Few places on earth enjoy the kind of public exposure airports do. They’re microcosms of society, test beds – far more than mere places to catch an airplane. Airports can be testbeds where cutting-edge technologies ease our passage, and where environmental perceptions are played out in the real world.
Consider Los Angeles International Airport. The planet’s sixth-busiest airport also lays claim to the moniker “Most Social Airport in the World” – at least in terms of social media. The title is based on the claim that more people check in via Facebook or third-party location applications at LAX than at any airport in the world. Launched back in 2009, the LAX Facebook page has nearly 39,200 fans according to the airport. The aerodrome’s Twitter page has more than 8,275 followers.
Lower tech, but of real importance, is what they’re doing down in Austin, in the drought-stricken, bone-dry heart of Texas where this Cheapflights reporter went to college.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is using reclaimed water to supply its irrigation system. AUS officials say the result is a savings of some 25 million gallons of drinking water each year. This reclaimed water is created by reusing highly-treated wastewater effluent that is normally discharged into the Colorado River. Austin Water uses the reclaimed H2O for non-drinking purposes: irrigation, cooling, toilet flushing, manufacturing and such.
Savvy airports can help you save time, can save precious natural resources, and can also help save fuel. One of the easiest ways to do that is to create cell phone waiting lots. Instead of endlessly circling the terminal, people can park free for a short time and wait for arriving friends, family or colleagues to call for pick up.
Now comes word the Terminal 2 Cell Phone Lot at Lambert-St. Louis International has added a flight display board to better keep folks apprised of when the flight they’re waiting on has landed.
What’s your hometown airport doing to make life easier on you – and the community in which you live?
Story by Jerry Chandler
(Image: Eric)Jerry Chandler