Inventor takes airport design to new heights

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

Inventor takes airport design to new heights — of egotism:

Starry’s design calls for new airports — he calls them Starrports — to be built on relatively small parcels of land close to major cities. He envisions parallel runways — on an incline for landing and a decline for takeoff — leading jets directly onto, or off, the roof of a circular passenger terminal and parking garage. The distance from garage to gate would be short. The heat of the terminal would help de-ice the runways, and lights on the terminal could illuminate runways.

Starry says his design would cut air pollution at a single airport 56% and save 1,000 gallons of jet fuel per flight. Inclined runways would allow jets to burn less fuel, he says, because the planes would reach takeoff speed sooner and land without thrust-reversers. The short distance from terminal to runway would allow jets to wait at the gate instead of idling their engines on taxiways. And proximity to downtown would mean fewer miles by autos to and from the airport, also reducing air pollution.

“A Starrport can be built on one-third the land at one-half the cost,” Starry says. “It’s based on simple, understandable concepts.”

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