Project Success Pentagon for Airport Expansion Projects


By Shailesh Nepal

Nepal and Haiti

Airports are very large, complex organizations that resemble the size of a small community when on-site employees are counted. An impressive and varied numbers of activities are performed at airports ranging from ground handling, to passenger handling, to commercial activities, to transport etc. As part of the airport operations, most of the activities are quite obvious to the average person, however one aspect of the airport is usually overlooked – that is that airports not only need to manage air transport operations but also real estate investments and construction projects.

For all operations related to aircrafts and passengers to function efficiently, extensive infrastructures must be in place and maintained. For example, the new terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow’s airport has a site area alone of 260 Hectares (2.6 million Sq.m.). An indication of the value of real estate assets of an airport can be derived by looking at the book value of the land and buildings of airport operators, which easily accedes the one billion Euro marks for large operators. This holds also true in other reasons with strong growth in air transportation, such as the Middle East, where airports have invested almost US $ 30 billion in airport capacity over the last 10 years.

For example, Dubai Airport has undertaken an extensive facilities expansion program, including a new terminal and concourses worth US $ 2.5 billion, and Doha has expanded its Airport with New Terminal and Runway worth about US $ 1 billion. The development of the International Airport in South Asian Countries like Nepal is also taking its shape with US $ 70 million investment in Air Side Infrastructure and Land Side Terminal Improvement Project of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

Airports, where very large investments have taken place are for example, in Munich, where an entirely new terminal is dedicated to Star Alliance, and at Charlles de Gaulle, where the terminal is dedicated to one world; as well as Heathrow, where the new T5 terminal has been customized for British Airways. Although such large investments are not observed on an ongoing basis, airports have a constant high level of investments, compared to their revenues.

Given that the airports have extensive numbers of buildings and expansion areas that constantly need to be maintained, refurbished and/or expanded to meet the changing  needs of the industry, construction projects are an integral parts of airport operations.


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About the Author

shailesh-nepalflag-nepalShailesh Nepal

Shailesh Nepal, FAAPM, MPMTM & CIPMTM Certified, member of International Construction Project Management Association (ICPMA), member of Project Management Association of Nepal (PMAN), President of Young Crew, Nepal and award recipient of 2010 IPMA International Young Project Manager Award for his outstanding contribution to the China Railway Engineering Corporation, China and Tundi Construction Pvt. Ltd., Nepal Joint Venture. He has worked in leading positions in institutions of proven reputation. His recent achievement is successful completion of Runway and Taxiway Overlay Works of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), only one International Airport of Nepal having a single runway from 2009 to 2011 AD. He is founder member and Managing Director of Institute of Project Management Nepal Pvt. Ltd.. Since December 2012, Shailesh is also an international correspondent for PM World.  Mr. Nepal can be contacted at [email protected].