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Brown 2001

Brown 2001

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Measuring the facilitiesmanagement influencein delivering sustainableairport developmentand expansion
 Andrew W. Brown and  M.R. Pitt 
Many airports are presently facingunprecedented increases in demand, drivenby greater competition between airlines,deregulation and increased commercialglobalisation. Growth levels of between 4 and9 per cent per annum, in terms of passengernumbers, have been sustained over the pastten years (Boeing, 2000). The number of passengers travelling by air is anticipated toincrease 100 per cent by 2020 (InternationalCivil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), 2000) asglobalisation increases and as developingeconomies mature. Forecasts by theDepartment of the Environment, Transportand the Regions (DETR) and the CivilAviation Authority (CAA) forward similarpredictions. Therefore, it is highly probablethat airports and in particular the builtfacilities which support them, will require tobe further developed. Airports within the UK which have either built new facilities to meetdemand within the past three years, or whichare presently planning new facilities includeEdinburgh, Glasgow, Luton, Liverpool,Manchester, Stansted and Heathrow. Furtherdevelopment at these airports and at the UK'sremaining airports is probable. Airports aretypically associated with detrimentalenvironmental effects. They are seen to havesubstantial environmental influences in termsof CO
, NOX and SO
pollution, energyconsumption, noise pollution, wasteproduction and hydrological damage. Theforecast growth comes at a time of increasedglobal awareness of energy consumption andpollution levels. Whitelegg (1997) argues thataviation activity represents a fundamentalthreat to the global environment. It isgenerally accepted that the environmentalimpacts associated with aviation activity willcontinue to increase in the coming years(GAO, 2000).Sustainability is an area increasing inimportance for the construction industry ingeneral. This being the case, it is reasonableto expect the contemporary facilities manager(FM) to possess a specific set of tools andknowledge concerning environmentalefficient building design and operation.We can expect the FM to bring these tobear on a wide range of property stocks as
The authorsAndrew W. Brown
M.R. Pitt
are both Lecturers atHeriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK.
Airports, Sustainability, Environmental impact, Modelling
The facilities at airports are extensive, diverse in nature andare core to future income and therefore future profitability.Current forecasts indicate a probable growth in air travel of approximately 100 per cent over the next 20 years. It isunlikely that such growth will be accommodated withoutconsiderable expansion of the built facilities presently foundat existing airports. However, airports are notoriously poorenvironmental performers. Any growth or expansion must beaccompanied by improvements in relation to environmentalimpact. Argues that facilities management has a significantrole to play in ensuring that future airport expansion issustainable. The role of the facilities management professionin this regard is investigated and a conceptual evaluationframework designed to measure the likely sphere of influence of the airport facilities manager is developed.While the framework presented herein is designed tounderstand the role of the FM in the context of airportfacilities, the analytical technique underpinning it isapplicable to designing evaluation models to performanalyses of the FM influence in the case of other facilities.The paper's relevance thus extends beyond airportmanagement.
Electronic access
The research register for this journal is available at
The current issue and full text archive of this journal isavailable at
Received: December 2000Revised: January 2001
FacilitiesVolume 19.Number 5/6.2001.pp. 222±232
MCB University Press.ISSN 0263-2772
general awareness increases. Airport facilitiesare considered to be of prime importanceherein due to the level of predicted aviationsector growth and the very public and politicalspotlight which is frequently placed upon thedetrimental environmental impacts that areassociated with airport growth and expansion.
Airport facilities
The contemporary airport is complex and thefacilities required to support it are diverse,both in terms of differing levels of technicalcomplexity and service provision. There aretwo main fronts of operation; aeronautical andnon-aeronautical. Each requires the provisionof different facilities. Aeronautical facilities aretechnically complex and include instrumentlanding systems, air traffic managementsystems, together with runways, taxiways andaircraft stands. Non-aeronautical facilities arevaried and may include hotels, restaurants,shops and car parks. Non-aeronauticalfacilities, in particular terminal buildings, maybe considered tobe substantially different fromother building types where sustainabletechnologies have been applied. Thedifferences arise from the 24-hour operationoften required, the large uninterrupted publicspaces that are needed and the extent of different space uses which must beincorporated within a single building.Nevertheless, energy efficient designs andsustainable construction practices have beenemployed by airports in the UK, notably in thecase of BAA's extension to the terminalbuilding at Edinburgh Airport. What is notknown is the significance of the impact that isproduced by the built facilities in relation tothe total impact that is associated with theoperation of the complete airport business.
The identified problem
In general, the airport generates 50 per cent of its revenue from aeronautical operations and50 per cent from non-aeronautical operations(ACI, 1998). Evidence suggests that airportscompete with one another on the grounds of the facilities they offer to passengers andairlines (ACI-NA, 1998). Therefore, on an apriori basis it is reasonable to predict thatairports will seek to improve the facilities theyprovide in order to maximise the revenue theygenerate from the expected increase in generalair transport. This being the case, it is clearthat there will be a cause and effectrelationship between the general growth inaviation, the airport's facilities and the totalenvironmental impact caused by an airport.There is a general perception that theenvironmental problems at airports areprimarily caused by aeronautical activity or byinappropriate infrastructure provisions (forexample extensive car parking provision butlimited public transport options). However,leading airports within the UK acknowledgethe importance of the environmentalperformance of their buildings; for exampleBAA plc have implemented sustainableconstruction and energy monitoring policies.It is logical that improving the environmentalimpact of individual buildings is likely to havea beneficial overall effect. However, what isnot known at the present time is thesignificance of that beneficial effect. Theprobable extent of future airport facilitiesgrowth is not presently quantified.Additionally, the environmental impact of future growth, for example at regional airportsin the UK, is not precisely known.Therefore, there is a gap in existingknowledge. The importance of airportfacilities in determining the overallenvironmental result, and the likely extent of future growth is not well understood.Furthermore, there is concern about the lackof research effort that is directed towardsarresting unsustainable development. Thisresearch addresses both these issues. Untilnow there has been no research to directlymeasure the relative significance of airportfacilities upon the environmental impactassociated with air transport growth.
The airport, the environment andfacility management
The air transport sector has a number of known and well-quantified problems inrelation to the environmental impacts that areassociated with its activity. Generallyspeaking, its environmental performance iswholly associated with aircraft operation andtechnology. Stringent regulation andlegislation affecting aircraft type andoperation is now in place (Jasper, 2000;Mortimer, 1998). The FM scenario isaffected by such regulation in so far as it
Measuring the facilities management influence
Andrew W. Brown and M.R. Pitt 
FacilitiesVolume 19.Number 5/6.2001.222±232
impacts the aeronautical facilities that mustbe provided and maintained. This in turnaffects the options that can be considered togrow the airport business. Environmentalregulations relating to aircraft noise pollution(e.g. the ICAO (2000, Chapters, 2, 3 and 4))influence airport operation, growth and theextent of facilities that require to be provided.Some airports have established noisemonitoring facilities (for example Munich,Manchester and Orange County), or haverestricted the aircraft they will permit tooperate (for example London City) or haveintroduced curfews (for example Frankfurt,Hong Kong, Tokyo and Toronto) in responseto these regulations. These measures affectthe facilities that require to be provided oralternatively affect the operational hours andconsequently the life cycle and maintenancedemands placed on them.However, in general, only limited measuresare available in connection with managingexisting aeronautical facilities towardsreducing the total environmental burden.Reducing the environmental burdenassociated with an airport's aeronauticalactivity remains largely dependent uponadvances in aircraft technology which, of course, remains independent of the FM.However, the same situation does not apply inthe case of managing the environmentalburden associated with non-aeronauticalfacilities. These also have significantenvironmental impacts primarily inconnection with energy consumption,pollution and waste.In the airport context, these are perhaps lesswell studied and are perhaps presentlyperceived to be of lesser importance whencompared to aircraft operation andpreparation. Nevertheless, since it is typicalfor large well developed airports to generateapproximately 50 per cent of total incomefrom non-aeronautical facilities, it ispredictable that airports will require agrowing revenue earning property portfolioincluding terminal buildings with associatedshopping areas and restaurants, airport hotelsand office accommodation.The aeronautical facilities and thenon-aeronautical facilities are, of course,interrelated, so that one group cannot bedeveloped in total isolation from the other.This is logical as there is no benefit inproviding for increased passenger numbers if the aeronautical facilities cannot supply thenecessary capacity. It is quite common,however, for existing aeronautical facilities tohave spare capacity meaning thatnon-aeronautical facilities can be increasedindependently. Examples are found atEdinburgh and Dublin Airports whereterminal extensions have recently beencompleted with no need to improveaeronautical facilities. The ways in which anairport can develop towards increasing itspassenger and cargo throughput are limitedand are examined below in order toemphasise the importance of the FM role inconnection with non-aeronautical facilities.
Facilitating growth at airports
Ultimately, the aim is to increase the handlingcapacity of the airport. The FM has astrategic role in how this is achieved, but theoptions available for existing airports, many of which are already capacity constrained, arefew. Three main options prevail.First, the airport can improve its presentfacilities so that it can handle larger aircraft.BAA claim this reasoning in relation to theproposal to build Terminal 5, which isplanned to cater for very large commercialtransports (VLCT), for example, the AirbusA350 aircraft. This allows more passengers topass through the airport facilities, therebyincreasing revenue, without increasing thenumber of scheduled slots for flights arrivingand departing. Consequently, in the main, theaeronautical facilities, such as runways,taxiways and ATM/CNS systems, do notrequire to be adjusted.The second option involves increasing theutilisation of existing runways. There arethree ways this can be achieved. The airportcan introduce new technologies to reduceaircraft separation on approach and departure(ICAO, 2000). This approach is beingproposed by a number of internationalairports. This option is clearly restricted bysafety regulations imposed by the FAA, theCAA and the JAA. Alternatively, the airportcan build rapid exit taxiways which allowaircraft to depart the runway after landingmuch sooner and at greater speed, therebyclearing the runway for other traffic muchsooner than would otherwise be the case. Thisis a very common approach and is widelyevident. Airports not presently having thesebut which are planning for expansion, for
Measuring the facilities management influence
Andrew W. Brown and M.R. Pitt 
FacilitiesVolume 19.Number 5/6.2001.222±232

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