Nashville International Airport (BNA) is a joint military and civilian airport located in Tennessee State’s downtown Nashville. Although it was first renamed Berry Field, the airport was commissioned in 1937, after which the name was changed to Nashville International Airport (BNA) in 1988 (Surhone, Timpledon and Marseken, 2010). Since the airport was originally constructed on a mere 337 acres of land, the airport has since purchased additional property to expand. Finch (2009) reports that the airport now sits on over 4,500 acres of land.
Finch (2009) reports that, apart from acquiring more extension land, the airport also underwent a series of renovations which made it one of the safest airports to fly in. For instance, the airport has four runways, which are long enough to handle all types of aircraft. The longest runway measures about 3,360 meters, which meets the RSA standards for handling all kinds of aircraft.
Finch (2009) noted that the Nashville International Airport (BNA) currently handles a vast number of travelers and cargo. Finch (2009) reports that BNA has 12 airlines serving the various cities in, and beyond, North America. The airport is currently experiencing about 400 daily arrivals and departures. Finch (2009) reports that there are currently about 8 million passengers flying either from or into the airport. It is estimated, for example, that in 2011 about 4.67 million passengers boarded flights at Nashville International Airport (BNA). Even in the same year, the airport handled more than 84,000 tons of freight. Nashville International Airport (BNA) is currently ranked 34th-busiest passenger airport in the United States.
Nashville International Airport (BNA) falls under ‘Primary Commercial Service Airports’ is according to the National Plan of Integrated Airport System (NPIAS) classification. This is because of the airport more than 10,000 passenger’s board planes on the airport each year (Surhone, Timpledon, and Marseken, 2010). Further, the NPIAS also classifies Nashville International Airport (BNA) as a ‘big hub.’ This is because the airport handles more than 1% of America’s annual passenger boarding’s. As noted earlier, according to Surhone, Timpledon and Marseken (2010), Nashville International Airport (BNA) handles nearly 7 million passengers per year, which is more than 1 percent of Americas’ overall passenger boarding.
Nashville International Airport (BNA) acknowledges that even the mentally disabled are served at the airport. As a result, the airport has elevators and ramps used by these passengers for alighting and boarding the plane. The airport also has an ample parking bay for vehicles with handicap license plates. In this regard, it is a requirement that each airline makes its arrangement for assisting the physically challenged to get to and from the plane.
In addition to the parking lot for the physically challenged, the airport also has a parking bay for all provided free of charge as long as the vehicle is not packed for more than 30 minutes. Moreover, there is also a short-vehicle servicing garage for passengers who travel via the airport (Romine, 2012).
Nashville International Airport (BNA) also has many entertainment facilities at the airport that ensures that its passengers are not left the board while awaiting their flights. Finch (2009) reveals that the airport has some of the several hotels and restaurants at the terminus where passengers can enjoy their meals. The hotels and restaurants serve a variety of meals and drinks to passengers at affordable prices. The airport also features live bands daily ranging from jazz to county music (Surhone, Timpledon, and Marseken, 2010). The airport terminus is also well illuminated by skylights designed by renowned New York architect Robert Lamb Hart. This contributes to the general atmosphere of accessibility and openness. Security is also beefed up at the terminus, making it one of the most secure airports in the U.S.
Nashville International Airport (BNA) also provides several services to its travelers (Romine, 2012). For instance, the airport has a computer phone line where travelers can hook up. The computers phone lines are distributed throughout the airport terminus. The airport also provides free e-mail and internet access to its passengers through kiosks on the airport concourses and baggage level.
The airport also has on-site rental cars children playground on the ticketing level where children can play as they wait for flights. There are also ATM services and banks within the airport where travelers can deposit, withdraw, or exchange currencies as they travel. There are also nail salons, first aid, meditation room, and shoeshine to name but a few (Surhone, Timpledon and Marseken, 2010).
Nashville International Airport (BNA) has a direct affiliation to the John C. Tune Airport, which is located on a 399-acre aviation reliever airport on the western part of Nashville. It is reported that more than 100 aircraft are based on this reliever airport. Facilities provided here include full-service maintenance facility for aircraft powered by a piston, rental car delivery, a flight school and helicopter services (Romine, 2012).
Nashville International Airport (BNA) has one of the best airside for plane takeoff and landing. As earlier stated, the airport was initially built on 337 acres of land before being expanded to about 4,500 acres to accommodate all type of airlines whether commercial or light aircraft (Surhone, Timpledon and Marseken, 2010). As a result, the airside currently can accommodate several airplanes that can land or takeoff at the same time without any problem.
The airport’s airside also has several runways for landing and takeoffs most of which meet the RSA standards. The longest runway is said to measure about 3,360 meters and can handle any aero plane (Romine, 2012). It is argued that Nashville International Airport’s runway is one of the best in the U.S. since it has helped in preventing accidents that usually occur due to short and poorly maintained runways.
|Runway||Length (ft)||Length (m)||Width (ft)||Width (m)||Comments|
|2L/20R||7,703||2,348||150||46||Instrument landing system (ISL) equipped|
|2R/20L||8,000||2,400||150||46||Instrument landing system (ISL) equipped|
|13/31||11,030||3,360||150||46||Instrument landing system (ISL) equipped on Runway 31|
The airside is also well fitted with whether equipment such as the windsock to tell the direction of the wind, as well as the wind vane that measures the speed of the wind, thereby helping in guiding the pilots on the course of action to take during landing and takeoffs (Surhone, Timpledon, and Marseken, 2010). The airside of the airport is also well illuminated, making the airport visible and accessible even during the night.
At the airside, there is a ladder used by travellers for boarding aeroplanes. As earlier indicated, the airside also has elevators, which used by the physically challenged to board or alight from the aircraft. The airport also has several elevators for cargos. This is because the airport handles several cargos daily.
Nashville International Airport (BNA) has one of the best landsides in the U.S., according to Finch (2009). The landsides range from good access roads to parking lots. Finch (2009) reveals that the 820,000-square feet terminus is made up of three levels, namely ticketing, baggage and ground level. At the same time, there are approximately 61 air carrier gates, full-service ground transportation, and a parking lot. It is reported that the airport has satellite parking for arrival and departures (Romine, 2012). In this regard, there are blue and white signs at the terminus that guides visitors of the airport to the waiting room. At the waiting room, there exists a parking pull-off where visitors can watch arrival boards.
Finch (2009) also reveals that there exist ample parking spaces in front of baggage claim usually allowed for not more than 10 minutes. The report indicates that one is required to stay with his or her vehicle when packing in this space because the duration allowed is usually very short (Russell and Cohn, 2012). As a result, as soon as the 10 minutes allowed lapses, the person is requested to leave.
Finch (2009, p16) notes that the terminus is usually heavily guarded by Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority police who ensures that traffic is not allowed to congest in front of the airport’s terminus. They also ensure that every passenger entering the airport is thoroughly checked to mitigate security threats (Romine, 2012). The tight security check at the airport was particularly reverberated by the 2001 terrorist attacks of the World Trade centre In New York ever since the securities of the airport have been beefed up to prevent a terrorist from using the airport since this might risk lives of passengers on board an aeroplane.
The airport also has ample parking lot for vehicles. In this regard, the first 30 minutes of packing at the airport are usually free of charge. Also, traveller’s vehicles are offered free short-term garage. However, visitors of the airport are normally required to pay up to a maximum of $22 per day for packing in the short-term area and from $1.5 to $10 per hour for packing in the long-term area. Visitors are also free to pack at the satellite lot where they are charged $8 a day (Russell and Cohn, 2012).
There is also the valet parking, which is allowed from 5 a.m. to midnight. The rates charged here are normally a bit higher compared to other areas since visitors and travellers are charged $20 daily with a minimum of $8 up to four hours (Russell and Cohn, 2012).
The airport also has several ground transportation services. The ground transportation at the airport is one level below the baggage claim area. As a result, one needs to take either an elevator or escalator after picking the luggage. On the same note, Finch (2009) notes that most hotels around the airport provide free taxi services to their guests.
The airport is also easily accessible by road running from Nashville city centre. Russell and Cohn (2012) noted that BNA is nexus to several interstate highways such as the I-65, I-40, and I-24. This makes the airport easily accessible by roads from all directions. Also, the airport is located just about five miles from downtown. Travelling to the airport is also made easy by both public and private transport that ply the airport route 24 hours a week, according to Russell and
Airport Security Program
Security has been a major issue at many airports in the U.S. following the 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade centre that lefts several people dead and property worth millions of shilling destroyed. However, the report indicates that the planes that were used by the terrorist were hijacked from one of the airports. As a result, BNA has since tightened security at the airport at both the terminus and the aeroplane. In this regard, the airport is manned by the by Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority police who ensures that there is no congestion at the terminus (Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, 2006).
At the same time, the police also ensure that every passenger and visitor to the airport is thoroughly checked to ensure that no one is allowed entry into the airport without permission. It is reported that immediately a passenger or visitor enters the airport terminus the first thing normally done is to check any weapon or illegal drugs that may be carried by the luggage (Surhone, Timpledon, and Marseken, 2010).
There is also the Public Safety Division of Nashville International Airport, which is tasked with providing police protection and fire rescue for aircraft. The agency also provides emergency medical services to passengers and visitors to the airport. This has ensured that the airport maintains high safety standards since its establishment (Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, 2006).
The airport also has a hazardous devices team made up of professionally trained in areas of recognition and safe disposal of explosive ordnance, as well as resolving explosive threats to users of the airport and its property. This department also ensures that an aero plane is thoroughly inspected before takeoff from the airport to prevent any security issue that may arise once the aero plane is on the flight (Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, 2006).
Nashville International Airport also has professionally trained engineers that ensure that all its planes are in good condition before any plane can be allowed to fly. The engineers also ensured that necessary repairs and maintained are carried out in time and the planes tested to ensure that they are all in good condition. This is probably the reason why the airport has experienced the least number of accident compared to other airports in the country (Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, 2006).
The airport also has well-maintained runways, which are long enough to accommodate all types of aeroplanes. In its endeavours to enhance the security of aeroplanes at the airport, Nashville International airport is among the few airports that have installed the Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) to prevent overrun of aeroplanes at the airport. It is reported that the management of the airport installed this system at the airport to slow down any train that may overrun runways that are below the standard Runway Safety Area (RSA). The implementation of this new technology has indeed improved the security of planes that uses the airport a move that has been lauded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Finch, 2009).
Also, the airport is fitted with weather instruments that help in controlling the movement of aeroplanes during landing and takeoffs. As earlier indicated, the airport has several windsocks and wind vanes throughout the airport that tells the direction and speed of the wind, respectively. The airport is also well illuminated with lights thereby improving the security of the airport (Romine, 2012).
Nashville International Airport plays a big role as the development of the community around, and the country is concerned. Economically, the airport is said to contribute over 3.6 billion dollars to the U.S. economy. This is very important because the money generated from the airport is used for the development of the country and the community around it. Also, Finch (2009) reveals that the airport has created more than 56,000 jobs. This has helped in reducing the rates of unemployment in the community around the airport. This is because the airport has mainly been employing the local population to fill most job vacancies (Russell and Cohn, 2012).
The establishment of the airport has also attracted many investments in the area. For instance, it has given the community around the opportunity to put up hotels and bars that bring them a lot of income. The construction of the airport has also helped in improving the status of infrastructural facilities in the area such as roads, electricity, housing, and water, among others (Romine, 2012). The creation of good infrastructural facilities around the airport has improved trade between the local community and the rest of the country.
The airport is also engaging in social responsibility initiatives, in the community, as a way of giving back to the community. For instance, the airport has been at the forefront of sponsoring children and professionals from the local community. The airport also takes part in mitigating environmental hazards caused by the airport in areas such as reducing pollution, both air and sound in the area (Romine, 2012).
A lot of politics has also marred the establishment of the airport in Nashville. For instance, the airport has been accused of polluting the environment through sound and greenhouse pollution without paying back to the community around the airport. In this regard, environmentalists have been complaining that the aeroplanes using the airport produces a lot of greenhouse gases that have been blamed for global warming being experienced in the world today. As a result, the airport management has been put under pressure to mitigate pollution caused by aircraft using the airport (Russell and Cohn, 2012).
Nashville International Airport has also contributed immensely to the social development of the community around. This is evident from the fact that the airport has resulted in the establishment of hotels and bars where the local community can socialize. The hotels and bars provide an opportunity for the community to meet with other people from the rest of the country, which also promotes the exchange of culture and ideas. It is also reported that the airport is visited by many tourists from all over the world. In this regard, it becomes apparent that apart from the foreign exchange the tourists bring to the community, it also gives the community a chance to interact and learn the importance of embracing other cultures (Romine, 2012).
- Finch, F. S. (2009). Nashville. New York: NY: Globe Pequot.
- Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (2006). Airport security: Department of Public Safety, Nashville. Retrieved from, http://www.nashintl.com/security/.
- Romine, L. (2012). Frommer’s Nashville and Memphis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
- Russell, J., Cohn, R. (2012). Nashville International Airport. New York, NY: Book on Demand.
- Surhone, L. M., Timpledon, M. T., & Marseken, S.F. (2010). Nashville International Airport. Hoboken, NJ: Betascript Publishing.