Connecting the Dots Within Your Airport’s Master Plan

Written by Shelley Armato

Identifying the needs of the air transportation market can be like hitting a moving target, and once you’ve concluded your studies you’re left with a hefty development plan for your airport. Ensuring that the funds allocated are going as far as possible is crucial – very few can afford to incur costly change orders and unforeseen circumstances. So how do we mitigate these risks and make sense of this endeavor? Whether you’re going CMAR, Design-Bid-Build or Design/Build, bringing best in class consultants and technology to the table can drastically improve the end result of your Master Plan, as well as your construction and facilities team’s quality of life throughout the process.

Let’s break this down into a few actionable items:

1. Treat your Master Plan’s entire scope of work like individual projects, or runs of construction

This is one area where the construction world can learn from the agile methodology adopted by a lot of web development firms. Let’s take a ground up terminal build for example: This effort will require new infrastructure, utilities, parking, the terminal itself and more – so label each of those pieces of the puzzle with its own project nomenclature (bid package, building number, project number, etc.) and focus on driving these individual projects to substantial completion. This will help your team and surrounding communities see measurable milestones as opposed to a seemingly never-ending cycle of construction. This can also be tremendously helpful on the cost tracking side of your program.

2. Develop closeout standards prior to beginning construction

While construction is a crucial step in completing your master plan, you also need all the information captured during this process delivered to your facilities staff in a comprehensive and effective manner. In order to help ensure that this information is readily accessible upon substantial completion, it’s important to have conversations and written language surrounding what your organization expects – if you need any help with this, our staff has quite a few examples of written materials that can help you get these standards embedded into your project specifications.

3. Bring on the right consultants and utilize effective technology

When you go out to bid on consultants and tech, you can rest assured that a LONG line of vendors is going to greet you at your front door. The best way to respond to their inquiries is “show me.” – a comprehensive RFP process will quickly weed out those vendors that will leave you with a Master Plan that’s doubled in cost and schedule. Choose vendors that clearly understand your goals and have a genuine desire to help you meet them – this can include choosing a project delivery method that can better drive the timeline and budget your organization has allocated.

So where does our team fit into the puzzle? We bring best in class technology that allows every key team member involved in your Master Plan to come to one central location to for current, accurate information. We’ll help you build bridges to other software being implemented and find the best way to capture your data. The best part? We do all of the bridge building and data capture for you – a level of service unmatched and unheard of in the market.

For a deeper dive into the info presented here, please feel free to reach out to the author at

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