Strengthening the Understanding of the Context for Airport City Planning: A Case Study on Airport City Parafield

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Nigel Lai Hong Tse
Mirjam Wiedemann
Ke Xing


Airport Cities have gained momentum all over the world in the last decades. However, Airport City planning often follows a one-size-fits-all blueprint approach, with many elements incompatible with the regional, economic, and cultural context. Using a general aviation Airport City in Adelaide in South Australia as the case context, we survey the retail choices of airport users and compare them with existing facilities and those retail facilities at Airport Cities of large commercial airports from the literature and industry examples. We found that desired retail facilities at Airport City Parafield are widely different from those at large-scale commercial hub airports and commonly promoted in the Airport City literature. The results indicate that preferences for retail facilities in the Airport City differ depending on the airport user groups, which are determined by the role of the airport. These findings suggest that the often practised one-size-fits-all approach in Airport City planning should be reconsidered. In summary, this study helps to augment both knowledge and practice by reinforcing the importance of planning retail facilities in Airport Cities in alignment with the airport role, the airport user groups, and the regional, economic, and cultural context.

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