The projected growth of aviation and its contribution to the overall economy in years to come is quite encouraging; however, the deep-rooted challenges in its construction which have shown several symptoms of their existence time and again need to be addressed with due attention, implementation and action.
Airport projects are quite complex with their unique nuances and idiosyncrasies. The construction of an airport entails a diversity of activities and programs at the airside, terminal as well as landside zones. The airport operator is responsible for proper management of air transport operations as well as coordination with the contractor and other agencies. The success of well managed Airport development starts with developing a good strategy to manage several factors which may be operational, technical, financial, the environmental, legal, political or cultural in nature. Needless to mention that numerous stakeholders, regulatory bodies, tools, techniques, managers and staff, and workers need to be aligned for a favorable outcome.
Project success, especially in the Aviation realm, depends significantly on how well the project planning and management is executed along with the coordination, communication, and interaction among the various functional units that bind the construction, strategy and operational value chains. Such synergies can be facilitated by efficient Project Management experts, and the infographic depicted below is an overview of how project management capabilities can enhance the operations at every aspect and phase of construction.
Integrated single team of operator and consultants with clearly defined goals, shared responsibilities and accountability at all levels regardless of whether they are client or consultant is an important ingredient for the success of the project. Mature and stable leaders with excellent people skills, able to form a team, develop and mentor are needed at all times. While technical skills are definitely essential, but people skills are extremely important and becomes single most factor that drives success.
The next important ingredient for the success is
communication and collaboration across team. The team shall develop clear communication strategy, communication platform, documentation procedure, internal and external communication guidelines. A defined approach will improve the integrated team’s efficiency, decision making, communication procedures and deal with adversities if and when they arise. Poor communication between key stakeholders have also been leading to delays, accidents, costly rework, and unhappy project team. The pattern of communication impacts the progress of a construction project. Challenges and delays emerge when the responses to enquiries are not received and information is not shared adequately. Projects run smoothly and are delivered in time and budget when the decision-makers and the staff is communicating and collaborating effectively.
Intelligent application of project management principles allows any organization the flexibility, even during the course of the project, to take the smarter and more efficient route wherever possible without any disruption in the original strategy and plans.
Identifying, managing and mitigating Risks is extremely important on any project and in particular airports construction. Adequate risk planning starts with sufficient time and effort spent during the planning phase of the project. Conducting a risk assessment and/or formulation of a mitigation and governance strategy, establishing site-specific safety plans, site logistics and lining up the delivery of materials and equipment as well as developing contingency plans has resulted in project success at the aviation industry level.
Lack of review and limited understanding of airport design, specifications, scope of work and project objectives lead to inefficiencies in execution. At most times, the operator, consultants, contractors and suppliers fail to establish cohesive coordination and consequently construction schedules and project milestones are not well-defined. Pre-construction planning is a critical component of Project Management and can be leveraged not only to ensure exhaustive planning, but also meticulous execution of the plans to achieve the desired outcome.
While the construction industry may be facing several challenges due to the slowdown in economy, we are more than assured with the government’s recognition for improving the current situation and support the aviation and infrastructure development. An optimum level of intervention is what the government needs to find in order to maintain proper standards while also ensuring that over-regulation, bureaucracy, and budget deficit do not curb innovation, interest, and investments in the sector.
At an enterprise level, an accomplished project management firm can provide the airport operators and/or authorities a ‘roadmap’ that can translate plans into reality while ensuring work is performed in smart ways rather than having the entire team and staff work hard and long. Intelligent application of project management principles allows any organization the flexibility, even during the course of the project, to take the smarter and more efficient route wherever possible without any disruption in the original strategy and plans.