The 21st Century Terminal

As the Indianapolis Airport Authority designs and constructs it new Midfield Terminal, sustainability and environmental awareness are driving forces.


Light pollution is another aspect being addressed with the construction. Hanni says designers are working carefully to ensure the new terminal does not release unnecessary light to the night sky, which could distract pilots. It's also an energy savings to the airport.

A new two-tiered glycol recovery system will be installed beneath the ramp, which will allow for separate collection of high- and low-concentrated stormwater runoff. According to Hawvermale, the high-concentrate runoff could then be collected for recycling, while the low-concentrate would be collected for treatment.

Inside the new terminal, recycling stations are included in the design, with one major one in the main terminal and a smaller station in each of the two concourses. Currently, the airport recycles some six tons of cardboard each day. Hanni says the new terminal will expand the products that can be recycled.

There are aspects of the project the airport is undertaking that are not part of the LEED certification process, but simply part of cost savings and environmental considerations. Hanni says the savings in jet fuel for the carriers and preconditioned air at the gates will result in less pollution. Additionally, the use of rechargeable electric tugs and other alternative fuels in airport vehicles will provide cleaner burning fuel options.

The Midfield Terminal

Estimates suggest IND will see some 5.4 million enplaned passengers in 2010 and 7.6 million in 2020. In 2004 the airport had some 3.6 million enplaned passengers. Building a new terminal will allow the airport to grow to meet future demand, not just with more square footage and gate space, but with the flexibility a new terminal can provide in regard to the various types of aircraft it will be able to handle.

Gates will be equipped to handle aircraft ranging in size from regional jets to possibly the new A380, says Potosnak. "The airlines here are operating a mix of aircraft, and this airport will be prepared for any size aircraft." International flights will be handled out of one concourse only, with customs and immigration facilities.

The new terminal, says Potosnak, will "take advantage of aircraft movement times" by being centrally located. Kish estimates that locating the terminal midfield will reduce taxi times by 23 percent and save $6 million annually on airline fuel costs.

The 1.2 million-square-foot building, designed by architecture firm Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc., features two nearly identical concourses A and B, 20 gates each. The central portion of the terminal which connects both concourses will house baggage screening, baggage claim, retail, and some 96 check-in counters and 18 passenger screening checkpoints.

The technology infrastructure will be capable of accommodating common-use ticketing and check-in, says Potosnak, but the airport will have facilities dedicated to specific airlines that are not common-use.

An in-line explosives detection screening baggage system will be installed, along with trace detection for bags that require further analysis and oversized luggage. The system will also be equipped to handle future baggage screening technology advances.

The Central Attraction: Civic Plaza

Between the two concourses, Civic Plaza will allow meeters and greeters a view of the airfield, something many airports have had to restrict since 9/11.

Skylights and large light wells will allow natural light to illuminate much of the Civic Plaza, while the arched roof will protect the glass walls from the heat of the sun. Fritting (small dots) on the glass will allow light to enter the space, but restrict the heat from entering.

The Civic Plaza will also incorporate radiant heating/cooling in the floor. The system works by supplying cooling from the ground up, while allowing the warm air to gather at the top of the structure. The upfront cost of this system is less than standard flooring, says Tucker, and the airport expects to see a $12,100 savings each year in heating/cooling costs.

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