The Curious Case Of Missing Terminals: 5 Global Airports That Don’t Have Terminals In Order

airports with missing terminals
by Mallika Khurana

Navigating through airports can be puzzling, especially when numbered terminals guide travellers towards their destinations. However, have you ever encountered an airport that seems to have a missing piece in its puzzle of terminal numbers? This unusual occurrence is not just a random quirk; there is often a story behind these intriguing numbering gaps. Let’s explore some of these examples.

Airports With Missing Terminals

1. Raleigh-Durham International Airport

airports with missing terminals

Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The story of RDU’s terminal numbering is a journey through history. At first, the airport had only one terminal, which stood proudly until the 1980s. Then, a new terminal called “Terminal A” was built, and later, Terminals B and C were added. Unfortunately, Terminal B was removed in 2014, which created a gap in the terminal numbering sequence. However, the Airport Authority resolved this issue during a wave of renovations by renaming the remaining terminals “1” and “2”.

2. Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Photo Credits: Canva

The terminal numbering at Chicago O’Hare is a bit unusual. Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 5 all coexist, but Terminal 4 is noticeably missing. From 1985 to 1993, a temporary Terminal 4 was in place to handle international flights while a permanent international terminal (now Terminal 5) was being built. Interestingly, Terminal 5 kept its temporary name, as travellers had grown accustomed to referring to it as such.

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3. London Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow Airport

Photo Credits: Canva

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has Terminals 2, 3, 4, and 5, but Terminal 1 is no longer in operation. Terminal 1 used to be Europe’s largest short-haul terminal and was opened in 1968. However, it was closed in 2015 to make way for the expansion of Terminal 2, which was introduced in 2014 as its modern successor.

4. Boston Logan International Airport

airports with missing terminals

Photo Credits: Canva

It is interesting to note that the Boston Logan International Airport has Terminals A, B, C, and E, but Terminal D is missing. This occurred as a result of a strategic reconfiguration in 2006. Previously, Terminal D had gates for Air Tran Airways, but its gates were renumbered and merged into Terminals C and E. There was a thought of renaming Terminal E to D, but due to the high cost of updating the signage, it was not pursued.

5. John F. Kennedy International Airport

airports with missing terminals

Photo Credits: Canva

When visiting JFK airport, you’ll notice that Terminals 1 through 8 are present, but Terminals 2, 3, and 6 are no longer in operation. Terminal 2, which was the last remaining piece of the original Idlewild Airport, closed its doors in January. However, there’s no need to lament its closure, as the New Terminal One project will replace it by 2026. Terminal 3 ceased operations in 2014 to make way for the airport’s redevelopment and the modernised New Terminal One. Terminal 6 has a more complicated story; it was originally scheduled for demolition to make room for JetBlue’s expansion. However, plans changed, and a new Terminal 6, with ten new gates, is now being built in place of its predecessor.

The missing terminal numbers at these airports reveal an intriguing story of growth, adaptability, and change in the aviation industry.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva