Bangalore International Airport expansion takes flight with Oracle Aconex, Primavera P6

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As one of the fastest-growing airports in the world, the busiest airport in south India, and the third-largest in the country, Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru saw some 33.3 million passengers pass through its gleaming terminal in fiscal 2018-19.

While those indeed are impressive figures for an airport that launched its inaugural flight in 2008 and quickly logged its 50 millionth passenger by 2012, BLR Airport is on an ambitious expansion spree to meet the region’s explosive growth as the epicenter of India’s information technology industry.

Known as the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru’s infrastructure needs to keep pace to support its burgeoning tech ecosystem as the region’s reputation shifts from a pensioner’s paradise to a global innovation hub. BLR Airport plays a key role in redeveloping the region’s image while boosting the growth of Karnataka state and India.

A new runway; a new passenger terminal expected to accommodate an astounding 70 million passengers annually; a bustling express cargo terminal that processes delicate pharma, temperature-controlled products, perishable cargo, electronics, and animals; and a multi-modal transport hub are among key ongoing projects as part of the airport’s impressive expansion program.

Digitization is crucial to airport expansion plans

Realizing its own role as an innovator in a world-class tech hub, Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL), a public limited company to build, own, and operate this marvel of modern aviation, sought world-class technology solutions that could handle the complexities of a large-scale facility, the size, and scope of BLR Airport.

Airport projects of this magnitude involve multiple partners, contractors, sub-contractors, and vendors. Efficient, time-sensitive scheduling of this complex network of stakeholders was vital. It also was critical to adopt a strong process management and collaboration platform across the different levels.

But BIAL’s approval and review methods were bogged down in repetitive, slow, manual processes. Digitization and automated tracking would be essential to ensure smooth collaboration among stakeholders, enable a rapid streamlining of all processes, and create a transparent ecosystem with reliable audit-trail data.

Oracle solutions for collaboration and scheduling

BIAL found its technology solutions in Oracle Aconex project collaboration and Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM), a one-stop-shop for master scheduling, to manage large-scale programs and project planning.

“Thanks to Oracle Aconex and Primavera P6, we have been able to establish effective time and cost-saving collaboration substantiated by a proven planning process,” says a BIAL  spokesperson. “We were able to define a robust scheduler using Oracle’s Primavera P6, which helped our planners to get visibility and manage all the package activities relevant to the project, in an effective manner. Oracle Aconex was adopted very quickly by the entire project ecosystem and provided an easy learning curve.”

BIAL’s airport construction is a massive, multifaceted undertaking. The labor-intensive processes in use before the implementation of Oracle Aconex and Primavera P6 presented numerous logistical challenges.

Improving construction process management

Physical registers and forms used at the jobsite were unreliable to monitor and report onsite incidents. But now that the construction document collaboration process is digital, site observations, defects, and issues are solved through handheld devices.

The implementation of Oracle Aconex makes identifying defects and other issues in real-time seamless and easy for field inspectors and contractors alike using the Aconex Field mobile app to capture before and after photographs as evidence of resolution.

“We were able to reduce rework and turnaround times utilizing the digitized workflow in Oracle Aconex. It was adopted very quickly by the entire project ecosystem and helped us organize and monitor our extensive collaboration processes.”

—BIAL spokesperson

Sluggish manual processes didn’t just hamper the jobsite. BIAL’s in-office operations also slogged through manual, time-consuming physical approvals. They were transmitting hard-copy submissions to external participants in the project, which of course had to be sent back, gobbling up countless hours and wasting valuable time better spent on building an airport.

Considering the enormous volume of drawings and construction document management involved in a project of this size, it was clear that the process was unreliable, unsustainable, and in need of automation.

Digitizing the collaboration process with external partners was a must-have.

“We were able to reduce rework and turnaround times utilizing the digitized workflow in Oracle Aconex,” the spokesperson says. “It was adopted very quickly by the entire project ecosystem and helped us organize and monitor our extensive collaboration processes.”

Solving scheduling headaches

Just like flight delays affect an airport’s efficiency, a comprehensive, robust scheduling solution was critical to maintaining strict deadlines for the expansion’s multiple packages. BIAL brought in an experienced team of planners for each package and needed to integrate the individual plans into the master schedule. Oracle’s Primavera P6 proved to be a hand-in-glove fit for BIAL’s project portfolio management.

“We were also able to define a robust scheduler using Oracle’s Primavera P6, which helped our planners to get visibility and manage all the package activities relevant to the project in an effective manner,” the spokesperson says.

Tech solutions for a tech hub

As the expansion continues, BLR Airport will play a key role in driving the region’s economy. The new runway helps accommodate 37 passenger airlines and 12 cargo airlines as Bengaluru takes its place as a global tech player.

In its mission statement, BLR Airport is committed to leadership in technology and process simplicity. That should come as no surprise for an airport supporting a nation’s tech hub.

And while the millions of domestic and international travelers passing through BLR Airport will see tech innovations such as contactless passenger processing and biometric-based self-boarding, they’ll also experience the benefits furnished by Oracle tools to accommodate their journey in and out of Bengaluru.