The 3-Tier Process to Keep Pavements and Runways in Top Form

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The 3-Tier Process to Keep Pavements and Runways in Top Form

  1. 1. The 3-Tier Process to Keep Pavements and Runways in Top Form Edinburgh Airport is Scotland's capital airport with more than 40 airlines that serve 100+ destinations and some nine million passengers a year. With such huge volume and high standards of quality, how does Edinburgh Airport keep its pavements and runways in top form? To find out, IQPC’s Darwin Jayson Mariano spoke to David Wilson, Chief Operating Officer of Edinburgh Airport to discuss how it ensures efficient operations as well as the latest trends in airport engineering. Please give us an overview of your company and your role in the organization Edinburgh Airport is the busiest airport in Scotland, and the sixth largest in the UK. We have approximately 500 staff and employ 5,000 staff indirectly. Edinburgh airport has about 40 airlines serving 100 destinations in the region of 9.3 million passengers per year. I took up the role of Chief Operating Officer in June 2012. In March of this year, just now, we’ve just been awarded for being the Best Airport in the UK for Passenger Satisfaction. contractors. Giving the contractors sufficient time to carry out what that they planned in a timely fashion and to a high quality, whilst at the same time, ensuring safe airport operations continue. What are the most common challenges that you face while expanding or refurbishing airside facilities? Please share some details. First of all was the cost of capital and maintaining a good understanding of the return on investment. It’s also very important to expand infrastructure in line with forecasted passenger growth and aircraft movement growth. So that’s a very important piece of information that we need The critical part is maintaining operations, so cutting out projects that were allocated to principal When implementing or contemplating airport expansion, what kind of dilemmas do you face? How do you deal with them? www.airfieldengineering.com
  2. 2. “We have to be very focused on the future plans of our airline customers to ensure that we have the right infrastructure in place.” David Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, Edinburgh Airport to contemplate expanding. prior to Also, working with the airlines to anticipate in advance, what type of new fleet they are likely to be bringing in and if they are going to upsize the type of aircraft that they have, for example, 737 up to 757 or a Boeing 777. So making sure that the infrastructure meets the needs of the growth and anticipating both the passenger numbers and the aircraft size as taxiways stand around specific aircraft size and dimensions. Therefore, we have to be very focused on the future plans of our airline customers to ensure that we have the right infrastructure in place. Do you find it very difficult proving the ROI or justifying the cost of capital in these projects? Return on investment can be quite challenging in the current economic climate, certainly in the European economic sector at the present moment. So we have to balance the cost of capital projects with some likely income and growth that we anticipate and forecast. Can you share best practices to keep pavements/runways in top form? The common operational basis we have is what’s called the 3Tier inspection regime. Tier 1 is carrying out four daily inspections per day of the pavement surface by the airfield operations’ duty personnel. Tier2 inspection is carried out on a daily basis by a supervisor or manager on foot, inspecting the pavement surface and if anything has been highlighted through the Tier 1 process. And then Tier 3 is a larger group of senior managers carrying out inspections on a weekly basis of those areas highlighted as requiring further investigation and inspections. We do that on a regular basis and that is recorded and documented within our safety management system. We carry out these 3 level inspections with pavement engineers as well as airfield operations duty team so using their experience and expertise is essential to ensure that the pavement surface is free of fault. And if anything is seen as deteriorating, we carry out immediate steps to reduce the risk of any breakouts or foreign object debris being produced. We also have twice yearly, walking inspections of the field runway. We walk the runway from threshold to threshold; inspecting the field, all the lights and other areas of the pavement surface. What are some of the current trends that you see in airfield engineering that will shape the future of the industry? I find that there are 2 things going on in the world of pavements and airfield engineering. One is the evolution of LED light settings. LED light settings are slightly more expensive but LED products certainly demonstrate or reduce maintenance requirement and allows for a reduced utility consumption and electricity usage. So whilst there is a larger cost of capital for the installation and procurement of those LED lights, there is no doubt that over a 10-year period, the investment is well worth it. The maintenance part required to keep the lights in good condition, in particular with lamp replacement, demonstrates a www.airfieldengineering.com
  3. 3. good return on investment. So that is, I believe, something that is developing further in the airport business globally, certainly within the United Kingdom. The second part I would say is the development in different asphalts and pavement surfaces. There are now new options available other than Marshall Asphalt, which is predominantly being the favorite product for runway surfaces in the past. Edinburgh Airport celebrating after award success 18 March 2013 Edinburgh Airport has been named the best in Britain for passenger satisfaction, and one of the three best airports in Europe, at the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards for 2012. No other British airport appears in the European shortlist, which includes Moscow Sheremetyevo, Malta, Keflavik and Zurich, and this is the second year in a row that Edinburgh Airport has featured in the top three. Over 250 airports from all over the world are judged, with the very best being recognised and rewarded according to the Airports Council International (ACI) ASQ passenger satisfaction survey, a global benchmark tool which is used to measure how passengers perceive their experience of travelling. Commenting on the announcement, Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: "We are delighted to have been recognised once again at the ASQ Awards. This announcement is further motivation for Edinburgh Airport to continue to work hard and provide the best service possible for our passengers. "The fact that we have again been placed so highly shows that our customers are pleased with the service they receive when travelling through Edinburgh Airport, something that we will continue to work hard to maintain. "Ensuring the best passenger experience is one of our top priorities. Having recently launched our Passenger Commitments, we are confident that 2013 will be the year that Edinburgh Airport reinforces its position as one of the best airports in the world.“ (Source: Edinburgh Airport Media) David Wilson is one of the distinguished speakers at Airfield Engineering and Asset Maintenance 2013. To learn more about Best Practices and Technological Innovations in Airfield Expansions and Maintenance to Ensure Operational Efficiency and Safety, visit: www.airfieldengineering.com IQPC: Please note that we do all we can to ensure accuracy within the transcription to text of audio interviews but that errors may still understandably occur in some cases. If you believe that a serious inaccuracy has been made within the text, please email darwin.mariano@iqpc.com.sg www.airfieldengineering.com

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