Denver International Airport: Baggage handling system
The Denver airport was one of its kinds with such vast structure, with so many runways. The government wanted it to become the best in the country with the best abilities. After looking at the geographical location of Denver, it can be stated that it can be made as a center hub for many businesses and thus, it will need to welcome more flights. It was one of the reasons why they required making such a big masterpiece.
In order to run such a big airport, the respective technology is also needed for the easy flow of activities. How will the passengers reach terminals, gates and how will the baggage reach its determined destination? These were the questions that were needed to be answered. As a result, a proposed plan was brought forward for inducting a proper baggage handling system. The system would enable the easy flow of operations. According to the locals, they presumed that it would be one of the best airports of the country with providing ample of opportunities for the local. Jobs would be created, the tourism industry will flourish, and all in all, it would bring good to the city.
The government chose BAE Automated Systems for this task. One reason was that this company had prior experience of implementing these type of systems. It was a challenging judgment for the company itself as the project was definitely a huge one and had many irregularities.
Factors that contributed to the project failure
The three main factors that did contribute to the failure of the project at Denver International Airport (DIA) were as follows:
• Local employment laws –resulted in the employment of over than 400 different contractors who were not properly supervised.
• The project completion period – it was an unrealistic timeline that was given after considering the scope level and the magnitude of the project.
• Changes in the strategic decisions
At the start of the project, changes in strategic decisions that were made allowed airlines to control their own baggage handling and bringing in BAE to make an automated system was not appropriate. There was a huge gap in communications and coordination from the city’s part. United Airlines had already started work prior to the induction of BAE.
The Chief airport engineer, Slinger and the city’s mayor, Pena had affirmed BAE full access and empowered them to conduct work without authorization. However, due to Slinger’s death and change of the political scenario, Webb took charge as mayor restricted the access of BAE and did not affirm to the agreements under which BAE accepted the project.
It resulted in major problems as the coordination gap further widened. For example several times local workers would use harsh chemicals on sites where the BAE staff was working, therefore; they had to leave the site and abandon their work. The induction of more than 400 local contractors in accordance to local employment laws made it almost impossible to coordinate and monitor.
The timeline was another big issue as the management of the project did not take any expert advice on how much should the period be for its completion. Experts such as Patrone Associates, BAE, and at Munich airport advised that a couple years should be added to the project period as the one mentioned was not enough.
Problems that were faced by the project in the period of Mayor Federico Pena and Mayor Wellingington Webb
As the head of the project and the decision taker on major issues, responsibility lied on the shoulders of the ‘mayor’. They were to be held accountable for the great delay. The project faced difficulties in both tenures of the respective mayors. During the time when Pena was in the office, some leverage was given to BAE. However, the major problems were still tacked. Firstly; the period for completion of the project was a big issue and could have been better managed in the start of the project. Secondly; the local law to give contracts to local contractors could also be managed better.
The number of contractors could have been limited, or contracts could have been given on a selective basis to ensure the efficiency of the work. This way the project may have got on track. This huge number of individual contractors posed a threat as communication and coordination gap prevailed………………….
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