Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is poised for substantial
upgrades as US Airways and American Airlines prepare to
become the world’s largest airline. One of the airlines’ major
hub operations, PHL, features US Airways’ newly renovated and
expanded Express Terminal F. This 120,000-square-foot addition
to the existing terminal and update of the remaining Terminal F
facilities creates a refreshed and modern experience for
US Airways customers.
Now the focus is shifting to the mainline operation in Terminals B
and C. The construction for Terminal B began in the late 1950s,
and the complete Terminal B/C complex opened in 1970. It was
renovated in 1998 to add new food and retail outlets and to add a
25,000-square-foot US Airways Club, but little modernization has
occurred in these terminals in the past 15 years.
Where to Begin?
With so many new and innovative products available to create an
airport of the future, what are the key decision factors in selecting
what to incorporate into a modernization program? Once the
program concept is set, how does the airline ensure the program
progresses on time and within budget?
The answer to both questions: technology. The new global mega-airline will develop concepts for its airport of the future after
evaluating the available technology and determining what does
and does not work at other airports worldwide. Then it will work
with a program manager and design team to develop the concepts.
Among the options available for consideration:
• Self check-in and self-baggage drop facilities that include
a baggage drop at the parking garage
• Holdrooms that resemble high-end lounges and restaurants
with iPads at every seat
• Consolidation security checkpoints with express lanes for
• State-of-the-art baggage screening system
• A people mover system that connects Terminal B/C with the
rest of the airport complex, garages and rental car facility
Seeing the Future
Visualization of conceptual design is much easier today than it
was just a decade ago. Designers, aided by 3-D design software,
can enable airline executives to see what the modernized terminal
will look like. All user groups can better evaluate whether the
plans for the upgraded facility will meet their needs. The airline
will be able to share the model with all parties, including airport
representatives, vendors and security officers.
Before the documents are finalized for construction, the program
management/design team will identify areas where potential
conflicts could disrupt schedules. Technology innovations play
a further role once the design is final and construction is ready
to begin. Managing a complex program amid ongoing airport
operations requires tools that keep all parties up to date on
schedules, milestones and changes. Burns & McDonnell’s
One TouchPM® and No Touch Reporting TM technologies (see article
page 8) will help the program team maintain schedules, address
challenges promptly and execute the plan.
The expected result is a transformation of the Terminal B/C
complex from outdated to world-class outstanding.
Envisioning the Future
Technology Aids in
Planning a Terminal
Renovation for the
Combined US Airways,
By Rhett Workman, US Airways, and
Katherine Goudreau, Burns & McDonnell
The US Airways ticketing area in the Philadelphia International Airport Terminal B/C is part of a
modernization program that will incorporate new and proven technologies to create a world-class terminal.