IRION: It goes back to a previous
question that Steve answered.
We’re all talking about developing
an airport effectively, financially
responsibly, and as quickly as
possible, in order to minimize the
impacts to our customers and the
airlines. I believe that there’s an
important dynamic there, between
the planning, environmental and
design processes that must be
considered together. I’ve seen a
transition of this over the course
of my career in the last 30 years.
Previously, planners did their work,
handed it off to the environmental
experts, and they handed it off
to the designers. But I’ve found
the best situation is when you’ve
got an integrated team working
together that includes planning,
environmental and design in a
My expertise was preparing
environmental impact statements
for large-scale airport programs.
From that experience, I was able
to see the benefit of good planning
and good forecasting in order to
A.A.E., with AAAE
Trina Hadden and
give us a good purpose and need
and alternatives analysis for NEPA
(National Environmental Policy
Act). But we also needed to know
the construction process, and
understand how we were actually
going to build that runway, and
get those materials through the
neighborhoods and through the
industrial parks. All of that was
important because we needed to
do our best to develop a legally
defensible EIS (Environmental
LAUER: I think that gets back
to understanding the schedules.
Once you develop a plan, in order
to implement it, you need to
incorporate that environmental
process. You’re not going to be able
to implement the plan unless you
understand how environmental
issues are integrated into the
planning and development process.
BERG: Jim, again, from the
construction standpoint, could
you talk to us a little bit about
operating smoothly while we’re
under construction — the passenger
experience, operations, facilities,
and so forth?
LAUER: A good friend of mine,
the previous deputy manager over
design and construction, used to
say that airports were nothing
more than a construction project
where they fly airplanes, which
is humorous, but it’s important.
There’s always something going on.
You never just say you’re finished.
It’s like a continuum machine.
And that’s something I’ve taken
very seriously in my career. You’re
invited into their home. That’s
where they do business. They’ve got
millions of passengers coming in
and out. You can have a tremendous
impact on that airport. You’ve got to
take care of that building. You’ve got
to take care of those passengers.
Phoenix is known for being the
friendliest airport, and rightfully so,
and we can’t impact that. We can’t
impact that with poor planning, so
we’ve got to come up with a good
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