Aviation Research Paper


The assessment structure will be uploaded. This assessment weights 35% of my grade, please read the structure very carefully.

Individual Assignment An essay addressing a fundamental aspect of airport operations as described below with a maximum word limit of 2000 (and not less than 1950) words*. 1. Investigate and report on how airports are built, and often subsequently upgraded, to service and accommodate the types of aircraft that utilize them. Your essay should include a reference to the following: Runways; Taxiways; Maneuvering areas; Aprons; Stands and air bridges, Services supplied to aircraft e.g. fuel, power, water, waste removal. 2. What issues arise at airports when new aircraft types are introduced by airlines e.g. the A380? 3. What changes do you anticipate will occur in respect of the matters referred to in Part 1. in the 20 years’ time (by 2037)?
Assessment Criteria Use the following sites as resources: ICAO Annex 14, Australian airport association, CASA, Airports websites, books and journals from Google scholar or RMIT Library. ñ Introduction is worth 20 marks. ñ Main Body is worth 50 marks. Which aircraft serve the airport? And how to construct airport, operating constraints   ICAO classifications of the runways to be built and other facilities like aprons and taxiways Discuss other required upgrades. Ground handling, Baggage handling, Terminals, Capacity, Safety, efficiency, finance and environment concerns like bird strike and noise. Airfield inspections… A380 – large infrastructure upgrades for new Code ~F runways, taxiways, aprons, air bridges for the upper deck, additional services such as cleaning, waste disposal and cargo for A380   Master plan and preparations for future expansions.   ñ Conclusion is worth 20 marks.
ñ References (style and quality of source material) are worth 10 marks.
Feedback (Circle using assessment criteria) Grade/100 = _____%
Assessment Criteria
Introduction (worth 20 marks) Explain the purpose of the essay by…..
Ø Summarizing the topic and advising the reader what the essay is about, and what and how it will be covered. Ø A clear introduction provided in respect of each of the three parts.
0 4 10 16 20
Main Body (worth 50 marks) Ø Informed discussion of the major factors associated with the provision of current airport services to airlines. Ø  Informed discussion about how new aircraft types will affect the provision of airport services to airlines. Ø  Informed, and well-supported discussion, about how the provision of airport services to airlines can be expected to change within the next 20-year timeframe. 0 8 20 32 40
General Ø Overall Style: Grammar, spelling, development, and quality of the argument. 0 1 2 3 5
Ø Presenting information related to the topic in a logical, systematic and integrated manner 0 1 2 3 5
Conclusions (worth 20 marks) Ø A clear summary is provided in respect of the current services being provided at airports to airlines. Ø  The impact of new aircraft types on airport services is clearly summarized. Ø  The likely changes in airport services to airlines over time are clearly summarized. Ø  Summarize the lessons learned. 0 4 10 16 20
References / Literature Review (worth 10 marks) Ø  Demonstrate wide research and critical analysis of the literature (Books, Journals and Industry periodicals) and provide practical examples to support your response. A minimum of 10 references should be supplied (not all taken from internet sources!). Ø  All sources cited in-text and reference list correspond. Ø  References listed in alphabetical order, following Harvard Reference Style Manual requirements. Ø  Sources used effectively in support of the argument. 0 2 5 8 10



Introduction. 1

Construction and Upgrading of Airports. 1

Issues that Arise From New Aircrafts. 4

Projected Changes by 2037. 5

Construction of new breeds of airports. 5

Increased flow of traffic in airports. 6

Conclusion. 6

Bibliography. 8


            The discovery of air transport revolutionized the transport industry, thus easing business, leisure and government operations. Movement across the different worlds has been made easy. One can have breakfast in the Netherlands, lunch in Germany and spend the night in Spain owing to the speed in which air transport operates. As modernization continues, different aircraft have been constructed over the years to meet the different needs and tastes of passengers by providing comfort. The size and complexity of aircraft has also changed over time necessitating the construction or expansion of airports. This paper provides insights as to how airports are constructed and upgraded to accommodate and service the numerous types of aircraft that use them. The paper also highlights the issues that arise in airports whenever new types of aircraft are introduced and changes that I anticipate will occur to airports constructions by 2037

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Construction and Upgrading of Airports

            According to Button (5) the air transport or aviation industry is an important industry as it plays a key role in social, political, and economic processes. It continues to facilitate economic development across the world in various industries such as trade or tourism. Bießlich et. al. (1) posits that airports embody the nodes of the aviation industry. Since the introduction of airplanes, different airports have been constructed over the years to accommodate them and allow them to take off or land. The construction and upgrading of airports is subject to emerging technologies such as the introduction of innovative airplane designs like the blended wing body and new airport models such as the endless runway coupled with environment-cautious activities that seek to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution.

            The construction of airports normally entails long procedures of critical thinking and planning. This ranges from carrying out numerous environmental studies when selecting the airport’s site for construction prior to designing and constructing the facility. The site selection study serves to assess the aeronautical appropriateness of potential new sites and environmental and social impacts of the proposed facility as well as their mitigation measures. Both an airport layout plan and master plan are crucial for showing short-term and long-term facility needs, construction schedules, cost estimates and justification. The master plan must be incorporated to local administration comprehensive plans before the commencement of airport development. An environmental impact assessment based on the airport master plan is then carried out.

            Airports have different business and operational characteristics that tend to be complex. For instance, Australia’s Sydney Airport and Melbourne Airport are amongst the largest airports in the Australian continent with numerous activities and passenger flows that cannot be compared to those of Olympia Dam Airport and Mount Gambier Airport (Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, n.p). As such, depending on the local regulatory framework and type of airport, the airport operators vary in the pace of accommodation to trends in airport transport. The construction of airports varies depending on the available resources, space, and airport design. However, there are key essential features that must be included in an airport. The landing area of an airport including taxiways and runways are vital for the takeoff and landing operations of all aircraft. The landing areas, however, depend on the size of the expected aircraft and size of the airport. A maneuvering area for aircraft take-off, taxiing and landing are also important to an airport.

            An airport’s terminal area allows the transition of goods and passengers from the ground to air. The degree of development in the terminal areas is dependent on the volume of airport operations and airport, the number of airport employees and passengers to be served and how they are accommodated, and the type of air traffic utilizing the airport. Typically, the terminal area entails apron, hangers, terminal buildings and automobile parking areas. Air bridges are also factored in during the designing of airports that connect the airport terminal gate to the airplane. The maintenance of aircraft in terms of repairing, inspecting, overhauling and modifying aircraft is also critical for ensuring aircraft efficiency hence airport construction must create room for the provision of these services. This ensures that the aircraft oblige to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s global standards of aircraft maintenance which minimizes the likelihood of air crashes.

            Similarly, various regulatory bodies have been established to control the aviation industry such as the Australian Airport Association and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to ensure that civil aviation security is enhanced, promoted and maintained by regulating civil air operations. Airports have also embraced airport self-inspection practices that seek to improve airport safety through quality control, training of staff, inspecting the airport and reporting discrepancies for necessary action and following up on the recommendations.

            Owing to regulatory requirements and changing airline preferences of aircrafts airports are increasingly being forced to effect numerous facility upgrades such as baggage handling, ground handling, and environmental concerns such as noise and bird strike. The entry of larger aircrafts means that the process of servicing airplanes while on the ground is bound to change. Since efficiency, accuracy, and speed are vital for the provision of ground handling services so as to minimize the turnaround time, airports are bound to hold more heavier aircraft grounding equipment (such as advanced jet air starter, catering vehicles, belt loaders and pallet loaders) and more people to offer the services such as replenishing onboard washable items and consumables, unloading unused consumables and loading fresh consumables, ramp or apron services, and field operation services. Airports are further required to install heavier and modern baggage handling systems that would match to the larger aircrafts such as Airbus A380. Increased passengers due to increased seat capacity mean more bags to handle and screen which may result in bag jams and unnecessary delays if the system is not upgraded to meet the heavy demand.

Issues that Arise From New Aircrafts

            The introduction of new aircraft and jets continues to impact heavily on the aviation industry by requiring huge investments by airports to widen their runways, redevelop their terminals and realign taxiways to accommodate them (Barros and Wirasinghe, 127). With increasing aircraft complexities, airports are bound to choose the aircraft to purchase, for instance, whether to buy those that require longer runways or those that require more expensive and stronger runways. For instance, when jets were being introduced for the first time in the aviation industry, airline management had to choose between the Douglas DC8 and the Boeing 707 which differed in terms of runway requirements. The wheel loadings of the DC8’s landing gear were lower meaning that they required less strong runways which were less expensive when compared to those of the Boeing 707. However, since most airlines bought the Boeing 707, it was pertinent that airports strengthen their runways to cope with the dominant choice.

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            Similarly, the introduction of new jets that required longer runways that aircrafts also posed challenges to airports (Doganis, 83). Doganis posits that though the cost of using the jets was similar to that of aircraft, airports had to upgrade their runways since airlines decided to buy them instead. The introduction of Airbus A380 in 2006, which was the largest aircraft by then, also posed similar challenges to airports. The aircraft required wider runways, larger parking areas and additional terminals that most airports lacked. The introduction of the aircraft meant that airports had to adapt its terminal and increase the separation of taxiways to accommodate it. Similarly, since the aircraft is a double-deck airplane, the airports had to construct new double-deck air bridges to ensure that turnaround-time levels are maintained. Larger gate holding areas were also constructed within the terminals to handle the larger number of air passengers. This resulted in the airports incurring sunk costs in terms of capital expenditure to widen the runways.

            Back in the year 2002, the American General Accounting Office (GAO) estimated the costs of modifying American airports to handle the Airbus 380 to be quite high (GAO, n.p). For instance, the Los Angeles International Airport modification would require $ 1.215 billion while the Kennedy and Atlanta airports would require $ 109 million and $ 26 million respectively. Rozario (28) posited that approximately £450 million was spent to renovate the London Heathrow Airport for it to accommodate the Airbus 380 aircraft.

Projected Changes by 2037

            The number of passengers using airplanes has increased over the years and is projected to increase due to the ease of border entry and business. This means that the aviation industry will have to undergo numerous changes to realize this growing need through the construction of modern and large airports as well as aircraft. Meanwhile, focus in this section is on two core spheres of change that is projected 20 years from now: construction of new breeds of airports and increased flow of traffic in airports.

Construction of new breeds of airports

Rogers (n.p) posits that a new breed of super-hub airports will emerge by 2024 to deal with the increasing number of passengers. Rogers further cites air travel forecasts that seem to indicate that the global aviation industry is growing at an average rate of 4.7% annually, which compounds to 99% in a span of 15 years. As such, airplane trips will increase from 2013’s average of 6.3 billion to 13 billion in 2030. Consequently, the industry will see the rise in a new breed of airports being constructed. The aviation industry will see the construction of large airports to accommodate the increasing sizes of airports such as the A380 aircraft as well as the number of aircraft. For instance, Beijing is constructing a humongous international airport that is bigger than the Bermudan island with the construction and expansion of other airports being expected.

The increased flow of traffic in airports

Increased globalization and ease of transportation that is projected in the coming years means that airports across the world will experience an influx of passengers and as a result increased scheduling of aircraft to meet this demand. Airports will, therefore, become busy hubs of transport which will, in turn, make them hotspots of terror. With the threat of cyber terrorism and other forms of cybercrimes, airports will have to beef up their security in the future by embracing new security technologies as they are developed to ensure that they remain a step ahead of terrorists.


            With increasing technological advancements, the world is set to see the development of new and complex aircraft. The construction of large aircrafts such as the Airbus A380 continues to impact heavily on airport management as they have to incur the cost of upgrading the airports to accommodate the new aircraft. Airports have been forced to upgrade their ground handling and baggage handling amongst other areas to improve service delivery. Two questions then arise as to who should meet the costs of accommodating the new aircraft- airport, airline or aircraft manufacturer, and whether airports need to adjust their operations to meet the growing and changing demands in the aviation industry.

            Currently, airport construction and upgrading call for creative thinking and experience to ensure that there is minimal interruption of airport operations. There is a need to maintain precise construction schedules and airport security while expanding airports or renovating them. It is important that airports make prudent decisions with regards to expansion measures aimed at accommodating newly designed crafts. For instance, airports need not expand their facilities to accommodate large aircrafts such as Airbus A380 if the likely use of the airport by airlines scheduling them is minimal. As such, airports need to carry out a cost-benefit analysis on the need for upgrading the airports to accommodate the large aircraft while evaluating the costs versus the benefits that would accrue to airlines that procure them as well as easing congestion through increased passenger carriage capacity of the aircraft. Even as airports continue to put in expansion measures, it is important that security measures are also factored in at all times.


Barros, Alexandre, and Wirasinghe, Saman. “Designing the airport airside for the new large aircraft”, (Journal of Air Transport Management, 8, pp 121-127, 2002).

Bießlich, Peter, Schröder, Matthias, Gollnick, Volker, & Lütjens Klaus. A Systematic dynamic approach to airport modeling. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Pp         1-13.

Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Economics. Airport Traffic Data 1985-86 to      2014-15. March 2016. Web

Button, Ken. “The impact of globalization on international air transport activity: past trends and       future perspectives.” OECD/ITF Global Forum on Transport and Environment in a        Globalising World that held 10-12 November 2008 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Doganis, Rigas. The Airport Business.  (London and New York: Routledge, 1992).

General Accounting Office (2002) Airport Infrastructure: Unresolved Issues Make it Difficult to      Determine the Cost to Serve New Large Aircraft.  Report to Congressional Requester.      (GAO -02-251, US GAO, Washington, 2002).

Rogers, David. “The future of air transport.” Global Construction Review. Web.  (8th             October           2014).

Rozario, Kelvin. “Boarding the A380”, Jane’s Airport Review, (pp. 27-29, 2004).

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