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5 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND vation also includes the commissioning of a new system and facilities and approvals from authorities having jurisdiction. This synthesis is based on information gathered from the Although both commissioning and approvals are part of most Synthesis Topic Panel, a search of relevant literature, and terminal facilities projects, they are generally the responsi- interviews with those involved with airport terminal facilities bility of the architect engineer construction (AEC) team. openings and activations. Valuable information was also col- Typically, activation includes verifying and confirming that lected from and lessons were learned during interviews with these tasks are complete, but that the actual commissioning those involved with both airports that opened successfully and and approvals are the responsibility of the AEC team. This those that opened with problems. Many of the latter requested effort is included in the confirmation activities referenced in anonymity. Hence, in the survey responses the respondents item 1 of the previous list. are identified by number. AIRPORT TERMINAL FACILITIES ACTIVATION SYNTHESIS TOPIC PANEL Airport terminal facilities activation is the process used to The Synthesis Topic Panel included industry experts who gen- bring a new or rejuvenated facility from the state of static com- erously shared their time and expertise to develop the scope pletion to normal ongoing operations. Ideally, this happens for this study, provided insight into the challenges of airport before and culminates on airport terminal facility opening day terminal facility activation, and assisted in developing con- (AOD). Unfortunately, some facilities open before the airport sistent terminology and Current Industry Practices. Many terminal activation process and/or even the construction is of the issues identified and comments made by the Synthesis complete. This risks an increased potential for delays, diver- Topic Panel are consistent with and reinforce the conclusions sions, cancellations, and other embarrassments that can lead to of the synthesis. significant losses for airlines, airport authorities, and other stakeholders. Typically, small facilities with systems, equip- Working with the Topic Panel it was agreed that Airport ment, and procedures everyone is familiar with open without Terminal Facilities Activation encompasses the process used incident and without publicity. The opening of larger more to transition a new or reconditioned airport terminal from a complex facilities with new systems, equipment, and proce- state of contractual completion to full operations. It includes: dures generally receive much more publicity, particularly when the openings are characterized by surprises and delays, diver- 1. Confirmation and verification that the facility is fit for sions, and/or cancellations. Although it appears that the risk of its intended use within the terms of the contract and in an unsuccessful opening is directly proportional to the size, association with the ultimate occupiers or users. complexity, and duration of the project, even small poorly 2. Review of new or reconditioned facilities to confirm planned projects can experience the same problems. that they are fit for the intended purpose. 3. Identification of any issues and determination of whether The longer the project takes to complete, the larger the it is appropriate to address them before or after the facility and the more operational changes needed to operate opening. it effectively, the greater the likelihood that problems will 4. Development of operating plans for new or recon- occur, this happens because: ditioned facilities, systems, equipment, and business processes. Staff working in the facility at an opening may not be 5. Recruiting, familiarization, and training of staff and adequately familiar with it (they may get lost or have stakeholders. trouble getting to work). 6. Trials to confirm that the new facilities, operational Staff may not be adequately trained on the new systems plans, staff, etc., function and work together as planned. and operational procedures. 7. Relocation of staff, tenants, and equipment. New processes, systems, and procedures may not work as anticipated. Some of the members of the Topic Panel as well as some Construction and systems may not be 100% complete of the survey participants advised that on some projects acti- and commissioned.