October 24, 2017

How to Master Airport Installations

Airports operate by a different set of rules than anywhere else. The regulations, security, and sheer volume of people can complicate even the easiest of installations. After thousands of airport installations, we’re experts in the process, and we have some tricks of the trade for those who are new to airport work. 


There always needs to be a designer present to oversee installation. They have worked for weeks or months as the project manager, and are the most knowledgable in the design’s layout and materials. But, remember to coordinate the designer’s access to the airport terminal. There are typically two options: take a badging course or arrange a security escort. To be badged, the designer must complete a day-long course, learning the airport’s rules and regulations. Upon completion, the designer receives an annual badge which allows for entry without a boarding pass. If the airport doesn’t offer a badging course, the alternative is to arrange a security escort who will shadow the designer for the duration of the installation. 


Be sure to consider any limitations or restrictions with regard to the security process. Things like scissors or oversized liquids will not be permitted, and must enter the airport in advance through crating. Prepare for every possible, and unexpected, situation. Arrange for more tools, materials, and fillers than you think are necessary. Things inevitably happen, items arrive broken or missing, and sometimes things don’t align perfectly. Because the store must close for an installation, the designers work on a strict deadline and cannot afford to lose valuable time on a trip to the hardware store.

Work closely with the store manager to guarantee a successful installation. The units and materials are delivered to the airport warehouse in carefully packed crates. Arrange the installation and delivery time of the crated materials with the store manager to ensure that when the designer arrives, the units will be available and ready for inspection. The designer will then inspect for damage and confirm that nothing is missing. The actual installation time varies greatly by airport and project, but a wall bay installation takes, on average, about four hours, and an entire store can take three to four days. 


The entire process requires a great deal of planning and coordination, but after fifteen years of working in airports around the world, we’ve worked out all the kinks to ensure a successful installation every time.