The Consortium Model
The Consortium Model
The Consortium Model
1 minute read

In the battle against rising facility operations and maintenance costs, consortiums can provide significant benefits. Many owners have improved existing facilities, reduced operating costs, modernized systems and increased efficiency of operations.

In the battle against rising facility operations and maintenance costs, consortiums can provide significant benefits for airlines and airports. When properly managed and staffed, they enable exceptional and efficient operation and maintenance services. Airline-managed consortiums allow airlines to focus on their core business while the consortium focuses on managing, operating and maintaining the systems and facilities. Today,  consortiums are in place in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York’s John F. Kennedy International, San Francisco, Detroit and Chicago’s Midway.

More Efficient, Cost-Effective Operations

At many airports, central utility plants (CUPs), lighting systems, passenger boarding bridges and control systems are beginning to age. As a result, efficiency is reduced, and significant costs are required to keep aging equipment operational. A consortium can more easily evaluate every system, analyze the maintenance and operation costs, and determine whether it is feasible to replace or upgrade. For example, an engineering evaluation of a CUP could uncover relatively simple modifications with significant benefits. Converting to a reverse osmosis treatment system can save hundreds of thousands of gallons of water while still meeting all the operational needs of the facility.

Consortiums can also evaluate utility bills — power, gas, water and sewer — for savings initiatives. Replacing 1.6 gallon-per-flush (gpf) toilets with 1.28 gpf toilets reduces water consumption by 20 percent. Purchasing interruptible gas and using jet fuel as a backup source can save thousands of dollars each month.

Increased System Reliability

System reliability typically increases under the management of a consortium. Since consortiums must gain approval for operating budgets and goals and often have incentives for meeting or exceeding those goals within the budget, they are highly motivated to cut costs while still providing exceptional service. Having engineers, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) accredited professionals, technology experts and business advisers manage the program provides the freedom for airlines to maintain a high level of operations and customer service. Initiatives can be designed and implemented under the direction of the consortium, which then has direct control of schedule, costs and quality.

Burns & McDonnell has worked with many owners to improve existing facilities, reduce operating costs, modernize systems and increase efficiency of operations. Our staff of LEED®-qualified engineers, architects, scientists and business managers works with many clients to implement these cost savings at airports worldwide.

The potential for consortiums to provide savings and operational quality benefits to airlines and airports is substantial. For nearly any common facility or function, they are a powerful weapon against costs that are rising each year.

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