Airportis a novel written by Arthur Hailey. It was first published in 1968, and it follows the story of Mel Bakersfeld, who is the Airport General Manager.
Through the main protagonist, Mel, the novel explores the difficulties faced by airport staff. In the novel, a bad snow...
Airport is a novel written by Arthur Hailey. It was first published in 1968, and it follows the story of Mel Bakersfeld, who is the Airport General Manager.
Through the main protagonist, Mel, the novel explores the difficulties faced by airport staff.
In the novel, a bad snow storm has hit the airport and prevents airplanes from landing and taking off, as the snow on the runway can’t be cleared quickly enough.
Unfortunately, an airplane is blocking the main runway, thus preventing it from being used by other airplanes. In order to help the situation, the airport decides to use a different runway. But as this means the flightpath now goes over a residential area, the people living there are complaining about the increased noise pollution.
To make matters worse, a different airplane is facing a mid-air emergency: a suspicious passenger ends up using explosives on board, thus forcing the airplane to turn around and request to land. Mel suddenly faces the difficulty of being expected to be able to miraculously clear the blocked runway and just about manages to do so in time for the plane to land safely.
Another part of the storyline is Mel’s private life, particularly with regard to his marital problems. His marriage is going through a difficult time, as Mel has been struggling with balancing his work life and his private life. Cindy, his wife, feels neglected and puts Mel under a lot of emotional pressure. Mel had been supposed to go to a party with his wife but is unable to do so because of the events taking place in the airport. He knows that this upsets his wife, as she is not understanding of the situation at all. At the same time, Mel is becoming friendly with a colleague, Tanya. Whilst they don’t actually engage in an affair, it still becomes clear that their feelings for each other are more than just friendly. At the end of the novel, we find out that Cindy and Mel will get a divorce.