Airport Business

AUG-SEP 2018

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12 airportbusiness August/September 2018 PEOPLE MOVERS airport. Scheduled for completion by 2023, the improvements will reduce surrounding congestion and make LAX a world-class facility well in advance of the 2028 LA Olympics Games. Elevating passenger satisfaction It’s interesting to note that APMs likely play a significant role when it comes to airport customer satisfaction, based on results from the Skytrax World’s Best Airport Awards, a global benchmark of airport excellence. The 2017 Top 10 Best Airports include eight airports that have operational APMs. For the fifth year in a row, Singapore Changi Airport, known for excellence, innovation and its Skytrain, has claimed the world’s best title. The Changi Airport Skytrain connects Terminals 1, 2 and 3 at Changi Airport. It was the first driverless and automated system in Asia. With the opening of the Changi Airport underground Mass Rapid Transit Station in 2002, the Skytrain connects passengers at Terminal 1 to the MRT station entrances located at Terminals 2 and 3. The free inter-terminal journey takes approximately four minutes to provide an efficient transport network. Changi undoubtedly deserves to be recognized for its ongoing commitment to the passenger experience. Seamless intermodal solutions In the United States, San Francisco International Airport’s intermodal solution is a classic example of seamless connectivity between the airport and the local metropolitan area. The airport’s automated people mover–AirTrain–links directly with the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART), which is a heavy rail line that serves many municipalities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Passengers can travel more conveniently between their homes and the airport, leaving their cars at home. The HNTB-designed BART to San Francisco International Airport Extension and Stations project was a $500 million six-mile extension of underground subway, one mile of at-grade trackway and one mile of aerial bridge structure. The extension provides a direct train-to-plane connection that has become the No. 1 choice of air travelers taking public transportation to San Francisco International Airport. Function and design APM projects require extensive planning and evaluation to ensure they meet the goals and objectives of individual airports. In addition to planning a system and selecting the type of APM, there is also the need to incorporate design elements that can complement the airport facility and its surroundings and showcase the unique attributes of the airport’s locale. Design management includes the overall responsibility for both engineering and design development, not only to meet the operational needs of the system but to ensure its constructability. An award-winning APM design encompasses many elements – economy, durability, aesthetics, etc., but ultimately the result is concerned with delivering on the program objective of transforming the airport, making it more accessible and enhancing the passenger experience. This is accomplished by a rigorous design management process that encompasses design leadership, innovation, implementation of proven best practices and collaboration that will result in a transformative solution to each airport’s challenges. It requires a talented, coordinated, and well-organized design team that clearly understands the client’s requirements and their vision for the airport’s APM. Experience counts For airports embarking on major infrastructure improvements incorporating APMs, selecting the right team is fundamental to the future success of the project. Success driven teams bring specific and relevant technical expertise; familiarity with the airport, city and other local stakeholders; innovation and creativity; project coordination and quality control; and communication skills. These qualities ensure the project can be delivered on time and on budget, and equally importantly, meet the goals and objectives of the client. Firms that have a track record of delivering successful complex transit projects bring distinct advantages to airport clients. HNTB’s work on airport automated people movers includes the Tampa International Airport Master Plan, with recommendation for a $4 billion modernization and expansion including new consolidated rental car facility linked to the main terminal via an automated people mover; and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s South Concourse Development, which includes plans for new midfield concourses served by a second secure APM system in order to serve 153 million annual passengers; among numerous others. More travelers – More APMs According to the International Air Transport Association, approximately 7.8 billion passengers are expected to travel in 2036, a near doubling of the 4 billion air travelers projected to fly this year. The prediction is based on a 3.6 percent average Compound Annual Growth Rate noted in the latest update to the association’s 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast. Automated people mover systems will become progressively more essential to provide multi-modal accessibility to efficiently and conveniently transport passengers, not only in and around airports, but closer to their final destinations. Innovation and modernization will be key drivers in the race to keep pace with growth in air travel. It’s time to get on board with people movers. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Peter Aarons, HNTB Corporation Peter Aarons is West Division aviation director and associate vice president for HNTB Corporation. He has more than 25 years of experience in planning, development, design, program and project management, and construction for airports. HNTB Corp. The Bart to San Francisco International Airport project is a $500 million six-mile extension of underground subway, one mile of at-grade trackway and one mile of aerial bridge structure.

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