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Aviation

Over 50 years’ experience equips Arup to help aviation clients find better ways forward.


Today, the aviation industry faces increasingly complex challenges. It connects more people, further afield. But it must also meet higher demands in security and sustainability and plan for changeable market conditions. Reducing cost and increasing revenue in both aeronautical and non-aeronautical offerings is critical to the success of airports and airlines.

Around the globe, airlines, airport operators, investors, developers and regulators come to Arup for holistic solutions, from transaction advice to operational readiness, to balance their competing issues.

Arup has the expertise to put forward-thinking strategy, design and technology into practice, whether advising clients on aviation planning, policy or finance, or delivering smarter airport operations and infrastructure. Our solutions deliver real business benefit by balancing the needs of people, operational processes, technology solutions and the facilities and environments in which solutions are implemented.

Although the eye-catching terminal buildings we realise in collaboration with architects often steal the limelight, our planning and design services encompass everything from air traffic control towers to cargo handling, information and control systems.

This short animation looks at the relationship between aviation and climate change.

Raising standards in sustainability

Negotiating demand, capacity, regulation and investment constraints can mean tough choices in aviation. However, Arup’s pragmatic approach and wide-ranging skills in economics and planning, sustainability consultingenergy strategy and carbon management enable us to shape solutions that meet business objectives while also balancing social, environmental and economic issues.

We helped distinguish Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, India, with the world’s first airport terminal to be rated silver in the LEED® environmental star system. At the same time, we helped our client secure the opportunities created by rapid local growth with fast-track delivery, achieved by progressing design and construction in parallel.

Smarter and more streamlined

Arup’s innovation in technology, acoustics, security, IT and communications, integrated transportlogistics and infrastructure design gives our aviation clients a leading edge, particularly in automation of the passenger process.

Working in partnership with Ultra PRT and BAA, Arup developed an entirely new design code to create a guideway for the Heathrow pod, the ground-breaking personal rapid transit (PRT) system between Terminal 5 and its business car park.

For Dubai International Airport and Emirates Airlines, we ensured smooth transition from build to operation at their Dubai Terminal 3 home by bringing advanced thinking in operational readiness to the largest ever airport trials programme.

Global experts, localised solutions

Aviation businesses often work globally, but success also depends on seeing through local eyes. Likewise, while Arup brings together top international experts that can realise world-leading ideas anywhere, we see each project as an individual challenge. And so our solutions work in context.

At Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3, our performance-based design resulted in buildings that cut energy costs by responding to Beijing’s winter and summer extremes. For instance, skylights make the most of winter sun for heating but also keep out the harshest summer heat to save on cooling.

Global contact

Susan Baer
  • Susan Baer
  • Global Aviation Business Leader
  • Ronan Delaney

    Ronan Delaney

    Your best solution to date?

    Terminal 3 Beijing Airport, for the Beijing 2008 Olympics, where the whole team pulled together to deliver a great design in a very short time-scale and with the minimum of fuss.

    Why is it significant?

    The building was over 1,000,000 m2 and the team only had just over 3.5 months to take the design from the successful competition entry to the scheme design and commencement of construction. This was a mammoth task and involved about 195 Arup Staff in all regions / time-zones, who delivered over 2000 drawings. This was a truly multi-disciplinary design, which demonstrated that multiple office working can achieve great results.

    Your particular skill?

    Project Manager, Team Leader and interface manager with the client in Beijing. Bringing all that Arup had to offer to the project.

    Enthusiasm?

    Energy to get the job done within the timeline and to the quality that was demanded by such a significant national gateway project.

    Why Arup?

    The challenge and the ability to work overseas.

    Anything else?

    The satisfaction of seeing so many major projects completed and in operation, contemplating the next one.

  • t: +61 (0) 7 3023 6000
  • e: aviation@arup.com
  • Sydney [12:06]
  • Ian Taylor

    Ian Taylor

    Your best solution to date?

    The Ground Transportation Centre and Airport Railway station at Hong Kong International Airport. Every time I use it I marvel at how the team managed to integrate ground transport so successfully; it's still the best in the world in my view. I’ve been involved in many great projects since, but I still think this one is particularly remarkable.

    Why is it significant?

    It's an exemplar for integration between rail and airport infrastructure and the road bridges are still among the most elegant of any airport in the world.

    Your particular skill?

    Leading teams of very clever people and helping them to reach decisions that deliver great outcomes. Maintaining focus on delivery, while allowing creativity and inventiveness to flourish.

    Enthusiasm?

    Working on Arup’s wonderful projects, with amazing colleagues and clients and my desire to deliver excellence for important public infrastructure.

    Why Arup?

    The great projects, the remarkable people and the ability to work in so many interesting places.

    Anything else?

    I feel fortunate whenever I see the great things that we do every day that make a positive difference to people’s lives.

  • t: +852 2528 3031
  • e: aviation@arup.com
  • Celebrating 40 years in Hong Kong []
  • Dervilla Mitchell

    Dervilla Mitchell

    Your best solution to date?

    Terminal 5 Heathrow (T5) where we were given the time and space to work with collaborators in an integrated team and deliver great solutions.

    Why is it significant?

    It showed the industry could do it differently and those involved had a very satisfying experience.

    Your particular skill?

    Bringing people together.

    Enthusiasm?

    Development of staff.

    Why Arup?

    Opportunity to find the job that suits.

    Anything else?

    Mother and wife.

  • t: +44 (0) 20 7636 1531
  • e: aviation@arup.com
  • London [01:06]

Explore our work


Aerial view, artisit's impression of finished Abu Dhabi airport.

Project: Abu Dhabi International Airport – Midfield Terminal Building

Developing a new terminal at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

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The outside of Heathrow Terminal 2.

Project: Heathrow Terminal 2

The new Terminal 2 building has been designed specifically around the needs of the passenger and will transform the traveller experience.

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JetBlue terminal in low light. Credit Prakash Patel/Gensler.

Project: JetBlue Terminal 5

Meeting the demands of modern air travel, relieving check-in, security and baggage claim bottlenecks.

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