When developing masterplans for airports, one has to consider a tremendous amount of explicit and implicit variables. Examples are traffic outlooks, airline segmentations and stakeholder requirements. Despite all these variables, we have experienced that in most cases development plans are not in line with the strategic roadmap and the process of truly engaging stakeholders. As a result, the plans are often not sufficient to cope with the modern challenges in aviation. In fact, most masterplans we have assessed are good starting points, but lack quality when it comes to implementation. As a consequence, many projects developed at airports do not add sufficient value to the strategic roadmap. We find that doubtful, and we think airports can do much better. Therefore, we introduce Systems Engineering (SE).
Airport development is a long-term business. The lumpiness and increased complexity of infrastructure at airports demands operators to think well ahead. Sometimes over 30 years. However, most airport projects run out of control as a result of short-term focused, bottom-up discussions that will inevitably occur while executing projects. As a result, project organizations are often forced to take decisions which are contradicting to the objectives of your overall strategy. How can you prevent this from happening such that you can move along your strategic roadmap?
Passenger Terminal Expo came ‘home’ to Amsterdam’s RAI this year. For AirportCreators it was the opportunity to officially launch and introduce the company to airports from around the world. And like the saying goes; well begun is half done!
Thanks for sharing this moment with us. See you soon!
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Imagine an airport that is modernizing its core facilities. An airport which is planning a renovation project of significant size to modernize 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 importantly, 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.
Any major infrastructure project is vulnerable to going over budget, lack of stakeholder acceptance, running behind schedule, or experiencing other setbacks. Unfortunately, airport projects may run off course more often than other types of infrastructure development and construction, because they are more complicated and involve more uncertainty. This is the new normal in airport development and the situation is not expected to improve.