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ORAT (Operational Readiness, Activation and Transition)

Our ORAT service is a comprehensive methodology that de-risks the opening of new facilities.


How can you be confident that a new airport terminal or large public event will operate seamlessly from day one onwards? How can you reduce the risk of a high-profile project failing on opening day and avoid the associated reputational and financial damage?

The journey from construction to live operation creates the challenge of bringing together hundreds of new processes, technologies and people into a single Activation Programme.

De-risking day-one operations

Our ORAT service is a tried and tested methodology that de-risks the activation of new services and facilities, covering everything from airports and stations to major public events and sports stadia.

It’s a proven set of tools and methodologies that helps our clients and their stakeholders plan and prepare thoroughly – building confidence for a trouble-free day-one and beyond. Our service is modular and scalable, allowing us to work on projects of all shapes and sizes.

In practice, this means we’re checking and testing every detail from developing new operational processes through to ordering new uniforms; from facilitating staff training programmes to implementing new road signage schemes. We’re focusing on your complete readiness, not just operational readiness.

Our approach typically starts at the very early stages of the project. At Mumbai International Airport, we worked for two years prior to the opening of Terminal 2, shaping the operational plan and supporting training for more than 3,000 staff. We also carried out a similar service when activating Dubai Airport's Terminal 3.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Arup as a leader in this field.

Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports

A coordinated, transparent approach to operational readiness

Such complex programs also tend to involve a wide variety of groups with diverse interests and priorities, who must work together to deliver many tasks at critical stages. Our teams instil structure and leadership to avoid the chaos that can often evolve, steering all parties towards the common end-goal.

Proving it

We run a series of operational trials – essentially dress rehearsals - over and over again to fully test and prove all aspects under real conditions and grow momentum towards the opening day.

For the new International Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London we carried out over 180 trials with 14,000 volunteers. This allowed us to find and fix problems early and build confidence among the 25,000 staff that all facets of the airport were ready ahead of the arrival of the first passengers.

Drawing on Arup’s global expertise in design, construction and operations, we also provide specialist services such as process re-engineering, staff recruitment and training, independent testing and commissioning, and relocation management. 

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Global contact

Headshot of Ian Taylor
  • Ian Taylor

    Ian Taylor

    Headshot of Ian Taylor

    Director of Aviation, East Asia and Global Aviation Business Leader

    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.

  • Global ORAT

Explore our work


Terminal 1 Domestic offers an improved passenger experience with the very best in innovation, style and convenience.

Project: Perth Airport, Terminal 1 Domestic ORAT

The purpose built Terminal 1 Domestic facility allows Virgin Australia passengers to transfer seamlessly between regional, interstate and international services in one convenient location.

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Dubai Airport, Emirates terminal three, terminal building.

Project: Emirates Terminal 3, Dubai Airport

Terminal 3 is the world’s largest terminal building.

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Inside Mumbai Terminal 2. Credit: GVK Power and Infrastructure Limited

Project: New T2 Mumbai Airport

Arup led the entire ORAT process at Mumbai Airport’s new Terminal 2.

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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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Inside Dubai airport. Credit: Dubai airports.

Project: Dubai World Central – Phase 1

Arup played a key role in the successful opening of the first phase of Dubai’s second airport.

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Campaign: Are you ready to launch?

Operational readiness ensures success from day one

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