Fixing Heathrow T1 or winning the US Presidency – which is harder?

LHR Terminal 1 BAA.jpgLet me tell you, if you think it’s the presidency then you’re not a Heathrow regular.

But weirdly enough it seems this actual question is going to be addressed. BAA, the little-loved operator of London’s big three airports, is a finalist in the Project Management Institute’s annual awards, due to be presented in Orlando tomorrow. So, it turns out, is Barack Obama’s campaign team.

May the best man win. BAA press release below.

The team responsible for a £60 million redevelopment of Heathrow’s Terminal 1 will go head-to-head with President Obama’s campaign team next week, vying for a prestigious international project management award.
Two members of the Terminal 1 project team: Julian Foster and David Buisson will fly to Orlando to attend the awards ceremony and deliver a presentation to the Project Management Institute’s Global Congress. The PMI organisation boasts more than half a million members in 170 countries.
Says Julian Foster, BAA Programme Director: “Going head to head with President Obama’s campaign team was the last thing on our minds as we redeveloped Terminal 1, but we relish the challenge and can we win this? Yes we can!”
“The work at Terminal 1 was complex but rewarding and the excellent team delivered the project back to passengers and airlines, on time and on budget.”
The redevelopment of Terminal 1 was important in the context of Heathrow’s major investment programme, as it was the first in a series improvement programmes across the airport. The team faced tight timescales and many challenges as they delivered this project without any negative impact on the terminal’s busy operation. Around 20 million passengers use Terminal 1 every year and the airport project team worked hard to ensure that passengers did not notice such an intense period of activity.
As one of the airport’s oldest buildings the team had to integrate major improvements onto a 40-year-old structure. One of their most obvious successes is in Departures with the removal of check-in islands that had previously cluttered the concourse. Moving the desks and installing more self-service facilities has created an open and spacious environment, which is much easier for passengers to navigate.
Says Julian Foster: “The challenge wasn’t simply moving check-in desks, the team also had to move the baggage infrastructure that goes with them. Through innovation and good communication they delivered a solution that’s delighted everyone, without interrupting anyone’s
journey through the airport.”
David Buisson, Programme Manager says: “I feel incredibly proud when I walk around Terminal 1 now, the improvements are obvious and given the challenges we faced, the success achieved is even more significant. 
“This redevelopment was project management at its best, and it is great to see that the approach and techniques used are influencing other projects underway across the airport.”

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