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HOK’s Will Jenkinson and David Mason Share Their Vision for the Future of Aviation Design

William Jenkinson and David Mason, regional Aviation + Transportation leaders, participated in a Passenger Terminal World article looking at future aviation trends.

How will architecture and design change in response to COVID-19?

Increased sanitization and the need for social distancing measures is shaping the design of airports in the short term, but the longer-term changes remain to be seen, according to David Mason, regional leader at HOK’S Aviation + Transportation practice based in Dallas. “The industry acted quickly to adjust measures for COVID-19, but these are applied adaptive changes rather than true long-term design decisions,” he says. “Rather than making prescriptive changes in response to the situation, we must look at the bigger picture. The aviation industry needs a fundamental rethink about how we plan and design terminals to adapt to situations like the COVID-19 pandemic and other unforeseen issues.”

How are changing passenger expectations influencing terminal design?

William Jenkinson, regional leader of HOK’s Aviation + Transportation group based in Chicago, comments, “Prior to COVID-19, health and wellbeing were already becoming a focal point for the aviation industry. There’s going to be an increasing expectation to be able to physically step outside in pre- and post-security spaces, simply to catch a breath of fresh air. We are going to be seeing more indoor pocket parks as well as outdoor lounge and dining spaces in our airports like the ones we designed for Long Beach Airport.”

Long Beach Airport

What new sustainability processes will airports look to adopt?

For Jenkinson, airports should be striving for “net zero and beyond.” He says, “Some of our clients are very progressive and already pushing for this. HOK is designing three support facilities at San Diego Airport for net zero energy. Ultimately, our goal for aviation projects is net positive energy, meaning the buildings are actually generating excess clean energy back to the grid.”

What positives can be drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Mason says, “One positive has been that the slowdown in operations has really forced operators and airlines to think outside of the box, spurring new ideas and innovative ways of interfacing and operating that will benefit airports in the long term. It is amazing how quickly the industry put in place new health and safety procedures to help assure the public.”

Read the full Passenger Terminal Today article here.

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