Staying at the airport control tower

No. It is not that the airport terminal or the local airport hotels have run out of space. In July of last year the Arlanda airport folks held a competition where winners can spend some time living in the former airport control tower (here).

Fancy being in the control tower where folks once directed aircrafts?

Today though our post is not about staying in what we’d consider a quirky location. You can easily do that with AirBnB by looking up exotic locations on offer. What we want to talk about today is about airports. You know, the places where you take a plane.

As you might have read (here), our little red dot just opened a fourth terminal at our international airport (we have 5 others airports/strips btw). Now that’s nothing if one’s been to the large hubs in the US (O’Hare, McCarran, JFK etc) or in Europe (Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle etc). And it is not a boast about size.

It’s about the fact that airports are ‘putting on weight’. From a size 8 to a size 12 so to speak. Finding sufficient land to “fit” the expanding waistlines of airports can be a challenge. Getting from one side of it to the other a chore. They’ve become miniature cities in themselves such that some are sited well out and away from the cities they serve. Someday, we predict that they will become tourist attractions in themselves too. Just like the abandoned Arlanda control tower in the above link or the one at former Kallang airport in our little red dot.

Have you explore airports before? Or do you simply transit through them?

Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

15 thoughts on “Staying at the airport control tower”

  1. I am a pilot and have been to many airports, most of them small in nature but also quite a few large ones. On layovers when flying commercial, I like to explore if time allows. I have also been fortunate enough to have toured several working control towers, including DFW and the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta. Lots of dedicated people and seamless coordination going on up there!

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  2. I’d like to stay at the old control tower 🙂

    Personally I prefer the smaller airports to the mega Heathrow sized ones. We recently flew in and out of Kittilä Airport in northern Finland. The terminal building was the size of a large supermarket and there’s only one runway. However they were running quite happily at -20degC whereas the UK ground to a halt because of the snow that weekend 🙂

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    1. Heheh… but then that airport should be used to the weather right? Yeah one thing about large airports is that it has more amenities. Smaller ones are usually when one takes shorter domestic flights… ?


  3. I had a hotel this week where I overlooked the airport in Reno, Nevada and could watch the planes take off and land. Airports are mainly a place of transit for me, but some are special, like the airport in Portland, Oregon for example. When I have time, I like to walk around. And a good bookstore is always appreciated! –Curt

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        1. Actually the security concept can be different. In our airport, most terminals (except the latest one) all have security baggage checks only at the gate. So one sails though customs quick without having to endure the long queues. But it would mean the airport have a lot of scanning space and machines – at each gate! Quite some budget to spend on machines!


  4. Airports are usually a place we just wait, eat if we have time and mostly try not to be stressed out… Anyway. We need good airports with shops ( if we have time to look or buy stuff), restaurants etc…. I have a favorite little airport to fly out from Canada when we go to Mexico. It is great because security is quickly done and we do not waist any time. Have a good WE .

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  5. Another reason for airport expansion would probably trying to accommodate jumbo aircrafts that carry more passengers and needed more space for parking and taxiing on the runway. Only explore the airport when I was in transit or I was way too early to board my flights. But most of the exploring were more likely window shopping at different duty free shops hehe….

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    1. Ah yes the shops… they do beckon like siren calls. Very hard to resist. Most folks know not of the little attractions in the airports like those in Changi. The little cactus gardens (which double up as a smoking area) etc…

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  6. Very weird, the contest to win a stay at the old Arlanda control tower. I wonder how many entrants there were? But I guess there are aviation buffs who would love that kind of thing. As for me, I have explored a number of airports during long layovers, specifically Heathrow and Schiphol, which were each interesting in their own way. The latter one became my least favorite airport however, after I was detained in their basement jail for prolonged questioning after I stupidly revealed that I’d been visiting my Turkish boyfriend in Istanbul. Ever since then, I only say “Personal” and “Vacation” when asked by anyone about my travels. Never any details! 😛

    Liked by 2 people

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