As more travelers are taking off into the skies, more airport projects are happening on the ground. With their
lengthy timelines, projects to build or upgrade airports
invariably involve change and uncertainty. That ambiguity leads to a high degree of complexity—and requires
flexible, nimble project management, according to a
2014 PwC report on airport projects.
“If the degree of project complexity is not evaluated
and addressed using new techniques of risk appraisal
and project management, then sponsors are unnecessarily accepting a significant probability of project
impairment that even unlimited funds cannot resolve
without incurring delays,” Anthony Holmes, director
of the Institute for Infrastructure Studies, London,
England, told Qatar business
magazine The Edge.
Such risks have expanded
as a rise in travel has led to
a boom in airport projects.
Globally, there were 36 million more tourist arrivals
in the first eight months of
2014 compared to one year
earlier—a 5 percent increase,
according to the World
Tourism Organization. To
accommodate all those travelers, cities around the world
have launched US$415 billion
worth of airport projects,
CAPA-Centre for Aviation reports.
Most of these projects involve existing airports:
building or expanding runways and terminals. The
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), in Los
Angeles, California, USA, is undergoing a US$7 billion modernization project—the largest public works
project in the city’s history. In September, the city of
Dubai, the United Arab Emirates announced a US$32
billion expansion of its Al Maktoum International
Airport, which will accommodate 200 million passengers annually, making it the world’s largest airport.
Meanwhile, there are 229 new airports globally—
either underway or planned—representing US$70 billion of investment. When complete by early 2019, the
new US$9.2 billion airport in Mexico City, Mexico will
initially see 50 million passengers a year and will double
the runway capacity of the city’s existing airport.
Number of new airports underway or
planned around the world
30 years out—
based on those
—Anthony Morgan, PwC,