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Creating Airports by Systems Engineering: doing it right the first time

Are you familiar with the following?

Imagine an airport that is modernizing its core facilities. An airport which is planning an renovation project of significant size to modernise and redesign the passenger concourses. The airport organized an opening party and celebrated the opening of the new modernized facility, but days after the opening the facility had to be closed down. The fire department disapproved the escape routes of the facility. The dimensions of these routes were based on the existing regulations for existing facilities. But regulations for new buildings have been changed and the project organization was not aware. Failure costs added up to millions, but more important the facility was not available for operations.

This imaginary story may seem as a rare and occasional story to you, but in fact it is not an incident. Airports develop continuously in order to meet the ever growing and changing demand. Unfortunately, it is way to often that we see projects on airports exceeding budget and planning and not fulfilling the demands of stakeholders. This is not because people do not do their best, it is because working in an implicit way within a complex environment is disastrous.

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