Technology Helps Tame the Tiger
Technology Helps Tame the Tiger
Technology Helps Tame the Tiger
By: Bob Wolfe 2 minute read

Airport construction projects have as many moving parts as the aircraft that move through the facilities. Successfully managing those projects in the midst of continuing airport operations requires the best in technological tools.

Airport construction projects have as many moving parts as the aircraft that move through the facilities.

Successfully managing those projects in the midst of continuing airport operations requires the best in technological tools.

The Airport Story

Airports are complex operating environments, even without construction entering into the equation. The movement between passengers, airside and landside activity and the terminal never ceases. For example, as the 26th largest airport in the world, serving the fifth largest U.S. metropolitan area, Philadelphia International Airport demonstrates the heavy load that must be managed during airport renovations. As 30 million passengers moved through the terminals to board and depart from 443,236 takeoffs and landings in 2012, the airport housed more than 200 businesses employing more than 141,000 workers.

Any construction project taking place amid that type of business — in any airport, large or small — reaches a level of complexity rarely experienced elsewhere.

Program management incorporating technology can provide a comprehensive view of all the project components for the project stakeholders, in real time, helping everyone be on the same page, on schedule and on budget.

Building the Tools

Burns & McDonnell built a system to manage such complex programs, building upon our experience on the Lambert-St. Louis Airport Development Program in the early 1990s, through the Kansas City International Airport Terminal Improvement Program in the early 2000s, and continuing to expand with our aviation and other practice clients for significant development projects.

The system, OneTouchPM®, uses the Google Earth Enterprise platform and off-the-shelf contract management software to display integrated data from various information systems though all project phases. By pulling information from these programs and integrating it in a single interface, OneTouchPM® efficiently delivers critical information to decision makers and project stakeholders.

OneTouchPM® lends itself well to airportwide projects such as pavement evaluations, asset management, and new or renovated terminal or other facilities. Airport management, from the CEO/director to the facility maintenance manager can easily customize reports to suit their individual needs.

On Location

Even the best tools aren't as effective from remote locations. That's why OneTouchPM® integrates mobile solutions, including web-based information access and an iPad interface. Data about a project is enhanced by real-time information upload, including material specifications and changes, design updates, photograph uploads and subcontractor notes.

OneTouchPM® is used during the planning phases through real-time progress reporting of design and construction activities. Schedule, cost and progress reporting are at your fingertips. Building information model (BIM) integration from the design team, coordinated with your engineering and facility management team, provides long-term benefits as the industry heads toward active asset management.

Project stakeholders at far-flung locations — an airport property wetland near a planned runway, an executive in the airport operations facility, a designer at a remote office, a subcontractor ordering materials — have current information and can make timely, effective decisions. Integration of security and building management information as well as cleaning and maintenance activities provide up-to-date information to the facility management team.

Data Conservation

The database built during design and construction of airside, landside, terminal and facility projects (new construction or renovations) then becomes a valuable resource of facility information that can be used in operating, securing and maintaining airport facilities through the entire life cycle.

This information can be integrated into the daily airport operating environment, from your operations, planning and engineering, environmental, law enforcement, and executive management teams. OneTouchPM® does not create new data, but integrates your existing data into a cost-effective management platform.

OneTouchPM® becomes your everyday, integrated airport management solution.

Sidebar: In the Toolbox

The Burns & McDonnell OneTouchPM® tools can integrate nearly any system running at an airport — or most any business, for that matter — into a common dashboard for all types of users to find the information necessary to make informed business decisions. In most cases, the systems and software used by different personnel within a client's office remain the same. OneTouchPM® leverages the data in these systems to show a mashup of information that wasn't previously available because the different systems didn't communicate with each other. Some of the key data and tools that are being integrated into the system include:

GIS Data
- File-based data and enterprise GIS geodatabase systems

Design Data
- CAD and BIM design information

Project Controls Data
- Project scheduling and status tracking tools such as Primavera's suite of tools

Asset and Maintenance Management Data
- Data defining the operations and maintenance of a facility from software systems such as Hansen, InforEAM, Maximo

Controls System Data
- Facility control data from SCADA systems, such as fire alarms, access control systems and security camera systems

Mobile Data Tools
- Tools enabling access to key data, as well as the ability to create and modify data, while in the field
- Mobile tools requiring a connection to the Internet or network, as well as those allowing users to work on the mobile device while disconnected

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