International airports: Passengers in an environment of 'authorities'

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This article looks at airports from the passengers' perspectives. It shows that international airports are, above all, spaces of highly explicit expressions of several authorities. The article first distinguishes between airline and airport geographies, followed by a conceptual analysis of authority, power and airports. Then, the article describes the several airport authorities and their responsibilities, spelling out their control of the physical elements of airport terminals, with special attention to signage. This is followed by discussions of airport terminal operations and resulting passenger flows, once again focusing on the role of multiple authorities. These discussions lead, finally, to expositions of travelers' socialities while at international airport terminals and under an authoritarian regime, focusing on passengers' disembodying and dialectics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-178
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Airport authorities
  • International airports
  • Passengers
  • Terminals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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