Becoming the Trusted Advisor to the World’s Third-Busiest Airport

September 30, 2016

Building Credibility and Earning Trust by Delivering Exceptional Solutions and Client Service for Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the second-largest airport by land mass in the United States and the third-busiest airport in the world by aircraft movement, was facing unique challenges maintaining and inventorying its vast assets while conforming to all federal rules and regulations. Michael Baker International quickly became the on-call extension of the airport’s staff by proving time and again, that it understood the unique challenges the airport faced, had the expertise to solve those challenges and was committed to keeping the airport’s best interests top of mind.
Michael Baker’s work began in March of 2016 with an original delivery order for landside and airside bridge inspections that included both routine and fracture-critical inspections of 46 bridges. From the start, the firm entrenched itself in the airport’s interests, using best practices to develop a customized approach to address its operational requirements. Timely and effective execution of the original contract, combined with an expanded relationship with key stakeholders, led to an additional contract extension to expand the scope-of-work.
Michael Baker International PCI Inspection Team

This extension arose when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requested an independent Pavement Condition Index (PCI) study of Runway 17C-35C. Michael Baker turned around the urgent request quickly for the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Infrastructure and Development Division, under the guidance of Assistant Vice President, Tammy Huddleston, and Project Manager, Harish Rao. It also included: condition assessment of the Central Terminal Area roadway network on five terminals and 120 lane miles of roadway, using Mobile LiDAR, a mapping solution that incorporates advanced mobile laser scanning sensors, cameras, and position and navigation, to collect survey-quality data quickly and accurately; Laser Crack Measurement Systems (LCMS), a single-pass, 3D sensor for pavement inspections that uses laser-line projectors, high-speed cameras and advanced optics; and PCI visual inspections of two 13,401 foot long Runways, 17C/35C and 17R/35L. 

Using Technology to Create Efficiencies and Expand Scope of Work
Pleased with the progress and the work conducted under the first extension, the airport granted Michael Baker a second contract extension. It involved expanding the scope of PCI, mobile LiDAR and LCMS to the entire airfield to include the majority of the taxiways, high-speed exits and the hold pads. This further deepened Michael Baker’s partnership with Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. This extension also included a subsurface condition investigation that was conducted on runway 17C/35C, utilizing Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), a nondestructive imaging method that uses radar pulses to image below the pavement surface, and soil testing of the runway subgrade.
Having both mobile LiDAR and LCMS technology in-house, from data acquisition through processing and analysis, meant Michael Baker was better positioned to manage and analyze the data, scheduling and outcomes over other consultants that had to rely on subcontractors.
Use of mobile LiDAR allowed Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to incorporate a safer assessment process and create an inventory of the airport’s ancillary assets that could be integrated into the airport’s existing GIS framework. It also enabled the airport to survey the airfield with significantly less disruption and impact on daily operations than with a traditional survey.
The incorporation of LCMS at the airport’s Central Terminal Areas (CTA) will enable the airport to more efficiently manage its roadway network moving forward. It also provided vital information that will be beneficial as the airport programs its maintenance and future expansion and replacement program—providing an inventory of all the distresses.
Michael Baker International Inspection Team in Action on the Runway
During the course of the project, Michael Baker and its sub-consultants provided a team of 20 inspectors to conduct the PCI inspections over several weeks. As a result, the impact on the operation was reduced significantly. Michael Baker also was able to mobilize its national network of resources to address any issues that came up. The firm’s attentiveness to the operation, as well as its commitment and agility were publicly noted by ETMA.
A Satisfied Client
“Before the end of the master contract, Michael Baker will be able to say that we walked every square inch of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport concrete,” said Caleb Hing, Michael Baker Project Manager, Transportation. “By keeping the airport’s best interests at heart, We Make a Difference by becoming their trusted advisors outperforming national competitors. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport certainly has a choice when choosing consultants to help them, and we are both thrilled and grateful that they chose Michael Baker.”
Michael Baker’s national network of project partners includes: Greg Fredrickson, Aviation Lead, Hamilton Office (LCMS and GPR subsurface investigation of Runway 17C/35C); and Michael Baker colleagues in Jackson, Miss., and Moon Township, Pa., (mobile LiDAR data acquisition and processing); and Jacksonville, Fla., Cleveland, OH., Atlanta, Ga., Tampa, Fla., Little Rock, Ark., Chicago, Ill., Houston, TX., San Antonio, TX., Austin, TX., and Dallas, TX., offices all participated in PCI Inspections.
Additional partners include: Phillips/May Corporation (traffic control and all transportation logistics); JQ Infrastructure (PCI Inspection); VRX, Inc., (Bridge Inspection); and Corsair Consulting (GPR and Subsurface Investigation of Runway 17C/35C).