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Aurecon 360 Issue 8 - Thinking in action

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Airport terminals designing for profit by Stephen Logan Building Sciences Group Leader, Aurecon Stephen Logan explores how innovative engineering can assist in delivering greater returns on capital expenditure (CAPEX) and simultaneously save on operational expenditure (OPEX) in today's evolving airports environment. needs, including their customer's wants and needs. It also encompasses considering the climactic and physical environment of a project. Only once you've understood these complex factors should you start to think about design. Why is designing for profit so crucial in today's environment? What are the benefits of designing for profit? The aviation industry is highly competitive and rapidly changing, affected by constantly evolving passenger behaviour, technological developments and, of course, fuel prices. Very few lines of business require the astonishingly large amount of CAPEX needed by airports. If CAPEX is not carefully controlled, especially in terms of initial expenditure, it could take a long time to recover the initial investment from revenue earned. There is therefore a huge business interest in optimising spend (i.e. containing the initial cost of building these types of facilities), while simultaneously maximising their revenue-earning potential and minimising operating cost. The only way to achieve this is by designing for profit. With any terminal it is desirable to create a pleasurable experience for its passengers, however, it is important that the design considers more than just passenger amenities. Designing for profit requires clever thinking around why we design airports the way we do. Airports are not immune to this pressure as they have to compete for traffic by offering excellent facilities at reasonable landing charges, while achieving a good return on investment for stakeholders. This applies whether the airport is a privately owned or government owned facility. Great design has the potential to significantly alter the profit equation of an airport and should be a key consideration from the earliest planning stages. What kind of thinking does designing for profit entail? Designing for profit can be succinctly summarised in just three words: 'Client Environment Design'. This entails thinking about a client's business Alignment designing of airports should ensure the three elements of successful business remain top of mind: maximising revenue, minimising capital expenditure, and containing operating cost. How can airports maximise revenue? Typically, airports involve three revenue streams: • Landside parking – Passengers and 'meeter/greeters' pay money to park their cars • Retail – Passengers and 'meeter/ greeters' spend money at the air-

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