The whimsical inner city airports that never came to pass

Your average metropolitan airport is on a desolate tract of land far from the city's center. But that doesn't mean past urban designers didn't try to incorporate airfields into cities' layouts. Here are some fanciful urban aerodromes of yore.

John Ptak at Ptak Science Books has done a round-up of past urban airports. Some of them are hilariously impractical (not to mention downright dangerous), but hey, all of them beat paying out the nose in cab fare.

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[Via Ptak. Thanks John!]

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Inner-City Circular Airports - October 18, 1919 from Illustrated London News.

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William Zeckendorf's Rooftop Airport - Life Magazine, March 18 1946

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The Thames Airport - January 1934 from Popular Science Monthly.

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Norman Bel Geddes' floating airport near Manhattan.

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DISCUSSION

So 4) is just a little airport on an island just outside the city? We pretty much have that exact thing in Toronto with the Island Airport (officially, the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport). It's pretty much just separated from the very heart of down-town by a tiny narrow gap of water. It's only for smaller planes and regional airlines, though. The layout isn't quite as whimsical, but in terms of its size and proximity to the centre of the city, it's *exactly* what you see in 4).

Come to think of it, Pearson (the big Toronto airport) isn't *that* far out in the middle of nowhere either. You could easily walk to it from some nice residential areas, on a good day.