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Taking Flight in 2023: How BIM Transforms Airport Construction, Reducing Costs and Enhancing Efficiency


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Looking at the infrastructure of our countries and cities, we may assume that we have enough airports. But with the world’s growing population and an increase in air travel, we don’t just need more airports; we need better quality ones.

The air travel industry suffered a drastic slowdown during the global pandemic which is projected to still affect the market in some ways. However, with many things up and running again the aviation industry is quickly expanding.

According to a Statista report, as of January 2023, a high number of airports are still being built around the world, including 82 projects in North America, 287 in Asia-Pacific and 158 in Europe.

Fortunately, technologies like Business Information Modeling (BIM) can help take airport construction to new heights. Read below to learn more about the potential of BIM, AR and cloud-based project planning for airport construction, and how XYZ’s solutions create a more efficient, productive construction process.

What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling is a virtual model of a building, including what its components look like and what they’re used for. Think of it as 3D modeling software with extra features. BIM goes beyond just visualization; it can help construction managers simulate the entire construction and maintenance process.

However, while it’s an incredible technology, it does have its limitations. Poor communication surrounding design updates is one of the main reasons for delays in the current construction landscape. Managers can’t get the design model updated in time, so, oftentimes teams work from out-of-date designs.

Enter XYZ Reality’s AR solution and cloud-based project management solution.

With XYZ’s Atom™ headset, project managers can identify issues in real-time, letting teams at the office make updates and changes to BIM immediately. This closes the gap between on-site operations and the office. Syncing inspection data from the field into a centralized platform ensures everyone has access to the data they need.

Our project controls solution aids with project management. Construction managers and contractors can link their project schedule directly to their BIM model for objective progress data. This helps them to not only identify the dates/teams for scheduled installations, but also if there are any delays or deviation from the original plan. Proactive planning gives teams weeks to make adjustments – managers can bring in reinforcements to make sure the projects are delivered on time.

Our solutions help construction managers and onsite workers streamline the following:

  • Sharing information with workers and team members
  • Sending inspection requests
  • Reviewing and fixing design issues
  • Accessing site-wide data
  • Interacting with the building model
  • Reviewing all data associated with the model
  • Identifying potential delays and staying on schedule

The most notable benefit of our platform is speed. Gone are the days of waiting days or weeks for inspection reports. With XYZ Reality, you can get real-time updates on the project's progress.

Unique considerations in airports construction and the role of BIM

Building an airport involves a considerable amount of complexity. Let's look at some aspects of airport construction and how BIM helps facilitate them.

3D Visualization

What if you could visualize your whole airport construction plan in the field before you start construction? That's possible with BIM and augmented reality.

XYZ Reality's Engineering Grade AR™ is a combination of the two, allowing you to visualize 3D models of your airport design right from the start. The Atom™ headset is wearable onsite and will let you see your airport BIM design to scale as a hologram over the job site.

Have an airport in a remote location without an internet connection? That’s not a problem with the Atom headset. As it works offline, you can just leverage its 1TB storage capacity and take your BIM designs with you wherever you go. Data syncs once the connection is restored.

The Atom headset also lets you target specific elements or layers of your design, making it easier to spot any discrepancies. For example, if you want different perspectives of the same model, you can crop or scale them down.

Regulatory compliance

All aviation buildings around the world have to adhere to local and international regulations. BIM allows for thorough compliance checks throughout the construction process, reducing the risk of non-compliance.

For example, BIM can detect if the design for a runway is too short or too narrow and alert the construction team to make corrections ahead of time.

Terminal design

Airports need proper design for security checkpoints, customers, baggage claims, and other services. A BIM system lets you visualize the terminal design in 3D. You can see if the check-in counters are placed correctly, if there is enough space for baggage handling, and if the terminal can handle peak-hour traffic. With the help of the Atom, teams can see these plans to scale.

If there are any design flaws, they will come up before the actual construction. So you won't have to redo any part of the construction process.

Air traffic control and ground support equipment

Building airports also means accounting for air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, refueling stations and ground services. Again, a BIM tool can help you map out the space effectively.

XYZ’s tool suite makes sure that issues are addressed early in the process.

Taxiways and runways

Coming to the most integral parts of an airport: runways and taxiways. Construction teams can't afford to make any mistakes here.

Fortunately, BIM comes to the rescue again. It can assist in:

  • Clash Detection: Suppose there's a clash between two design elements. For example, the runway clashes with an underground pipeline. BIM will let you know this before you start construction. So, you can change the placement of one of the elements and avoid future conflicts.
  • Construction Sequencing: BIM will also help you create a sequence for the construction process. The phasing plans will show where and when the construction equipment will move to and from. It's a sure-shot way to make the process more efficient.

Future expansions

As the airports expand, so do construction projects. Adding a new runway or terminal to an existing airport can be challenging without the right technology to get the job done.

With BIM, you can keep scalability in mind; you can plan for additions to the original design instead of having to make major modifications later.

This helps save time, money and resources. Ultimately, it eliminates rework – one of the biggest issues in the construction industry to date.

Ensure smooth landings – Use our tools for your airport construction project

In the past, airport construction projects have faced delays and drastic cost overruns. Construction advancements like BIM are giving teams an opportunity for efficient construction that stays within the budget and the timeline.

Leveraging BIM and XYZ’s augmented reality tools, you can finish your next airport project without worrying about rework. Book a demo to experience efficiency and innovation at its finest.