Perth airport; Perth airport;

Perth Airport Terminal 1 Domestic ORAT, Perth

Purpose built T1 Domestic facility eases transfer for Virgin Australia passengers

As the new home of Virgin Australia in Perth, including the flagship roll out of its new self-service technology, the opening of Perth Airport’s Terminal 1 Domestic facility was of national importance and received significant media attention.

The purpose built Terminal 1 Domestic facility allows Virgin Australia passengers to transfer seamlessly between regional, interstate and international services in one convenient location. Features of the AU$200 million Terminal 1 Domestic include 28 domestic check-in kiosks and 14 hybrid self-service bag drop desks with a new fast-track check-in system, 12 aerobridge departure gates and an extensive central retail and dining area.

To prepare the new Domestic facility for opening, Arup provided holistic Operational Readiness, Activation and Transition (ORAT) services.

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The implementation of Arup’s ORAT process successfully trialled the integrated operation of the new facility to de-risk the opening and deliver a seamless transition into live operations.

Arup worked closely with airport and airline stakeholders over a two year period to meticulously plan, prepare and implement an ORAT process specifically for the new Terminal 1 Domestic facility. This process focussed on complete stakeholder readiness, which included training, familiarisation, activation and transition, trials and migration management.

A fundamental aspect of Arup’s ORAT process was the delivery of a coordinated program of trials designed to progressively test the facility’s operational and support functions. This culminated in a 12 week implementation period of intense on-site activity. This included stakeholder activation and training activities and a program of 28 trials to progressively test the new facility and its systems, people and processes.

The new Terminal 1 Domestic facility opened successfully on 22 November 2015.

The new Terminal 1 Domestic facility is part of Perth Airport’s AUD $750 million redevelopment program to consolidate all commercial air services into one precinct, to be known as Airport Central.

On 22 November 2015, Virgin Australia migrated their domestic Terminal 3 operations on the western side of the main runway, to Terminal 1 Domestic on the eastern side of the main runway. This centralised all Virgin operations into one precinct (Airport Central) for the first time, enabling passengers to transfer seamlessly between regional, interstate and international services in one convenient location. 

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To transition Terminal 1 Domestic successfully from construction site to live operational environment, Arup implemented a comprehensive ORAT process. Designed to steer a variety of stakeholders with differing priorities towards one common goal, Arup structured this complex program with stakeholder engagement and governance strategies. 

Working closely with over 15 stakeholder groups, Arup’s ORAT process focussed on stakeholder readiness, including people readiness, activation and transition, trials and migration:

•           People Readiness – Arup gave stakeholders visibility of their training needs with sufficient time to implement staff training programs prior to the opening day. This visibility enabled stakeholders to be familiarised with and trained on the new facility, ensuring they could operate the terminal as intended.

•           Activation - Arup gave stakeholders an understanding of the project delivery and early identification of required stakeholder activation activities. This created a conduit for technical issues to be resolved before, during and after trial implementation and prepared stakeholders for the transition of asset ownership.

•           Trials – Arup delivered a program of trials designed to progressively test the Terminal 1 Domestic facility, systems, processes and people. Overall, this trials program identified over 300 issues to be resolved prior to the opening day to ensure a smooth transition to live operations and deliver an enhanced passenger experience.

•           Migration - Arup provided leadership and advice to Virgin Australia with regards migration strategies to limit risk associated with relocating their operations from one side of the airport estate to the other.