This has apparently been the year where I decided to collect airports under construction – not just FAY, but FLL (and HEL, which I still need to draw). FAY was replacing half of the airside concourse when I first flew through there earlier this year.
I’ve been waiting for aerial image sources showing the new concourse, but with it reaching the end of the year, I had to start looking for other sources, and eventually came across the Fayetteville Airport twitter feed, which had a nice drone video of the terminal construction.
Between that, the outdated imagery, and photos I could find of the project, I was able to piece together enough information to properly draw the terminal.
Though I first flew through FLL over half a year ago, I’d put off drawing the terminal because Concourse G (the southernmost concourse) was under construction, and all the reference imagery I could find was still pre-construction.
As it’s approaching the end of the year, where I’ll need the silhouettes of all new airports I’ve visited for my year in travel post, I checked again and was able to find enough material to draw Concourse G. I’ll likely have to update the terminal in the future to fully capture the completed construction, but what I’ve drawn is pretty close to the state of FLL earlier this year.
Other than the reference imagery issues, this was a pretty easy terminal to draw; there were very few curves and all but Concourse E (the northwestern concourse) were at right angles to each other. I liked how the sunshades over the landside roadway looked, so I decided to include them.
One of my earliest posts when I started this blog in 2013 discussed how I’d been to all but six of the FAA-designated large hubs in the US, and I was only missing six: IAH, MDW, SAN, TPA, FLL, and MIA. Over the years, I’d managed to visit the first five, and this week I finally picked up MIA as well, completing my collection of large US hub airports.
I’d originally scheduled a 2 hour and 45 minute layover to give myself time to explore the airport, but my incoming flight was delayed and I only ended up getting about two hours. However, it ended up being enough, because in my reading up about MIA pre-trip, I’d somehow managed to miss that the concourses weren’t all connected behind security. With my AA boarding passes, I’d only be able to see concourses D and E airside.
D was quite long – while I don’t believe it’s quite as long as the main terminal at DTW, it’s the only airport I can recall visiting a single concourse with four of its own train stations.
E was interesting with its bizarre pier and satellite structure, where instead of the satellite train connecting to the close end of the pier, it connected to the root of the pier, with the tracks running over the roof of the length of the pier.
Since D and E didn’t take the whole layover time to explore, and since I had PreCheck to expedite security, I also went ahead and exited the secure area to visit the ticketing, baggage claim, and parking structure areas.
All in all, it’s not an airport that I would go out of my way to visit again, but it was a pretty decent airport for a moderate layover.
I’ll be honest that I wasn’t too impressed with FLL on my visit. It’s certainly possible that I was visiting at a peak season, but the airport just felt crowded in a way that I wouldn’t normally expect for an airport its size. The arrivals road loop could not handle the amount of traffic flowing through it, leading to a much longer (and much more stop-and-go) shuttle trip to the rental car center than I would have expected from the distance traveled.
It’s also one of the airports whose terminals don’t seem to be connected past the security checkpoints, which does tend to get in the way of exploring the airport before my flight. At least Terminal 3 (E/F gates) and Terminal 4 (G gates) had a connector, so since my flight departed out of 3 I was able to visit half of the airport. Though it was still under construction, the parts of Terminal 4 which were finished looked pretty nice.