The aim of the course is to provide delegates with a range of skills and key insights into airfield design, passenger terminals and the entire spectrum of airport planning and design.

You will also be introduced to the appropriate and relevant regulatory requirements and to commonly adopted international design standards, ICAO regulations and the new IATA ADRM recommendations.

Delegates are encouraged to participate in the discussion of latest trends towards seamless passenger experience, IATA and ACI’s NEXTT initiative and Cranfield’s own Urban Turbine research implementing the future airport with the urban context of the city. 

A range of selected guest speakers from leading industry organisation offer a wide range of views in response to increasingly complex requirements in airport design, inviting participants into an active conversation. We are very happy to welcome Thomas Hoff Andersson, Director Passenger Experience, Terminal & Landside Operations, Copenhagen Airports as one of the key speakers this year.

In the afternoon delegates are invited to participate in the Airport Design group project. The Learning Sandpit, the latest innovative teaching facility in Martell House provides a creative atmosphere for three sessions to assess to capacity of a real airport situation. In the second afternoon a solution is to be proposed, cut in foam or animated in a 3D sketch-up video sequence in the third afternoon.

Highlight is the Airport design group project presentation on Friday morning with Hendrik Orsinger as head of the panel, who will also present the final lecture on recent airport developments concluding the course.

Delegates will be introduced to Airport simulation. For those interested a 4-day CAST software workshop curated in collaboration between Cranfield and ARC Aachen is offered the following week in the new state of the art computer lab in the Vincent building.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£2,050. The course fee includes refreshments and lunch during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately Concessions available

Course structure

The 5-day course is structured in morning sessions held by Cranfield staff and guest lecturers. The mix of Full time MSc students and Short course delegates guaranties animated productivity. The afternoon workshops in the Learning Sandpit change the scene and allow delegates to apply and test what they have absorbed in the morning sessions and to discuss and evaluate airport design challenges. All short course delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance.

What you will learn

The Airport Design module is intended to introduce key principles of airport design within a contemporary challenging environment of airport commercialisation. Cranfield lecturers and leading industry experts support the module leader in his ambition to provide a holistic view about the paradigm shift from airports as being isolated technical infrastructures to becoming integrated parts within the urban environment.

The course provides an update of current design practice on an international basis. The course will be particularly useful for those with limited experience in the design of specific areas of airport infrastructure and also for those who are seeking to refresh their knowledge and extend the palette of their expertise.

Collaboration, team work and interaction with the presenters are key values of the Cranfield commitment. By fostering latest trends and developments the course in particular addresses the needs of airlines and passengers informing attractive and commercially sustainable airport design.

The course is the only one of its type currently being offered in the UK.

Core content

  • Airside Design and Capacity
  • Aircraft Performance
  • Passenger Terminal Design
  • Peak hour and Passenger Terminal Capacity
  • Sustainable Design
  • Runway rehabilitation and Pavement Design
  • Airfield and Terminal Simulation
  • Case Studies


We are constantly updating the offer. Please note the timetable is subject to change due to availability of guest speakers.

Who should attend

The course will be of value and interest to:

  • Architects and engineers employed in airport planning and design
  • Airport managers
  • Airline managers with responsibility for liaison with airport operators
  • Government employees with an interest in, or responsibility for, airport operations and safety regulation.


The course consists of a programme of lectures delivered by the Department of Air Transport faculty and visiting speakers representing the airport industry, for example, consultants and airports etc.

  • Henrik Rothe, Senior Lecturer, Airport Planning and Design at Cranfield University, Centre for Air Transport Management, Head of Urban Turbine Research Project, Architect [ARB and AK Sachsen] and Technical advisor, Airport Strategic Planning, Masterplanning, Passenger Terminal Planning- and Design, Urban Planning and Design
  • Richard Moxon, Senior Lecturer, Airport Operation at Cranfield University, Centre for Air Transport Management, Corporate research, terminal product management, terminal development, and operational duty management (both airside and landside)
  • Dr Tom Budd, Lecturer, Airport Planning and Management at Cranfield University, Centre for Air Transport Management
  • Andy Foster, Senior Lecturer, Aviation Management and Operations at Cranfield University, Centre for Air Transport Management
  • Saf Ahmed, Principal Engineer (Aviation) AECOM
  • Sarah Avila, Senior Airport Planner at Jacobs
  • Matthew Butters, Aviation Director at Pascall+Watson
  • Tom Ciesco, Lead Flight Operations Engineer at Airbus Group
  • Uta Kohse, Managing Partner at Airport Research Centre GmbH, CAST 
  • Antoinette Nassopoulos Erickson, Senior Partner at Foster + Partners
  • Ross Nimmo, Head of Planning and Development at Glasgow Airport Ltd
  • Michael Plunkett, Senior Airport Planner at Mott Macdonald Global aviation consulting team, Master Planning and Airfield Planning
  • Sarah F Procter, Director at Copenhagen Optimization, Better Airports
  • Juergen Renner, Principal, IATA Consulting
  • Max Schintlmeister, Managing Director at Airport Excellence (Previously CEO Kärnten Airport), Airport Business planning 
  • Yulia Shmidt, Aviation analyst at NATS
  • Darrell Swanson, Strategic Advisor for NASA - Co-lead on the Transformative Vertical Flight Working Group #2 - Commercial Intra City White Paper
  • Ashwini Thorat, Vice President & Head Design and Planning at Noida International Airport
  • Richard Verrall, Principal Airport Planner at Jacobs
  • Tim Walder, Arcadis - Senior Director and Aviation Sector Leader, British Aviation Group Board Member & Deputy Chair
  • Manual Waltert, PhD Candidate at Cranfield University and ZHAW School of Engineering 


10% discount available when booking three or more places.

50% of CAST simulation workshop when attending Airport Design

Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

The course was expertly led and facilitated by airport architect Henrik Rothe, who invited a series of industry experts to share their insights and experience with the students. During the course, a wide variety of topics, ranging from airport design basics to the latest innovations in the aviation world, were introduced and thoroughly discussed, creating a rich environment for knowledge sharing and debate, and putting students at the forefront of the current industry developments and innovation.

The course highlighted the latest ideas and topics in the airport planning and design community, such as the integration of the airport within human and social environments, the application of the latest technologies and practices in airport sustainable design, the post-COVID-19 airport business model and the rise of eVTOLs and green aviation.

The talks were extremely informative, well organised and aimed at enabling each student to confidently integrate the information into the group presentations at the end of the week. The challenges facing airports to achieve development with limited growth in the future were also debated.

We would thoroughly recommend this short course to both airport professionals and those wanting to learn more about the industry. Overall, the week was characterised by valuable inputs, innovative thinking and an international group spirit.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.