Project Description


Melbourne Airport

Keeping up with growing demand is a major challenge for airports in busy cities and regions. Expansion and upgrades are highly capital intensive, and the complex suite of interconnected projects must be carefully staged and controlled to maintain smooth, continuous operations and a seamless passenger experience.

WT has been a trusted advisor to Melbourne Airport since the 1990s. Over that time, we’ve supported a range of different projects within the broader program of works that any modern airport must tackle to keep up with a growing population, rising passenger numbers, increased flight routes, technological change, and the ever-increasing expectations of what a world-class airport should provide.

Decades of trusted assurance, cost management and advice

Since the early 2000s, we have been providing full cost and commercial management and capital plan assurance for the airport, including significant works to the terminals, airfield, and the infrastructure and property developments in and around the airport precinct. Throughout these works, we have provided detailed cost analysis and value-for-money advice.

We have adapted and evolved our capital management approach to provide accurate program-level assurance reporting across the entire capital plan, including integrating our systems to accurately and consistently reflect our client’s commercial position, risks and cashflow management.

We have been working very closely with many stakeholders at Melbourne Airport to understand their requirements and meet their needs. This has allowed us to form long-term relationships of mutual trust where we continually modify and improve forecasting and reporting to meet changing needs and respond to feedback. This process of continual improvement has built a high level of confidence for our stakeholders when receiving formal reporting, which is critical in overall program management.

Supporting sustainability

We have also supported the airport’s quest for greater sustainability, including providing Independent Commissioning Authority services (CxA) and ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’ (LEED) services on the Southern Precinct Project (SPP).

  • The first phase of Stage 1 included:
  • A new domestic terminal building
  • 17 new aircraft parking bays and taxi lanes
  • A new ground transport interchange with passenger vehicle drop-off and pick-up, bus stops as well as car parking and car rental facilities
  • Improvements to the airport’s road network.

Our client had set an ambitious standard for the projects’ overall sustainability outcomes, and planned to use the Green Building Rating System as a measurement tool. This third-party certification program provides an internationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

We were able to provide the building designers, contractors and operators the tools they needed to measure the sustainable impacts of their designs, construction work and operations. As CxA, we monitored the commissioning of each service, ensuring it was in accordance with design, specifications, standards, and regulations. As CxA we also monitored that methods, practices and documentation were standardised across the development.

In another contribution to the airport’s sustainability, we have recently provided quantity surveying services for Melbourne Airport’s solar farm, which is one of Australia’s largest ‘behind the meter’ solar installations – and the biggest of any airport in the country. The solar farm can produce enough renewable energy to power all four passenger terminals, delivering significant cost savings and an important contribution to the airport’s decarbonization journey.

New domestic terminal

As part of the Southern Precinct Project, we provided full cost planning and cost management services for the development of a new domestic terminal (T4) south of the existing T3 terminal. This project included the phased development of a new 35,000 m2 domestic terminal facility designed to cater for up to 20 million passengers per year.

Also included were 17 additional aircraft parking aprons and taxi lanes to accommodate future growth and two new multi‐level structures for ground transport services, with additional car parking spaces, and access to other services such as taxis, shuttle buses and public transport.

The new terminal facility was opened over a number of stages with the first stage opened in August 2015.

Many moving parts

We have also brought our expertise to support Melbourne Airport’s concourse upgrade, baggage services and Secondary Examination Area (SEA) enhancement in the International Arrivals Reclaim Hall, and for the airport’s bussing, airline lounge and transit expansion project (BALTE).

We are proud to have provided cost engineering services for the Melbourne Airport Runway Widening project, which was a complex, high-risk project to overlay the east–west and north–south runways and replace the ground lighting system. This was a particularly challenging project given the need to keep one runway open at all times for continued operations and the requirement to conduct the works at night. The project was ultimately completed on time and under budget thanks to careful planning and sequencing, a heavy focus on safety outcomes, and a commitment to stakeholder management and best-for-client outcomes.

Maintaining assets

Since opening in 1970, Melbourne Airport has undergone extensive expansion works and significant capital expenditure to keep pace with changing times. Maintaining the precinct’s enormous suite of assets is crucial, but no simple task.

For a project to gather data and assess the condition of the airport’s assets, WT prepared the project scope document and conducted tender evaluation and interviews. We also provided project management for the preferred respondent for the duration of the project which was completed over a 24-month period.

We provided key input into the development of the software tool used to gather asset data and into the design of the templates used for modeling asset costs. This ensured that the newly acquired data could be presented as a ‘live’ asset maintenance and capital works plan and could also be uploaded to our client’s facilities management software.

We consolidated and cataloged the asset data that was collected across the airport, from the external road network, through carparks and terminal buildings and including the airfield assets (pavements, runways, taxiways and lighting). Our team then completed a criticality, functionality, and redundancy assessment of the assets to assist with the prioritization and scheduling of lifecycle works across the next 20-year period, culminating in the development of a Long-Term Model (LTM) to enable our client to plan and deliver lifecycle works in a strategic approach.

These works enabled Melbourne Airport and their facilities management provider to successfully obtain ISO55000 accreditation for Asset Management – a first for Australian aviation industry.

The journey continues

We look forward to continuing our long-term and trusted relationship with Melbourne Airport as it keeps evolving as a key part of Victoria’s economy and as a world-class, leading gateway for domestic travelers and international visitors.