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9 CHAPTER THREE PHASED VERSUS CONSOLIDATED OPENINGS Interview responses revealed that phased openings are gen- makes sure that construction and commissioning is (or will erally less risky than consolidated openings. The reason for be) complete, and that the airport authority, airlines, and other this is that each phase of a phased opening is smaller, less stakeholders are (or will be) familiar with new facilities and public, and easier to rollback if problems arise than with have (or will have) the training and tools needed to seamlessly a consolidated opening. When all phases are considered, operate the new facility. This approach helps to keep con- phased openings are also more expensive than consolidated struction projects behind the scenes and mitigate surprises at openings. They require operating two facilities simultane- an opening. ously and often compromise the passenger transfer experi- ence owing to extended travel times between old and new At other times, when risks were assessed, a decision was facilities. made that the risks outweighed the costs, and airport proj- ects that were initially planned as consolidated openings Decisions regarding consolidated versus phased open- were changed to phased openings. ings require collaborative input from the airport authority, airlines, and other stakeholders. Owing to logistics and an At London Heathrow Terminal 5, the initial plan was inability of the new and old airport facilities to operate to open the entire 5-million-square-foot, 47-gate, simultaneously, it is sometimes necessary to move the entire 30-million-passenger facility at one time. However, operation to the new facility at one time (consolidated approximately one year before the opening a decision opening), which can be risky as evidenced by the opening of was then made to open the terminal in two phases. Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong. However, consolidated open- When the opening day was less than successful, a deci- ings can also be successful, as evidenced by the opening of sion was made to rollback some of the flights that were Denver International Airport in Colorado, the new Athens transitioned to the new terminal, increase the number International Airport in Greece and new terminal facilities of phases, and extend the durations between phases. It at Southwest Florida International Airport, Dulles Airport, took approximately 2 months to complete the opening and the Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac). process. Although each of these airports had activation programs, in At Dubai T3/C2, the initial plan was to open the entire Hong Kong the time period allowed for activation was 10.5-million-square-foot, 26-gate, 23-million-passenger compressed as a result of construction delays and a fixed facility at one time. However, approximately one year opening date. The result was that the activation program before the opening a decision was made to quietly open was not adequately executed and operations at the new air- the facility in phases by initially transferring several port were adversely affected owing to equipment that did flights to the new facility and then opening in phases not function as planned, a lack of staff familiarity with the over a 6-week period. The initial opening went so well new facility, and inadequate training. At the Denver, Athens, and Florida airports there was adequate time to complete a decision was made to accelerate the process and the the activation programs and the new airport facilities opened entire facility was opened in just 2 weeks. without surprises. Indeed, because the opening date for Denver was postponed several times as a result of prob- Although phased openings are often adopted to mitigate lems with the baggage handling system, the airport, airport risks, consolidated openings can also be successful. authority, and all stakeholders had much more time than originally planned to become familiar with and activate the Detroit successfully opened 24 of the 26 gates of the new airport. 850,000-square-foot North Terminal at one time. The remaining two gates were successfully opened 12 months Today, the Hong Kong Airport Authority uses the same later. activation program as that used for Chek Lap Kok; however, Indianapolis successfully opened the 1.2-million-square- there is more transparency regarding reporting on the status foot, 40-gate terminal at one time. of construction and the readiness of stakeholders. In addition, jetBlue successfully transferred the entire operation at opening day is not fixed until the last responsible moment. JFK to a new 26-gate, 20-million-passenger, 700,000- Before announcing a fixed date for opening, the authority square-foot facility at one time.

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10 Greater Toronto Airport Authority successfully used a Table 1 summarizes which of the airports discussed by consolidated approach to open the 2-million-square-foot survey participants used a phased approach and which a Phase 1 of Terminal 1 at Lester B. Pearson International consolidated approach. Airport without surprises and 21/2 years later repeated the feat with the opening of the 1.5-million-square-foot Determining whether to use a phased or consolidated Phase 2. approach to an opening is critical. The following decision Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority used a matrix (Table 2) is based on a matrix provided by Danilo consolidated approach to successfully open a concourse Simich from Parsons. It identifies some of the issues that extension at Dulles. could be considered when deciding whether to use a consol- Sea-Tac Airport successfully opened the South Ter- idated or a phased approach to opening new airport terminal minal Expansion Project by using a phased approach facilities. to open an operationally independent ticket counter first and then open the entire concourse and screening This matrix or another tool can be used to rigorously evalu- facilities for domestic airlines in a single consolidated ate the unique characteristics of a project to determine whether phase. a consolidated or a phased approach to opening is appropriate. TABLE 1 PHASED VERSUS CONSOLIDATED OPENINGS Consolidated or Airport Phased Comments Athens International Airport in Consolidated Due to airspace issues could not operate both old Greece and new airport concurrently. Dallas/Fort Worth International Phased 9 foreign flag carriers moved before BHS was Airport fully tested and commissioned. Then, after BHS was fully tested and commissioned, hub carrier moved. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne Consolidated Phase 1--Consolidated opening of terminal and County International Airport 24 gates Phase 2--Consolidated opening of two gates one year later Dubai Airports Corporation Dubai Phased 4 phases--40 flights (15%), then 99 flights (37%), then 168 flights (60%), then 268 flights (100%) Hong Kong International Airport-- Both (CLK was Issues with initial terminal opening were worked Chek Lap Kok (CLK), Terminal 2, consolidated out in a couple of days. It took ~2 months to and other new facilities. subsequent complete transition of cargo. Since opening of projects were CLK, phased openings have been used whenever phased) possible. Indianapolis International Airport Consolidated Overnight move jetBlue Airways Terminal 5 at JFK Consolidated Overnight move in New York Larnaka International Airport in Phased Phase 1--Two airlines (34%) Cyprus Phase 2--One week later (100%) London Heathrow Terminal 5 Phased Original plan consolidated move over 3 days Actual was multiple moves over ~2 months Pafos International Airport in Phased Arrivals in Phase 1 Cyprus Departures 4 days later in Phase 2 Port Authority Southwest Florida Consolidated Overnight move International Airport San Francisco Phased Airlines transitioned to new terminal over a few days Seattle Tacoma International Phased Phase 1--International ticket counters Airport Phase 2--14 gate concourse Toronto Pearson International Consolidated Phase 1--Overnight move to new 2-million-sq.- Airport ft. terminal Phase 2--2 years later overnight move to another 1.5 million sq. ft. Washington Metropolitan Airports Consolidated (Dulles) BHS = baggage handling service.

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11 TABLE 2 PHASED VERSUS CONSOLIDATED DECISION MATRIX Factors: Political considerations Date debt service obligations begin Airline capacity--need for new facility Capital expenditures by tenants Concession revenues Processing capacity: In-line bag system processing capacity Passenger screening capacity Program soft costs (program manager daily burn rate x number of days extended) Construction overhead costs Insurance costs Consolidated Opening Phased Opening Pros Cons Pros Cons Commence revenue Potential increased risk Opportunity for staff to Delays, stalls revenue generation of delays, diversions, gradually initiate generation and cancellations. operations in portions of the new facility Reduces need to operate Less public visibility of Increase cost due to out of two facilities opening need to operate out of two facilities for prolonged period of time Source: Danilo Simich, Parsons (2009).