover didn’t add any extra distance at all.Continue reading