How does AiQ Consulting work with architects and airports throughout the RIBA Plan of Work?

Our experienced team of consultants, engineers, physicists and mathematicians work with architects throughout the many stages of conception, masterplanning, planning, design, construction and day-to-day operations when it comes to designing for airports.

Known as the RIBA Plan of Work, it’s the standard structure in which a project goes from client briefing and inception through to when the building is in use and the feedback stage. We employ different techniques at different times in order to work with architects, airports and contractors successfully, and have done so for many airports worldwide.

Stage 0 – Strategic definition

The first stage of the RIBA Plan of Work strategically appraises and defines the project before a detailed design brief is created, identifying the business case for the project. It’s the inception of the project, looking at what the client needs.

AiQ Consulting has worked with several airports at this stage. At London Southend, we looked at their initial growth plans with the aim to raise capacity to 3mpa then 5mpa. We carried out an End-to-End Capacity Assessment for the airport, from Kerbside to Boarding Gates, collecting data at every point in the passenger journey with on-site surveys to validate the initial assessment from the airport. From our clear airport capacity scenario models, the client was able to determine their options regarding terminal footprint, the capacity within the existing envelope and the opportunities to extend.

For Leeds Bradford Airport, we conducted a whole terminal capacity analysis incorporating a simulation study to facilitate growing passenger and baggage traffic demand. This allowed us to show how the existing terminal floorplate could be utilised. This holistic view enabled Leeds Bradford to increase capacity significantly and optimise their current operations.

Stage 1 – Preparation and brief

This involves developing the project objectives, including outcomes, sustainability aspirations and feasibility studies.

We assisted Sydney Airport by using our independent, expert knowledge on baggage systems in order to validate the effect of new technology, such as Early Bag Stores and Bag Drops on their existing system. We produced a comprehensive 3D simulation of their baggage system to substantiate the improvements new technology would make on capacity, flexibility and passenger experience, allowing them to develop the aims and objectives for their new system.

Stage 2 – Concept design

In this stage architects outline proposals, cost information and, of course, concept design, to provide the final project brief. This is the fun part for AiQ were we get to use our imagination and creativity when proposing solutions.

An example of this is our work at three airports in Saudi Arabia – Prince Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdulaziz International Airport at Yanbu, Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Airport at Qassim and Hail Airport. We worked with Scott Brownrigg and local architects in an airport design review to undertake the full holistic baggage and check-in operational requirements analysis leading to the full concept and scheme design drawings of baggage systems.

Stage 3 – Developed design

From this, the concept design is developed further to requirements and planning drawings and documents are drafted and submitted to the local authority for approval.

In Bristol Airport we worked with NATS to provide recommendations on where the airport should best invest for growth, providing key actions and quick wins in three scenarios, as well as giving our analysis on more efficient Return on Investment (ROI) and the performance management of the airport. We looked at their options and scheme validations for efficient decision making in order to verify their current investment options to deliver significant passenger increases to 12 MPPA (million passengers per annum), with a view to enhance passenger experience whilst delivering better returns on ancillary revenue.

Stage 4 – Technical design

This involves structural and building services being further refined allowing for any specialist sub-contractor design and the preparation of a detailed design package.

At Gatwick Airport we provided design validation at this point. With 22 different designs provided for the South Terminal Baggage Hall, our client was keen for us to prove, using simulations by Transvision AiR, that the chosen design worked effectively with traffic flows in the baggage hall and apron. We worked with the scheme drawings in order to provide a detailed, but easy to read, overview of each of the different MUP positions and proved that the chosen baggage hall design would work and improve passenger flows.

At the end of this stage, the project is ready to go out to tender, quotations are assessed and contractors chosen ready to start the construction work stage. Birmingham Airport asked us to specify and manage the tender process for their new baggage system, looking at their procurement. AiQ were required to manage stakeholders, review the tender documents and provide expert baggage systems advice during the tender process. With our expert baggage systems knowledge, we were integral in guiding the process to a successful conclusion.

Stage 5 – Construction

The Construction stage is the offsite manufacturing and onsite construction that take place, with a construction programme and any design queries addressed as they arise.

When AiQ conducted a whole terminal capacity analysis for Leeds Bradford Airport, our simulation study also provided accurate flow simulations of peak day traffic. This enabled the airport to strategically plan for construction mitigations during this construction process.

Stage 6 – Handover and close out

Stage 6 is the successful handover of the newly completed building.

For over 10 years, AiQ have been embedded in the process of airline moves at Heathrow Airport, bringing our considerable and unrivaled experience in baggage systems and apron vehicle management and new technology to the programme. When Terminal 5 had been constructed, AiQ helped BA to move majority of their flights from remaining terminals into the new terminal. Working in baggage, terminal and apron, our team ensured that stakeholders (ground handlers and airlines) had the right resources and allocation they needed to successfully move with minimum disruption, guaranteeing efficient operation once they have moved into T5.

Stage 7 – In use

This newer stage, In use, indicates how the project is performing, including the outcomes and development. It’s part of the feedback loop that promotes continuous improvement for architects, contractors, clients and the buildings they create.

We work with many airports in the operations phase.

In Budapest Airport, AiQ Consulting looked at Operational Readiness Activation and Transition (ORAT) following our first phase of work with the client, a capacity assessment for their current departures and arrival baggage process. We enabled Budapest Airport to experience a smooth transition from the old operation to the new operation. We now visit the airport regularly to assist with operational issues, including check in, security, and more, to provide ongoing support.

At the T3 Integrated Baggage Facility (T3IB) at London Heathrow, the first of its kind in the UK where hold baggage is built using automation, we worked as operational capacity planners. Our team planned and managed transitioning of all airlines and ground handlers based in the old baggage hall into this new state of the art facility over a 12 month period. All airlines and ground handlers moved out of the old baggage hall, and into the new facility successfully, while day-to-day operations were still taking place. We also provided benchmarking services during the Hold Baggage Screening changes at Terminal 5 . With our unrivaled and experienced knowledge in baggage processes, data analysis and simulation, we were able to define the best sequence to replace the screening equipment during operations, as well as mitigating any issues concerning performance of the system.

As well as working on individual stages, we also work throughout projects and on different phases and different projects for the same airport. For example, in Heathrow alone, we are working with on their Project 2050 Connectivity Masterplan, as well as focusing on day-to-day operations, looking at a particular Saturday’s planning for Terminal 4.

Working with Architects

Our experience means that we slot into the airport team working into any particular stage of a project. We’re flexible, agile and able to work across these phases. We have built close relationships with architects, such as Gebler Tooth Architects and Pascall & Watson, resulting in projects such as the GMR Hyderabad Airport, Cardiff’s Terminal Masterplan Expansion and the London 2012 athlete’s terminal.

To find out more about how we can help architects realise capacity and create future proof, well designed airports that maximise capacity and passenger experience, contact us today.