What is needed for an airport to grow? Teamwork + safety

Building an airport requires much time, people, and technologies, all coordinated together. Currently, Samsung C&T Construction & Engineering Group is carrying out a mammoth expansion project at Dhaka International Airport that services Bangladesh’s capital city, constructing 14 new terminal buildings, including multi-story parking, cargo warehouses, and fire stations. The work also entails paving the aprons and taxiways and installing overpasses.

Having commenced in April 2020, this airport expansion project is now in full swing. Samsung C&T is putting its accumulated technology, knowledge and experience to use, building an airport terminal based on safety and teamwork.

The construction project to expand Dhaka International Airport is in full swing.

Working together makes it possible

One of the missions for Samsung C&T Construction & Engineering Group is surfacing the roads, beginning where people drive into the airport and ending where the planes take off. This is no easy task. Although construction began in May 2020, it rained much more than in previous years, such that construction was delayed for about six months almost from the moment the construction site opened.

Only in November did the weather break, after which more than a thousand dump trucks of sand were needed daily to catch up on the rain-delayed work. This was no mean feat in Bangladesh, where traffic conditions are not always optimal.

Nevertheless, thanks to the hard work of employees pulling together on the task day and night, they were able to catch up within six months.

Safety and teamwork, key points for smooth construction

Meanwhile, since this was a project to expand an already operating airport, it was necessary to proceed carefully so as not to cause any accidents between the constantly moving planes, people, and equipment.

It was therefore crucial to monitor not just the construction work, but also the overall operation of the whole airport. With such systems in place, the construction work to connect the runways, said to be the most dangerous part, was completed without incident.

Seung-jong Oh, who was working on the construction site at the time, looks back on the situation:

At the center of the smooth progress of construction, in spite of difficulties, was teamwork. Chang-ho Cheon, in charge of landside building, recalled how important it was to be considerate of each other above all else, because airport construction sites involve many different types of work. He explained that he always strives to be grateful to his teammates.

Problem solving through advance preparation and communication

An airport’s baggage handling system (BHS) is the network of conveyor belts that moves checked luggage from check-in counters to the point where it is loaded into airplanes. It is also a metric that represents an airport’s size and capacity, and its accuracy is an important measure of how well the airport functions. Dhaka International Airport’s BHS stretches for 5.4 km, and when the expansion project is completed, it is expected to process about 45 items of baggage per minute, with an accuracy of 99.99%.

It was quite a challenge in Bangladesh to hire the right personnel experienced with such large-scale projects. The BHS team went through considerable consideration before starting in earnest, choosing to bring in the most qualified workers from overseas. Also, by quickly preparing materials that had to be produced from Europe, this airport expansion work is now cruising.

Experience is the most important factor in planning, but there is not yet much experience in Bangladesh in large-scale projects. In order to ensure that this lack did not become a problem, constant communication between workers was required.

Accumulated abilities recognized

As living standards in many countries worldwide increase, so does international travel and airport use as a result. This is why airport construction is significantly growing globally.

At the same time, since airport construction may take a different shape depending on the level of development in each location, extensive experience in carrying out construction projects across various levels is necessary.

Samsung C&T Construction & Engineering Group has been recognized internationally for its capabilities in all manner of airport construction, from building a new one from scratch, such as Mongolia International, to expanding existing ones, such as Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International and Singapore Changi International. Samsung C&T E&C Group will continue to strive to contribute to smooth international exchange by participating in airport construction based on global partnerships, accumulated competitiveness, technology, knowledge, and safety.

Many hands make flight work: The Samsung C&T E&C Group construction team is striving to make life easier for airport users.
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