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Guide to success

Bechtel’s Steve Riano tells Airport World about the 10th edition update of IATA’s Airport Development Reference Manual, which is designed to act as an industry guide for airport master planning. 

For the past 40 years IATA’s Airport Development Reference Manual (ADRM) has defined excellence in airport design and has been the gold standard guidebook to assist thousands of airport owners, airport consultants and airlines around the world with successful airport development decision-making.  

According to IATA, it brings together aviation industry best practices with respect to the development of world-class airports through better comprehension, briefing and design.  

The manual’s content, it says, represents the consolidated recommendations of world-renowned industry specialists and organisations seeking to promote the development of sustainable world-class airport facilities.

IATA, in collaboration with ACI, has now published its 10th edition update of the ADRM, which has been transformed to address the ever-evolving aviation industry.


Redefining the framework

The most relied upon industry standard in the ADRM is the Level of Service (LoS) concept for airport terminal design.  

LoS for airport terminals was originally developed by Transport Canada in the 1970s based on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guidelines for highway design and work done by John Fruin for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s bus and train terminals.  

Both methods used ‘A through F’ system of classifications, ranging from excellent to system breakdown. IATA adopted this method and it has been the cornerstone of the ADRM for years.

As groundbreaking and ubiquitous as IATA’s airport terminal LoS system has been, the ADRM 10th edition redefines the LoS framework and modernises capacity calculations to introduce a new ‘Space-Time’ concept, which seeks to find the optimum balance between available space and acceptable waiting times without over-designing or under-providing facilities (See diagram on page 36).  

In addition, the new system includes a range of values for space and time that reflects the global nature of the aviation market where different regions require modification of the airport environment to match their service needs.

The new ‘Space-Time’ concept is consistent with IATA’s modernised static capacity calculations included in the ADRM 10th edition as well as dynamic airport passenger terminal simulation modeling, such as CAST Terminal.


Collaborative effort with ACI

Recognising the importance and value of a truly collaborative effort, IATA has worked closely with the airport industry to ensure that critical ACI initiatives were taken into consideration during the ADRM update process.

ACI World’s assistant director for facilitation and airport IT, Arturo Garcia-Alonso, led the organisation’s efforts on the project.

And at the official launch of the 10th edition earlier this year he described the importance of contractual service level frameworks between airport owners and airport operators, and explained the commonalities of ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme with IATA’s LoS system.  

Garcia-Alonso also spoke of the importance of incorporating joint ACI-IATA programmes into the latest ADRM update.

He was referring to initiatives such as the Smart Security programme, a combination of ACI’s ‘Better Security’ programme and IATA’s Checkpoint of the Future; Airport Community Recommended Information Services (ACRIS), which allows airports, airlines, and service providers to better communicate; and the Automated Border Control (ABC) and Automated Passport Control (APC) self-service passenger processing systems.

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Airport Consultants Council peer review

In addition to collaborating with ACI, IATA was keen to incorporate the views of the airport development consultant community in drafting the new ADRM.  

As a result, on behalf of the Airport Consultants Council (ACC), I acted as the team leader of a technical peer review of the draft modules on master planning, forecasting and terminal design prepared by IATA to ensure that key aspects of airport planning, design and development from the consultant’s perspective were represented in the update.  

I believe that the ACC’s involvement in this process ensured that the manual incorporated a comprehensive set of peer review comments from an ACC member firm (Bechtel) with subject matter experts and real world experience.

From a Bechtel experience I can confirm that we often used the IATA ADRM to guide joint decision-making, most recently when we worked on developing the new master plan for Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the UAE in size and population and is located immediately north of Dubai. The airport is the home base for Air Arabia, the Middle East’s first and largest low cost carrier, and the master plan was part of a broader business planning and capital improvement effort.


Virtually accessible 

While previous versions of the ADRM were only available in traditional bound paper format, the 10th edition is entirely electronic and delivered through licensed copies via an interactive CD ROM. This ensures that the reference manual is virtually accessible either via laptop or cloud computing and easily updateable when new information is available. 

Indeed, users can now search for key words and use hyperlinks to access specific ADRM sections or other relevant external sources.


New modules 

The latest release of the ADRM also includes additional modules on Airside Infrastructure, Cargo Terminal, Baggage Handling System, Passenger Security Screening (amended chapter), Operational Readiness and Training and Airport Automated People Mover Systems, which are now available to existing license holders and new users alike. 

Future releases will include Surface Access Systems, Airport Support Elements and Simulation Modelling.  

For further information, contact IATA at or visit http://www.iata.org/publications/Pages/airport-development.aspx You won’t regret it!

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