Airports with 360 degree orbital beltways


Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport- Source: mapbox and flightaviationmedia.com

As a follow-up to my last post, I thought it would be interesting to list off the airports around the globe that are ringed by limited access expressways. Such a design has several benefits – the expressway can serve as a clear demarcation between the airport and other uses and the expressway can serve is a bit of a noise buffer.

On the less positive side, expanding an airport hemmed in by expressways can be more expensive as tunnels or heavy-duty bridges are necessary. A quick trip around the southern end of Atlanta’s airport on I-285 demonstrates this issue.

Toronto-Pearson International Airport – Source: Tele-Atlas and destination360.com

In some cases the beltway around the airport largely defines the airport boundaries, as in the case of Chicago, O’Hare, while in others, some elbow room is left for future expansion and/or development. In the end, it was my job to discern what constituted an orbital beltway around an airport and what did not. Obviously, limited access was one factor, but distance away from the existing airport was another – too far away is hardly an airport beltway.

So, here’s my list…which over time will likely grow as other highways are built or airports expand or are replaced. Any additions, corrections, or thoughts are most welcome.

  • Abu Dhabi-International Airport: E11, E12, E29, and Airport Parkway
  • Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport: I-75, I-85, and I-285
  • Baltimore-Washington International Airport: I-97, I-295, I-695, and MD-100
  • Beijing-Capital International Airport: S32, G45, and Sixth Ring Road
  • Chicago-O’Hare International Airport: I-90, I-294, and I-490 (under construction)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport: Tx-114, TX-121, Tx-183, Loop 360, and Loop 161
  • Dubai-Al Maktoum International Airport: E75, E77, E311, and E611
  • Greensboro-Piedmont Triad International Airport: I-40, I-840, and Airport Parkway
  • Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport: 5, 271, and 320
  • Kansas City International Airport: I-29, I-435, and MO-152
  • Lisbon-Portela International Airport: E1, A36, and IP7
  • Madrid-Barajas International Airport: M-12, M-13, M-14, M-50,and R-2
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport: I-494, MN-5, MN-62, and MN-77
  • Newark-Liberty International Airport: I-78, I-95, US 1, and NJ-81
  • Orlando International Airport: FL-417, FL-528, and The Florida Turnpike
  • Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport: I-10, AZ-51, AZ-143, and Loop-202
  • Seville-International Airport: A-4, A-92, and SE-40
  • St. Louis-Lambert International Airport: I-70, I-170, and I-270
  • Toronto-Pearson International Airport: 401, 407, 410, and 427
  • Valencia-International Airport: A-3, AP-7, and V-30
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