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Top 10 Cutting-Edge Airports That Are Destinations Themselves

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Top 10 Cutting-Edge Airports That Are Destinations Themselves Thanks to Getty Images for the pictures and videos! These terminals are more than just a means to geographic end. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cutting-Edge Airports That Are Destinations Themselves. For this list, we’re looking at some of the most innovative, futuristic and impressive airports from around the world.
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Top 10 Cutting-Edge Airports That Are Destinations Themselves



These terminals are more than just a means to geographic end. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cutting-Edge Airports That Are Destinations Themselves.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the most innovative, futuristic and impressive airports from around the world.









#10: Kansai International Airport

Japan

Sitting off the coast of Osaka on a man-made island, Kansai International Airport is a modern marvel of engineering and is sure to thrill any architecture enthusiasts passing through its gates. Built to lighten the burden on the overcrowded Osaka International Airport, Kansai has taken on a life of its own, becoming a major hub of Asian transportation. What makes it so remarkable is that, to survive earthquakes and typhoons, and stop the airport from sinking into Osaka Bay, it is supported by over 1 million adjustable pillars which are decked out with a calibration system and hydraulics so that they can adjust as needed. Of course, the inside is no less impressive, or modern.





#9: London Heathrow Airport

England

Heathrow is the sort of airport that refuses to stand still. It is always updating, innovating and upgrading in order to ensure that it is on the cutting edge of technology, comfort and functionality. As one of the busiest airports in all of Europe, it has to be! From bluetooth enabled crowd tracking to common use self-service check-in, they’ve seemingly explored every avenue available over the years to make your time in London Heathrow as efficient and pleasant as possible. It’s all in keeping with their self-imposed mission: “making every journey better”. Considering how beautiful the modern terminals look thanks to regular renovations, you might even find yourself wishing that Heathrow wasn’t so efficient!





#8: Beijing Capital International Airport

China

Everything about this Chinese airport screams modern, but it’s Terminal 3 that really feels like a destination unto itself. Built in time for the 2008 Olympics, and to support the ever-growing number of people travelling through this Asian hub, Terminal 3 is not only substantially larger than its predecessors, but a testament to Chinese ingenuity and innovation. The second largest of its kind, Terminal 3 is also considered to be one of the most eco-friendly airport terminals in the world. At seemingly every turn, passive systems are at work to reduce the environmental footprint of the building, but it’s all neatly packaged in a design that is truly a work of art.






#7: Los Angeles International Airport

USA

The number one activity for travellers passing through LAX might be celebrity spotting, but the airport itself has plenty to offer the less starstruck. In 2013, the Tom Bradley terminal became the home of an “Integrated Environmental Media System” or IEMS, which consists of 7 architectural media pieces that make for an immersive, captivating and soothing experience. It’s really unlike any other airport terminal you’ve ever visited - part oasis, part art gallery, part media wonderland - all operating in a way that does nothing to take away from the functionality of the space. You’ll also want to check out the Theme Building, which is a space age architectural work of art not to be missed.



#6: San Francisco International Airport

USA

As a tech hub and cutting-edge progressive city, it only makes sense that San Francisco boast an airport to match. Second only to LAX in terms of the number of people passing through its gates, this airport can’t afford delays, and so they’ve implemented technological upgrades wherever possible to keep things running smoothly. One of the most interesting cutting edge updates they’ve employed is a new system to help pilots navigate fog. On the end user side, there’s the collaborative innovation space, Converge, where “thought leaders, innovators, investors, and the travelers are encouraged to meet, greet, inspire and create”. Of course, not all innovation is tech-related… Terminal 2 has a yoga room!




#5: Hong Kong International Airport

China

This airport is a testament to what, and where, you can build when you’re willing to get creative. The airport was opened in 1998, and was constructed on an island, due to the spatial constraints of Hong Kong. This could have resulted in brutal bottlenecks on and off the property, but if there’s one thing that they really got right with this airport, it’s the transportation system. With buses, ferries, taxis and trains available, you can not only get into Hong Kong quickly and efficiently, but mainland China as well. That’s not all though. In addition to some rather stunning internal architecture, the airport also boasts a state of the art check-in and customs system.





#4: Denver International Airport

USA

You’ve really never seen another airport like this one before. A testament to (literally) outside the box thinking and architecture, the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport looks like an elaborate, massive old-timey circus tent - but modernized. Whether you’re looking at it from afar or walking underneath it, this colossal peaked, fabric roof is stunning to behold. But it’s more than just a bit of visual flair. The design helps to diminish the combined impact of both the wind and snow that the terminal frequently has to contend with. Add to that the state of the art deicing program, and you’ve got an airport that is both memorable and reliable.





#3: Dubai International Airport

United Arab Emirates

Let’s be honest, pretty much every major building in the futuristic city of Dubai is a destination unto itself. From an architectural standpoint, it’s one of the most remarkable places in the world - a cityscape unparalleled in its opulence. And the Dubai International Airport is no exception. It is gorgeous, an oasis the likes of which you could never fathom finding in an airport setting until you set foot in it yourself. Terminal 3 occupies the second largest floor space of any building in the world and features palm trees, innovative, efficient design, and more modern luxuries than you can reasonably appreciate in one visit. At this airport… the future is now.





#2: Changi Airport

Singapore

Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe this airport. The first thing that will strike you when you walk through it is the greenery and the light. Palm trees and shrubs populate many of the open spaces, and the ceiling design works to allow in a maximum amount of light. You’re inside… but you’ll hardly be able to tell. Incorporated into all this natural beauty however is cutting-edge technology that serves to both beautify the space through visual displays and help you get from point A to B with minimum delays. Hop aboard the ultra-modern, and remarkably stylish, complimentary sky train and check it all out for yourself!



#1: Incheon International Airport

South Korea



Another Asian marvel. Modern, functional, stunning, innovative, comfortable - Incheon International is everything you could ask for in an airport . . . and so much more. It’s a unique blend of South Korean culture and futuristic modern technology. Yes, it’s jam-packed with luxuries, but it’s the innovation that really make this airport such a admirable destination. The maglev train, which uses electromagnetic suspension, connects to Yongyu Station near the ocean and is only the second commercially operated and unmanned urban train of its kind in the world. Terminal 2, opened in 2018, is jam-packed with equal parts smart technology and art, making it a destination that is stunning and efficient example of cutting edge tech.




Top 10 Cutting-Edge Airports That Are Destinations Themselves



These terminals are more than just a means to geographic end. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cutting-Edge Airports That Are Destinations Themselves.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the most innovative, futuristic and impressive airports from around the world.









#10: Kansai International Airport

Japan

Sitting off the coast of Osaka on a man-made island, Kansai International Airport is a modern marvel of engineering and is sure to thrill any architecture enthusiasts passing through its gates. Built to lighten the burden on the overcrowded Osaka International Airport, Kansai has taken on a life of its own, becoming a major hub of Asian transportation. What makes it so remarkable is that, to survive earthquakes and typhoons, and stop the airport from sinking into Osaka Bay, it is supported by over 1 million adjustable pillars which are decked out with a calibration system and hydraulics so that they can adjust as needed. Of course, the inside is no less impressive, or modern.





#9: London Heathrow Airport

England

Heathrow is the sort of airport that refuses to stand still. It is always updating, innovating and upgrading in order to ensure that it is on the cutting edge of technology, comfort and functionality. As one of the busiest airports in all of Europe, it has to be! From bluetooth enabled crowd tracking to common use self-service check-in, they’ve seemingly explored every avenue available over the years to make your time in London Heathrow as efficient and pleasant as possible. It’s all in keeping with their self-imposed mission: “making every journey better”. Considering how beautiful the modern terminals look thanks to regular renovations, you might even find yourself wishing that Heathrow wasn’t so efficient!





#8: Beijing Capital International Airport

China

Everything about this Chinese airport screams modern, but it’s Terminal 3 that really feels like a destination unto itself. Built in time for the 2008 Olympics, and to support the ever-growing number of people travelling through this Asian hub, Terminal 3 is not only substantially larger than its predecessors, but a testament to Chinese ingenuity and innovation. The second largest of its kind, Terminal 3 is also considered to be one of the most eco-friendly airport terminals in the world. At seemingly every turn, passive systems are at work to reduce the environmental footprint of the building, but it’s all neatly packaged in a design that is truly a work of art.






#7: Los Angeles International Airport

USA

The number one activity for travellers passing through LAX might be celebrity spotting, but the airport itself has plenty to offer the less starstruck. In 2013, the Tom Bradley terminal became the home of an “Integrated Environmental Media System” or IEMS, which consists of 7 architectural media pieces that make for an immersive, captivating and soothing experience. It’s really unlike any other airport terminal you’ve ever visited - part oasis, part art gallery, part media wonderland - all operating in a way that does nothing to take away from the functionality of the space. You’ll also want to check out the Theme Building, which is a space age architectural work of art not to be missed.



#6: San Francisco International Airport

USA

As a tech hub and cutting-edge progressive city, it only makes sense that San Francisco boast an airport to match. Second only to LAX in terms of the number of people passing through its gates, this airport can’t afford delays, and so they’ve implemented technological upgrades wherever possible to keep things running smoothly. One of the most interesting cutting edge updates they’ve employed is a new system to help pilots navigate fog. On the end user side, there’s the collaborative innovation space, Converge, where “thought leaders, innovators, investors, and the travelers are encouraged to meet, greet, inspire and create”. Of course, not all innovation is tech-related… Terminal 2 has a yoga room!




#5: Hong Kong International Airport

China

This airport is a testament to what, and where, you can build when you’re willing to get creative. The airport was opened in 1998, and was constructed on an island, due to the spatial constraints of Hong Kong. This could have resulted in brutal bottlenecks on and off the property, but if there’s one thing that they really got right with this airport, it’s the transportation system. With buses, ferries, taxis and trains available, you can not only get into Hong Kong quickly and efficiently, but mainland China as well. That’s not all though. In addition to some rather stunning internal architecture, the airport also boasts a state of the art check-in and customs system.





#4: Denver International Airport

USA

You’ve really never seen another airport like this one before. A testament to (literally) outside the box thinking and architecture, the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport looks like an elaborate, massive old-timey circus tent - but modernized. Whether you’re looking at it from afar or walking underneath it, this colossal peaked, fabric roof is stunning to behold. But it’s more than just a bit of visual flair. The design helps to diminish the combined impact of both the wind and snow that the terminal frequently has to contend with. Add to that the state of the art deicing program, and you’ve got an airport that is both memorable and reliable.





#3: Dubai International Airport

United Arab Emirates

Let’s be honest, pretty much every major building in the futuristic city of Dubai is a destination unto itself. From an architectural standpoint, it’s one of the most remarkable places in the world - a cityscape unparalleled in its opulence. And the Dubai International Airport is no exception. It is gorgeous, an oasis the likes of which you could never fathom finding in an airport setting until you set foot in it yourself. Terminal 3 occupies the second largest floor space of any building in the world and features palm trees, innovative, efficient design, and more modern luxuries than you can reasonably appreciate in one visit. At this airport… the future is now.





#2: Changi Airport

Singapore

Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe this airport. The first thing that will strike you when you walk through it is the greenery and the light. Palm trees and shrubs populate many of the open spaces, and the ceiling design works to allow in a maximum amount of light. You’re inside… but you’ll hardly be able to tell. Incorporated into all this natural beauty however is cutting-edge technology that serves to both beautify the space through visual displays and help you get from point A to B with minimum delays. Hop aboard the ultra-modern, and remarkably stylish, complimentary sky train and check it all out for yourself!



#1: Incheon International Airport

South Korea



Another Asian marvel. Modern, functional, stunning, innovative, comfortable - Incheon International is everything you could ask for in an airport . . . and so much more. It’s a unique blend of South Korean culture and futuristic modern technology. Yes, it’s jam-packed with luxuries, but it’s the innovation that really make this airport such a admirable destination. The maglev train, which uses electromagnetic suspension, connects to Yongyu Station near the ocean and is only the second commercially operated and unmanned urban train of its kind in the world. Terminal 2, opened in 2018, is jam-packed with equal parts smart technology and art, making it a destination that is stunning and efficient example of cutting edge tech.







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