Denver International Airport Failure

Topics: Project management, Denver International Airport, United Airlines Pages: 14 (4048 words) Published: July 7, 2012
|Program and Project Management |


Table of Contents
Overview of the project2
Chronology of Events3
Stake Holder Analysis4
Indentifying Stakeholders4
Power/Grid Analysis5
Effect of Stakeholders on the Project6
Analysis for the outcome of the project7
Key Factors of Failure8
Change in strategy8
The decision to proceed9
Physical building structure design9
Late decision to search for a different path10
Scope, schedule and Budget commitments10
Other Failure Points10
Bad Risk Management11
Leadership Change11
Architectural and Design Issues11

Overview of the project

Denver automated baggage system aimed at developing the world’s largest automated airport baggage system due to requirement of bigger airport capacity in land area of 140 Km2, it was supposed to be the largest airport to handle the capacity of over 50m passengers on annual basis. The initial budget at the start of the project was $ 5 billion which includes $685 million from the federal government and over $ 400 from the airlines themselves. The below are the technical specifications of the project.


1. 88 airport gates in 3 concourses
2. 17 miles of track and 5 miles of conveyor belts
3. 3,100 standard carts + 450 oversized carts
4. 14 million feet of wiring
5. Network of more than 100 PC’s to control flow of carts 6. 5,000 electric motors
7. 2,700 photo cells, 400 radio receivers and 59 laser arrays

We can see from the specifications it was a massive project in terms of scale of construction involved and also the cost, with automation involved in every stages of the system it was set up for the world’s best, largest and efficient automated baggage system. As per the Project management triangle one of the main parts of the project management is the defined task or Scope of the project. Main objectives behind the Denver Airport Automated Baggage system were to reduce the delay caused by the transportation of the bags, minimizing the waiting period of the passenger at the Baggage carousel and reduce the airport man power required for the luggage management. It was planned to reduce the aircraft turnaround time to around 30 minutes from the automated baggage system for more efficient operations in the airport.

The major scope of the project was to handle the increase in air traffic, Denver was experiencing huge air traffic flow and the new airport was the need of the hour and also due to deregulation Act of 1978, there was a requirement of increase of concourse and expanding the airport to support the traffic which was estimated to increase rapidly and to establish itself as the transportation hub key decision of constructing a new system was taken.

Project started on November 1989 and was planned to be completed in October 1993. The system to be constructed was a single system which later will be leased to the airlines; system will also contain around 100 computers, conveyor belts, 56 laser scanners and around 400 fiberglass carts. Planned to operate at a speed of 20 miles per hour which could deliver 60,000 bags per hour from more than 12 gates. BAE was the initially contractor for the construction of the handling system, BAE was world leader in installation, supply and operations of baggage handling system. Continental and united airlines were the major airlines which signed deal with Denver airport authorities for using the hub. Now, let us go into the more detailed analysis of who were the end customers of this project i.e. the stakeholders.

Chronology of Events


Stake Holder Analysis

Indentifying Stakeholders

Stakeholders are the integral part of the project team. Throughout the project maintaining good...
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