standpoint, such buildings create risk and uncertainty, because the structure hasn’t been done
before—in that shape, with those materials or for
this purpose,” Mr. Morgan says.
The demand for an airport that’s also an architectural marvel speaks to another challenge facing
these high-profile, politically sensitive initiatives:
the management of stakeholders, whether sponsors
or the public.
Community opposition stymied the LAX modernization project for more than a decade. “Airports
aren’t necessarily the best neighbors,” says Roger
Johnson, deputy executive director, Los Angeles
World Airports, the owner and operator of LAX.
Ultimately, to get the project approved by local
and federal agencies, Mr. Johnson’s team had to
focus on improving existing structures and had to
cap new gate construction, framing the project as
modernization rather than expansion.
Getting Right With Regulators
Airports’ myriad safety and other regulations also
pose significant challenges: Consider the case of the
Berlin Brandenburg Airport in Berlin, Germany.
A month before a scheduled partial opening in
2012, a problem found in the airport’s fire safety
and suppression system led to a delay—just one of
many in a project beset with technical glitches and
cost overruns. Its budget has ballooned to US$5.8
billion—US$1.6 billion more than planned.
“You have to think through the risks and
uncertainties at the outset of a project and try to
mitigate the risks, especially when it comes
to regulators, approving authorities and gov-
ernments,” Mr. Morgan says. That means
putting together teams experienced in airport
projects so that they’re familiar with the regu-
latory issues at play, he adds.
Team performance and data forecasting
should be reviewed, preferably by an external
organization, throughout the project, he says,
to ensure accuracy and counter optimism
bias. That way change, while inevitable, can
still be manageable. —Liz Logan
Source: World Tourism Organization
International tourist arrivals have increased steadily around the world
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
billion are now
planned around the
world to build new
CROSSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
In high-tech global hot spots, the Internet has transformed nearly every aspect of daily life. But for
more than 60 percent of the world’s population, the digital revolution remains out of reach. To get more
people online—and spur Internet-enabled growth—developing countries and global organizations are
prioritizing IT infrastructure projects.
About three-quarters of the world’s offline population lives in just 20 countries—and these people
are disproportionately rural and low-income, according to McKinsey. In these areas, obstacles to Internet adoption involve infrastructure, affordability and local levels of digital literacy.
To overcome these challenges, the government of the Philippines is sponsoring a program to significantly expand Internet access. Launched late last year, the US$31 million Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in
Public Places initiative will help connect citizens to online public services, such as health and education.