Category Archives: Aviation

Airports Commission announces its shortlist for UK air expansion

On Tuesday 17 December, the UK government’s Airports Commission released details of its much-anticipated interim recommendations for increasing essential UK airport capacity and connectivity by 2030.

Its independent review, led by businessman Sir Howard Davies, has shortlisted three options: Gatwick Airport Ltd’s proposal for a second runway, Heathrow Airport Ltd’s proposal for a new 3,500m runway, and Heathrow Hub’s proposal to extend the existing northern runway enabling it to operate as two independent runways.

In its press statement, the Commission adds that it “has not shortlisted any of the Thames Estuary options because there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage”.

However, it will undertake a further study of proposals for a new airport on the Isle of Grain (or ‘Boris Island’ as it is dubbed after its champion, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson) in the first half of 2014, and report back later in the year. Also missing the shortlist were Stanstead Airport and Birmingham International Airport with their respective proposals for expansion.

The Commission will make its final and ‘robust’ recommendations to the UK government in summer 2015 – around the time of the country’s next General Elections. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the reactions to the shortlist so far.

Heathrow Airport is predictably pleased. Its chief executive, Colin Matthews, comments, “The world economy is changing fast and Britain needs a world-class hub airport with the capacity to compete against Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. A third runway is the quickest, cheapest and surest way of connecting the UK to growth.”

Stuart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, was similarly upbeat, “I am very pleased that the strength of London Gatwick’s case has been recognised by the Airports Commission and that the shortlist has been narrowed down to two main locations.”

Not quite so happy was Boris Johnson, who declared that building a new runway at Heathrow would be a “catastrophe”. According to him, “A new airport in the inner estuary is the only credible hub option left.” However, the Commission’s report estimates the Isle of Grain option would cost up to five times as much as any of those short-listed.

Reaction from the airlines seems to favour Heathrow. UK trade publication, ‘Travel Weekly’ quotes Dale Cellar, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) as saying, “Despite the inevitable challenges and disagreement that will follow, the vast majority of the airlines believe that expanding Heathrow is now the only sensible way forward for the UK.”

We also spoke to architects and civil engineers, HOK, creators of Heathrow’s award-winning Terminal 5 Intermodal Station. Richard Gammon, director of aviation and transportation, concluded, “The only practical solution to the issue of UK aviation capacity is the option that Heathrow has outlined for a third runway.

“Heathrow is vital to the economic prosperity of both London and the UK, and supporting its ability to evolve to meet the needs of the global marketplace must be a core part of maintaining UK plc’s global competitiveness.”

Gail Taylor

Written By admin 
December 23, 2013 12:07 pm
Posted In Aviation

New Images of Britannia Airport Plan


The promoters of London’s proposed Britannia Airport, TESTRAD (Thames Estuary Research and Development Company), have released fresh surface access plans and concept images highlighting the chief regenerative and economic benefits that could be realised from the £45b development value, should an Estuarine Airport be selected from an array of proposed schemes for further consideration next week by the Sir Howard Davies Aviation commission recommendations.


Bridget Rosewell, OBE, Technical Director London Britannia Airport, said: “Over the next forty to fifty years, as the world continues to develop and grow, London will continue to be attractive and could well grow by another 3 million people or even more. This would require at least another 1 million dwellings and probably more. This strain on capacity could be met by the reuse of Heathrow, while the airport could operate much more effectively where there are no residents. What’s not to like?”

Ian Mulcahey, Technical Director London Britannia Airport, said: “As significant questions emerge over the feasibility and practicality of the Isle of Grain as a possible location, the London Britannia Airport scheme in the Thames Estuary appears to be the only credible alternative to Heathrow. With zero noise disruption, zero demolition and only 30 minutes from central London the £47bn scheme.”


Shenzhen International Airport opens

Shenzhen International Airport

The new Terminal 3 at Shenzhen International Airport has opened after five years of planning and construction. With an overall length of 1.5km and a gross floor space of 500,000 sq m, it will increase the potential capacity of the Shenzhen International Airport by up to 40m passengers per year.

The project was designed by Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas and engineered by the German firm Knippers Helbig. The terminal roof spans an impressive 700m over the check-in area, reaching a height of 25m, and is supported by a 36m grid layout of slender columns. The concourses are column-free and in the transverse direction span up to 45m.

Shenzhen International Airport 2

Knippers Helbig undertook the discretisation of the surfaces, with the aid of specially developed parametric software tools. The openings and inclination angles of the panes of glass were equally matched to each other as were the daylight and energy input. Developing the geometry involved the specification of structural steel construction as well as the coordinates of all facade elements on the outer shell. The program allowed iterative optimisation of the facade at very short time intervals, making it possible to complete the preliminary design of both the facade and the structure within the short space of a year, with handover of the geometry, static and rule details of the framework and facade. The project planning was then taken over by the BIAD Office in Beijing.

Knippers Helbig was responsible for the development of structural solutions for the reinforced concrete of the arrival and departure levels as well as for the static analysis of the steel structures of the roof and facade. Here, the diamond-shaped structure refers directly to the honeycomb shape of the facade and is stiffened additionally by cross members. The spring-loaded bearing bolts of the steel structure permit uniform distribution of temperature and especially seismic loads on the supports, creating a unified impression of the structural elements up to 400m long.

Shenzhen airport Terminal 3

The building envelope is dominated by a honeycomb-like facade which through its double skin largely permits indirect light to enter the interior through 25,000 openings. Depending on the sun’s position, rays of sunlight also enter the building directly, offering unusual continuously changing lighting effects throughout the day. At numerous places along the concourses, strip-like windows offer panoramic views of the airfield.

The success of project is the result of the close collaboration between Italian, German and Chinese planners and thanks to the great openness of the client towards innovative approaches to design and planning tools as well as unconventional technical solutions.

FCC clinches €25m Costa Rican airport contract

Esther Alcocer Koplowitz receives CEAL Award

Global infrastructure and environmental services group FCC have won a €25m contract to refurbish Costa Rica’s largest airport – the Juan Santamaria. The project comes as part of a planned €36.5b infrastructure investment by the Costa Rican government.

Positioned 18 kilometers from San José, the Juan Santamaria site will see the construction of a €25m hangar, a number of ancillary buildings – used for workshops, the storing flammable liquids and materials and general use – and a 150-space car park.

Juan Santamaria Airport FCC

The facades and roof will be similar in appearance, with the ancillary buildings sharing the hangar’s aesthetic. FCC report that special attention has been paid to the collection and disposal of rain. The project, which will encompass a total area of 21,894 sq m, has a completion period of eighteen months.

The Juan Santamaria project is included within the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Works’ National Transport Plan – a investment programme of €36.5b in road, rail, airport and aircraft over the next 25 years, the contracts for most of which will be by tender.

FCC Juan Santamaria airport

The Alajuela facilities serve airlines flying to the entire American continent and their European connections. Juan Santamaria is one of the fastest growing in the region, in number of passengers (with nearly five million per year), the number of carriers used and cargo volume.

Earlier this month, FCC Chairwoman Esther Alcocer Koplowitz was awarded the Business Growth Award by the Latin America Business Council (CEAL) in recognition of FCC’s expansion in the region.

Richard Greenan

City Airport set for £200m expansion by 2023

city airport world infrastructure news

London City Airport will expand to double its passenger numbers by 2013, it has been announced. The owners of the East London airport, American infrastructure fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), are seeking planning consent to build an extended terminal and new parking stands and taxi ways for larger aircraft.

These facilities would see the potential number of take-offs and landings at City Airport more than double from 50,000 to 120,000 – providing services for an extra six million passengers. GIP plans on utilising larger aircraft to increase peak hour capacity and better serve the airport’s predominantly business-centric clientèle.

Concerns have been raised over the consequences the expansion may have on local air and noise pollution, and GIP have been pressurised by local campaigners to ensure the project generates growth and local jobs on the same scale as a project such as the Royal Albert Dock – the £1b investment in which has generated 20,000 jobs at the “Asian Business Port”.

GIP Chief Executive Declan Collier stated: “Today we are presenting the detail on how we propose to build the infrastructure for 50,000 more flight movements a year to 120,000 by the mid-2020s. The timing is right as everyone knows that London is moving to the East so our catchment area is growing. Sixty per cent of our customers are business passengers and the economy is growing so the potential is great.”

Despite the Olympics helping to create an influx of three million passengers last year, GIP is still yet to profit from the £465m acquisition of City Airport in 2006.

Speaking of the new Bombardier C Series aircraft fleet that would serve the airport, Collier added: “The aircraft that will serve the airport will be quieter and cleaner and we will put in place enhanced noise mitigation; all our modelling shows the noise increase will be negligible.”

Richard Greenan

Heathrow’s new Terminal T2B sets benchmark for sustainability

Balfour Beatty Heathrow World infra news

Terminal T2B, the largest “airside” construction project ever carried out at Heathrow, has been awarded the first ever BREEAM certificate for a UK airport building. Construction contractor, Balfour Beatty has successfully integrated a range of sustainable initiatives for the new Heathrow Terminal 2B satellite terminal helping the building achieve a BREEAM rating of “Very Good” for sustainable construction, design and innovation.

Measuring half a kilometre in length, the £590 million project has included the construction of the largest diaphragm wall in Europe as well as the use of over 165,000 cu m of reinforced concrete and 5,000 tonnes of structural steel. Replacing the old 1950s Terminal 2, T2B will provide 16 new aircraft stands, approximately 1,275 sq m of retail space, three passenger lounges with a floor area of 3,600 sq m, and extensive basement space for future baggage handling systems and a track transit system linking to a future Terminal 2C.

Balfour Beatty’s implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has significantly improved project efficiencies and has assisted in allowing the construction to continue with little or no impact on air-side activities.  Working in close collaboration with client Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) and in collaboration with the project supply chain, the adoption of BIM from the ‘ground up’ has significantly increased project efficiencies and offered minimal disruption to wider airport operations. 4D modelling has been used for effective planning and off-site manufacturing has been utilised, with 549 offsite modules provided.

Customer: Heathrow Airport Limited, Value: £590 million, Duration: 5 years, Completion Date: October 2013

Rail, Air, Road and Rail Projects Consolidate at Miami Intermodal Center

miami interm 1

The Florida Department of Transportation’s Miami Intermodal Center is scheduled for completion in 2013. The project’s final component, Miami Central Station, covers 16.5 acres and is scheduled to open in early 2014. It will join the Miami Rental Car Center and the Miami International Airport (MIA) Mover (completed in 2010 and 2011, respectively) to bring travellers a wealth of new options in the area.

The linking of the Intermodal Center to MIA via a rapid-transit system is seen to herald a new era of consolidated, modernised infrastructure and connectivity for Miami-Dade County – developments largely thanks to construction work carried out by Odebrecht USA and its Partners. The Central Station will connect passengers with services including Amtrak, taxis, Greyhound, heavy rail to Palm Beach, Broward ans Miami-Dade, Tri-Rail and Miami Dade Transit’s Metrobus.

The director of the Miami-Dade’s Aviation Department, José Abreu, said: “Moving people is what we are all about, and we have now reached the day when our passengers can move seamlessly between various forms of ground transportation, mass transit and air travel.” The new MIA Orange Line Service and Metrorail Station, operated by the Aviation Department, boasts a 2.5 mile-long elevated spur constructed by a joint-venture between OHL and Odebrecht. The project cost $360m.


Atkins served as engineering and architectural consultants for the Metrorail project. A 20.5 mile aerial heavy rail system including 20 stations comprised the first stage of the system. Ultimately, the network will be 50 miles long, and will offer feeder bus and direct rail services to all 1.5m Miami-Dade residents.

Richard Greenan


WSP and OMA Win Doha “Airport City” Contract

doha wsp

Doha’s new city and airport expansion will be jointly developed by British engineers WSP and Dutch architecture firm OMA, it has been announced. OMA won an international competition to secure their share of the contract. The development programme, which extends as far as 2042, has been dubbed “Airport City”, and will cover 10 sq km of land next to Doha’s Hamad International Airport.

OMA have planned a “green spine” of gardens, plazas and public spaces which will run parallel with Airport City’s runways. This spine, formed of four districts, will connect logistics and business centres with residential and aviation zones, with housing alongside Doha’s new Bay Marina. The first construction phase is scheduled for completion in 2022, in time for Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup.

WSP contract takes into account transport and specialist aviation planning, security and engineering. The firm is also responsible for further airside and land airport expansions, as well as the design of a second passenger terminal. When Hamad opens in April it is already expected to handle 30 million passengers annually, with the figure rising to 50 million.

Graeme Power-Hosking, WSP’s project director, stated: “This is an extremely exciting project. With the FIFA 2022 World Cup putting the city on the world-stage, our aim alongside our client is to make it a world-class airport with world-class infrastructure. Our client is setting new benchmarks in design and uncompromising on quality and this raises the bar for us as well.”

Richard Greenan

UK clash over airport site

A report by the UK’s House of Commons Transport Committee published today has come out firmly in support of retaining and expanding Heathrow Airport in the West of London.

The 124 page report details the objections to the Mayor’s proposals for a new hub in the Thames Estuary and highlights cost and damage to wildlife habitat as key points.

Transport Committee chair Louise Ellman MP: “Research we commissioned made plain that building an entirely new hub airport east of London could not be done without huge public investment in new ground transport infrastructure.”

The MPs said a third runway at Heathrow was necessary instead, and even suggested that a fourth runway might be needed. Their proposal is to move the new runways three kilometres, to the west. Some 700 properties would need to be demolished to make room for additional capacity.

Richard Gammon from HOK’s global Aviation and Transportation Leader-ship team comments; “This report comes as very welcome news and suggests that the political tide may gradually be turning towards the only realistic, pragmatic and deliverable solution that will safeguard the future of Heathrow and London’s hub status”

The report puts the UK Government in direct conflict with London Mayor Boris Johnsons’ plans for a new four runway in the Thames Estuary.

The Government commissioned Davies Report will publish interim results later this year and its final verdict after the UK General election, around May 2014.

Michael Hammond

Richard Gammon is on the World Infrastructure Awards 2013 transport panel
Meet the Jury Panel



Published tender: Novosibirsk Airport complex renovation

An open competition for the development of project documentation for the project: “Reconstruction of the airport complex” Tolmachevo “(Novosibirsk)”

The initial (maximum) contract price 195 965 483.70 Russian Rubles
Deadline 27 March 2013

Further information:


About Novosibirsk; Novosibirsk is the third most populous city in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg and the most populous city in Asian Russia, with a population of 1,473,754

Written By infra2013 
February 21, 2013 14:03 pm
Posted In Aviation