Carl Galioto, president of HOK, recently wrote an Op-Ed for Passenger Terminal Today on the need for more regional rail connections at U.S. airports and how a reimagined Newark Liberty International Airport could serve as an example.
Excerpted from Passenger Terminal Today:
Take a look at the airports recognized as the world’s best and you’ll see one commonality: direct connections to regional rail. It’s true of Singapore’s Changi, Amsterdam’s Schiphol, and Frankfurt and Munich’s highly rated airports. This connection to regional rail has driven the growth of adjacent ‘airport cities’–multimodal centers of transit, commerce and industry that are fueling local economies.
To think that New York City, one of the world’s great metropolises, does not have an airport that operates in this capacity is astonishing. Even more confounding is that New York is not alone. Only a few U.S. airports have direct connections to regional rail. That must change, and it is why HOK’s aviation and urban planning teams recently partnered with the New York Building Congress to design a solution…
The vision for Newark Liberty described in the recent New York Building Congress-HOK report would create a detached airport headhouse located directly over the Northeast Corridor rail line. The new headhouse also would serve as the catalyst for an adjacent airport city comprised of new mixed-use development and existing commercial and industrial infrastructure…
While the U.S. remains behind European and Asian nations when it comes to viewing rail as an alternative and complement to air travel, we cannot expect that attitude to last forever. New generations of passengers are increasingly aware of the impact of their travel. These same travelers want choice and convenience.
A combined air and rail hub at Newark Liberty speaks to the future of transportation. It offers the region opportunities for new business, new connections and new possibilities for growth. It’s the type of airport New York City deserves if it wants to maintain its position as a global leader and model for U.S. progress.