Airport Business

NOV 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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Page 26 of 43

PRODUCT DELIVERY November 2018 airportbusiness 27 problems that have impacted openings from an operational and technical standpoint. Problems such as system malfunctions and lack of contingency plans to deploy in times of operational inefficiency have delayed openings or caused “false starts,” where the facilities opened for brief periods of time and later had to close in order to rectify issues that occurred. Lack of staff familiarization of the facilities, inadequate or lack of training, or lack of trialing of the processes and procedures, systems and equipment have proven to have had negative results on startup operations. Many in and outside of the aviation industry are familiar with several airport/terminal openings that were less than successful. These cautionary tales tell the story of activation plans that did not translate into operational efficiency. The problems with baggage handling, staff movement and system failures airports and terminals have faced could have been avoided had a thorough and comprehensive ORAT program been a part of the project early on, from the planning stage where maximum benefits would have been realized through the ability to influence design and align it with the operational requirements of the stakeholders. Many European, Middle East and Asian airports, and several airlines have embraced ORAT and require it to be incorporated into their capital development programs from the onset. The U.S. airports though, have been slow to do so. Many have had “Activation” programs tied to their new facility openings, and brought them on in the later phases of project development but it’s only been recent that the idea of an ORAT program being a precursor to the design of new airport/airline facilities in the U.S. is grabbing hold. Although activation has been popular amongst many airports in the U.S. it is limited in the benefits it provides to airports or airlines through their development programs when they are aiming at improving passenger experience and operational functionality. Reason being, activation usually comes into play after the project has already been designed and is under construction. Intended to be a program that is intended to train staff on how to operate the building as it was designed, activation plans lack the ability to influence the operational functionality and customer experience. A comprehensive ORAT program engages stakeholders early in the planning phase of projects to fully understand their respective operations. It is at this time that airports and airlines are able to capture operational concepts and defined key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPI metrics are the basis for setting and maintaining standards of customer experience, something the U.S. airports are only now recognizing as customer experience is becoming an area of competitiveness for airports and airlines alike. The benefit of ORAT developing the Concepts of Operations Plan and incorporating KPIs before the design begins is for operational change orders to be minimized. ORAT works with the airport/airline and the design team to ensure the manner in WITH THE record number of new operational and support facilities being built or greatly upgraded at airports worldwide, how can a process that saves money while insuring better operational capability be ignored? There is not a panacea but ORAT/AOR is as close as we can get. The AOR concept provides airports a process that has been proven to save money by eliminating or reducing post construction anomalies, while dramatically improving “end user’s” confidence and operational capabilities on opening day. Too many airports confuse “Activation” for AOR. To properly “activate” a facility one first must prepare the stakeholders who have to use, operate and maintain the new facilities, equipment and systems. The AOR process engages the stakeholders well before construction begins and continues this engagement until after the opening. Robert Gilbert, chief development officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)

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