Denver International Airport Case Study

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Originally deemed as the world’s largest automated baggage handling system (ABHS) at Denver International Airport (DIA), this haphazard approach was ended up being defined as a failure from a project management perspective (Calleam Consulting Ltd , 2008). It was undoubtedly that DIA was in need of this new facility, specifically to response upon United Airlines’ request, to increase efficiency in operation and to handle the increasing airport capacity (Schloh, 1996). However, the ABHS that was finally implemented did not meet the project’s objectives when it serves single concourse only instead of three, operate with half of the planned capacity (Neufville, 1994). Research analysis of this case study has revealed that it was not a well-thought-out plan and in fact it was an obvious carelessness. Below were the major contributing factors that led to project failure:
1) Inappropriate planning stage
Overall planning for the project management of ABHS was poor. The ABHS only came as an afterthought of the construction of the DIA building which further led to time and cost constraints. The contractor, BAE was forced to incorporate ABHS
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The first drastic change that led to project failure was the decision of project management team to build an airport-wide integrated system of ADHS, upon realizing that all airlines other than United Airlines (UA) were not arranged for their own baggage handling system (Calleam Consulting Ltd , 2008). Further complications arose when airlines begun to request for alterations in the system 6 months prior to the initial opening date. For example, UA requested BAE to eliminate an entire loop of track from Concourse B, added in additional ski-claim devices and odd-size baggage elevator in August 1992 (Donaldson, 2002). All these amendments led by failure to lock down the scopes early and inability to meet all project
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