Considered as the gateway to a metropolitan city, airports need to create a good impression on passengers with a calm and lively environment, which begins and ends with flooring, writes Gaurav Saraf, Joint managing Director, Square Foot.
With continued growth in global air travel, airports form a major part of the modern travel experience. Considered to be the gateway to a metropolitan city, airports need to create a good impression on passengers with calm and lively environment, which begins and ends with flooring. Airports present a wide range of performance criteria when it comes to flooring, keeping in mind the demands that are imposed by heavy volume of foot and wheeled traffic found in passenger areas which need to be accommodated.
To ensure that travellers enjoy their travel, designers usually look for those flooring solutions which meets the standards of the airport. A tremendous volume of pedestrians, averaging up to 25,000 individuals, go through the terminal buildings to originate their voyage or to perhaps pick up and drop their family or friends. It becomes obvious that it has to be the flooring which delivers a blend of performance, maintenance and reliability. Flooring of 1.6mm wear layer, which is stronger and harder, is ideally installed which does not indent with movement of heavy traffic.
Airport lobbies and other common areas often have a great amount of dirt and possibly liquids being tracked in or out, especially if it is raining. Hence, the flooring installation in airports is done in a coved manner, which prevents dirt and dust getting accumulated at the corners which help in maintaining hygienic conditions.
When it comes to safety, flooring installed in airports ensure that they are slip resistant even despite being fine looking. It can also shine, if desired, besides being environmentally friendly. Available in a range of attractive colours, the flooring system also provides an aesthetically pleasing environment, with clear demarcation lines to direct passengers, say, to a departure lobby or information counter.
Transforming airport environment
Airports encompass a number of specialised zones, ranging from passenger terminal buildings, control towers, cargo buildings and aircraft hangars through to fire stations and back-of-house operational and maintenance facilities.
Passenger terminal buildings: From flight check-in through to baggage reclaim, the terminal building requires hard-wearing floor screeds topped off with eye-catching floor finishes so as to withstand heavy volumes of foot and trolley-wheeled traffic while at the same time creating a welcoming and vibrant environment for passengers. Acoustics also play an important role. There is a lot of ambient noise and you need acoustic flooring for airports.
Airline catering: Airline catering kitchens are responsible for producing hundreds of fresh in-flight meals each and every day. With time of the essence, demanding catering companies require hygienic flooring solutions that act as a line of defence against dirt and bacteria. Usually for this particular area antibacterial flooring is installed which destroys any bacteria on the surface of the floor.
Aircraft hangars: Aircraft hangars are built to protect state-of-the-art aviation vehicles. Flooring installed in hangers usually offer the necessary chemical, impact, wear and fire resistance requirements for small and large-scale hangar facilities.
Maintenance area: Maintenance areas play a big role in keeping any environment moving. Here floors are fully resistant to the penetration of oils and hydraulic fluids in addition to a number of other lubricants and detergents; these are materials commonly used in aircraft maintenance facilities.
Air travel has become an essential part of peoples’ lives. The ability to connect to people across the world has become simpler and simpler giving rise to the continuous growth of global air travel and a substantial alley for growth. Airports form a major part of the travel experience, making it vital for us to be able to cater to the needs of passengers by shaping environments that are truly state-of-the-art in its appeal and feel.