Digital Airport - Londrina, Paraná, Brazil - Case Study
Brazil’s state of Paraná includes Governador José Richa Airport (SBLO), the fourth largest airport in southern Brazil, located near the city of Londrina. Infraero – Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária, the airport operator, needed a better way to organize its data on SBLO and share it among different areas of the company and outside stakeholders. The airport occupies 727,000 square meters, and the terminal covers an additional 5,280 square meters. In 2017, the airport saw about 22,250 takeoffs and landings, and the airport has a capacity to transport up to 2.6 million passengers per year. Infraero sought to virtualize SBLO and create a reference model that, if successful, it would use when virtualizing the other 53 airports it operates in Brazil.
For this estimated BRL 330,000 project, Infraero wanted to create a digital twin that would act as a reality mesh and a central repository for all airport data, including infrastructure, buildings, building systems, facilities, and maps and management data. With 60 people involved, including 10 modelers, communication among participants was essential. Team members used Bentley applications to model 20 existing facilities, covering more than 920,000 square meters of airport surface area. They also modeled one takeoff and landing runway, two aircraft yards, and the system of taxiways and access roads. The project team then created a parametric database to support planning and improve project management.
Using BIM and GIS technology, along with Bentley applications, the project team created a digital twin of the airport that includes a reality mesh of the airport and a central repository for all airport data. The central repository will help users accurately identify the location of systems within the airport’s infrastructure, improving business management with safe and efficient operations. The digital twin will also streamline all future internal airport infrastructure projects, as well as planning and management processes. Completed in 2018, Infraero saw maintenance cost savings and improved airport operation at SBLO. The project team expects to save over BRL 559,000 per year with its digital twin. The organization also expects to see an increase in commercial profitability and the availability of critical equipment. By using BIM methodology in airport operation and maintenance, Infraero has a reliable register of its airport infrastructure with real-time monitoring and control of all assets. The first digital twin in Brazil, it will be used in Infraero’s future building and infrastructure projects.
ProjectWise was used to create the airport integration platform, which served as the project’s connected data environment. MicroStation’s point cloud import capability allowed the team to create the reality mesh of the entire airport facility using point clouds. OpenBuildings Designer (formerly AECOsim Building Designer) helped design and organize airport facility libraries, as well as model the existing passenger terminal, cargo terminal, fire station, and other buildings. The team used OpenRoads to create the geometric project and runway system surfaces map for takeoff and landing runways, taxiways, and service roads.