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Building an Airport Project

Airport Design process

The first process to avoid any hiccups in the project would be to set down the design phase of the airport, its building facilities, its runway or runways, and the taxiway. Careful planning in the design phase must be in line with a modernized airport structure to withstand natural disasters when possible. There is also a financial cost attached to the design phase, contracted by the government and the design firm. It must also be noted that such a project is publicly used and must be or most likely will be financed by the government through a large banking institution.

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Site selection process

To avoid possible problems or reduce the number of issues associated with the project, it is possible to offer the following recommendations.

There must be a feasibility study. Firstly, the area for the project must be located. Moreover, environmental factors must be considered when selecting the location for the airport to be built. The site should be clear of mountains, rivers, sea, and high-rise buildings, and sufficiently close to populated areas for easy use and access to the airport. It must also be far away from Urban centers to ensure that noise and other deleterious effects on the population are be kept to acceptable levels. It must also be established that the wind direction is satisfactory to aircraft departing and landing at various times of the day. Furthermore, the visibility criteria should be correlated with the operation. The area selected for the airport should have a chance to be expanded in case future expansion is required.

Additionally, there is a need for soil testing to ensure that the site is suitable for such a project and that the soil can withstand the heavy impact of large aircraft landing and take-offs. It also presupposes that the area must be ideal for buildings, and the terrain must be solid with no prone to sinking or sinkholes once buildings and pave ways are constructed. It is vital to ensure that the runway length is determined before the project starts. Areas for roads and railways must be determined by proper design. The cost of lighting the runway and various points around the airport zone should also be discussed. Before starting the project, the runway pavement layout cost, instrument and navigational cost, including radar equipment, installation design, and cost and locations must be discussed.

Locations for administrative buildings, terminals, and Air traffic Tower locations must be decided and agreed upon by all parties involved in the construction and design phase. Specific locations for freight handling sheds and a specific location for general aviation aircraft and private jets or FBOS must be agreed upon and properly located. There must be an area for car parks for both airport staff and passengers and or the public, which could be in the same location or separate locations. The roads and railways for public transportation must be designed so that traffic congestion is at a minimum and that expansion of the public transport system can occur when required with relative ease, meaning there should not be major congestion and lack of road usage during the expansion phase. There must be a location for taxi drivers, locations for rental car companies, ferries, buses, trains, trams, etc., depending on the site.

In the design phase, there must be a decision on how many jet bridges would be required, the color scheme of the terminal, the location for fire department personnel, and their equipment. There must be a 24-hour power operation system, the apron must be large enough to handle and maneuver the largest aircraft. It is also recommended to establish a location for a taxiway. Moreover, please note that an estimated development cost is required to put all these infrastructures in place, taking into account the nature of the terrain, soil and rock conditions, drainage requirements, and the land value in the area the airport is being built.

After discussing and considering all factors mentioned above, a project cost estimation should be done regarding the existing budget. At this stage, the Government, as one of the supporters and sponsors, can put the project out for tender to the various construction companies. Most times, the selection process involves companies with significant experience in doing certain phases and companies willing to do the project at a reasonable budget to have the project completed. There must be allowances made for stages that may delay due to unexpected challenges, and some finances should be placed in an escrow account or in an emergency fund to be utilized if such issues arise. It must also be noted that the companies selected for the process must have all the operational equipment available for a smooth operation of the project. Upon final selection of the construction companies, contracts should be signed legally between the Government and the contractors. Financing, which may be borrowed from a large banking entity, will also have its legal agreement with the Government borrowing the funds for such project.

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The Project

The project should have a start and end date, and all the contracting firms must work to meet the deadline, regardless of the glitches that may arise. This means that firms may have to pay workers overtime to ensure the end date becomes a reality. From the start of the project, there should be special coordination between the various companies building the Airport project so that a smooth operation of the process can take place. For example, each phase of the project must start at a certain time before the next stage begins. It is demanded to avoid building some parts before specific preparations. For example, it is impossible to construct the terminal foundation before allocating the areas for drainage and sewage system.

There must be a baseline set by various construction companies, and those baselines must be revised from time to time to ensure the existing schedule is observed. Each milestone of the project should also be targeted to show steady progress. It also means that there will be a project manager or managers responsible for controlling and achieving the project objectives. To be effective within the project, managers would have to work closely with the portfolio or program managers to attain the project objectives and ensure that the project plan aligns with the overarching program plan. It is also advisable for the project firms to utilize project managers who have experience in such projects, eliminating any hiccups that may delay the project if individuals are hired with less experience.

Building an Airport for the country must be a major of the nation if it wants to increase the economic benefits. For example, an international airport will allow bigger jets with more tourist arrivals. Travelers will be more enticed in coming to a country or island where easy access is available using larger aircraft. A country or island should only take on such a project if there is a guaranteed business for such a venture, as the Airport will need financing to run its affairs to remain operational and sustainable. The Government must ensure that the finances coming in from the airport operators will cover most of the airport operational fees, for example, landing and navigation fees, radar upkeep, and rental of airport offices.


Massive projects such as building an international airport on an island or country must be preceded by serious discussion and planning before they can be done. There must be a need for such a project, it must also be approved by the various environmentalist agencies, the people or public sector, and or citizens of that island. Proper financing must be available, and everything must be done to ensure that the project completion date is met. It will also guarantee that the project is not over-financed and running the government, the financers, or lending institutions, and the contracted firms into any contractual disputes that may get to the court system and may take months or even years to settle. It can also stop the airport’s construction and cause major disruptions for all stakeholders involved. If the project may have the many things in place as mentioned above, I think any project will run smoothly and will not encounter too many issues similar to those that emerged during the Edinburgh tram line project. In the end, it was a success; however, any project of this scope should analyze the Edinburgh case to avoid similar problems and acquire an improved understanding of the major mistakes the impacted outcomes. The success of any project critically depends on planning, and cooperation between various authorities, companies, and the government. The interaction between all these actors is a key to attaining desired outcomes and the construction of an airport within the established terms.

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