News  |  Feb 28, 2023  |  Christyn Binder

Arora Featured in AAAE ACC Blog: Digital Twins – An ACRP Study

  • Digital Twin an ACRP Study

You may already know that Digital Twins are helping airports across the world track assets, improve operational efficiency, support more informed decision making, and ultimately improve the passenger experience. What you may not know are the specifics around how the technology works and what it takes to implement it. In their session, Digital Twins – An ACRP Study from 10:45 AM-12:00 PM (PT) on Tuesday, March 1st  at the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)/ Airports Consultants Council (ACC) Planning, Design & Construction Symposium, moderator Zoë Fisher of Gresham Smith and speakers Manik K. Arora, PE of Arora Engineers, Mark Edwards of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Charles “Chip” Durham of American Airlines, and Alex Edgar of Holder Construction Company will demystify the term “Digital Twin.”

In short, Digital Twins are virtual replicas of physical objects, systems, or processes created using a combination of historical and real-time data. Zoë will give the audience an overview of an upcoming ACRP Guidebook for Digital Twin Programs at Airports which will serve as a guide for airports to understand the concept of digital twins, outline potential stakeholder benefits, and provide a scalable roadmap for airports of all sizes to implement a digital twin program.

Attendees will learn from Manik Arora about the importance of good data, the often overlooked yet critical foundation of any Digital Twin implementation. Manik will explain the need for close collaboration among the owner, architect/engineer, and contractor who establish data standards and delivery procedures from the outset of a project, or better yet, before the initial Request for Proposal (RFP). He will give the audience an overview of the process of standardizing and managing digital assets to generate good data in order to accelerates operational readiness and prepare organizations for modern, digital asset management and adoption of automation technologies like Digital Twins.

Mark Edwards will discuss the implementation process and challenges of the digital twin program at DFW and their partnership with the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Six projects were identified through a rigorous process of workshops and matrix evaluation with each airport department. As a result, each NREL-enabled project has predictive insights being tested and implemented into the twin.

Chip Durham will present American Airlines’ adaption of a digital twin process and the HEAT program rolled out in 2022. The HEAT program provides solutions to the airline crew, staff, and airport operators to manage delays and reduce the need for large-scale cancelations.

Alex Edgar will discuss the ability of construction teams to provide and turnover ‘smarter’ construction projects into airports and airlines—accurate 3D models of as-built conditions and linked assets to project manuals.

Panel attendees will learn about the various use cases for Digital Twins within the airport setting, from managing airfield movement and ground transportation to passenger flow and processing, simulating emergency scenarios, automating building control systems and beyond. They will also learn about the staff resources and funding levels required to support the development and on-going support of a Digital Twin.

To learn more about the conference and the panel, click here.


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