PHL East Airfield

PHL East Airfield Rehabilitation

Arora Engineers, Inc. (Arora) Arora, serving as a subconsultant to Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT), provided Airfield Electrical, lighting and Communications design, as well as Construction Management and inspection support services for the North Apron Reconstruction & South Apron, Taxiways D, E and K Rehabilitation at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). This multi-year $25 million project includes 132,500 square yards of new pavement in 8 areas, including 2 aprons, multiple taxiways & taxiway intersections. The East Airfield project was originally conceived in 2016 as the rehabilitation of the North Apron. The area was the site of PHL’s old overseas terminal, with pavement dating back to the 1970s. Portions of the concrete had deteriorated to the point that it posed a debris hazard to aircraft.

Construction began in March of 2019 and finished July of 2020. This project was completed 71 days ahead of schedule despite the project having to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This project was featured in the May 2021 issue of Airport Improvement.


Arora provided Construction Management /Project Management inspection support services for the North Apron Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Taxiways D, E and K at Philadelphia International Airport. Scope of services included:

Field Investigations & Equipment Analysis – Arora conducted a field investigation within the anticipated limit of work, including the existing electrical vault, to review and record site and equipment conditions.  Existing airfield electrical equipment, including airfield lighting infrastructure, signage, manhole/handholes, constant current regulators, Airfield lighting and Control Monitoring System (ALCMS), and underground distribution systems, were evaluated to confirm equipment and circuits affected by the project.  Ideally the field investigation was scheduled in coordination with the project initiation meeting. The following was required to verify circuitry:

  • Manhole survey to verify circuit routing of underground distribution.
  • Toggling on/off of circuits within project limits to confirm circuit connections for lights and signage.
  • Verify utilities located within area by circuit tracing.

Shop Drawing/Submittal Review – Arora reviewed shop drawing submittals from the Contractor and maintained a submittal log to track the status of each submittal. Arora ensured the timely processing of submittals were a high priority.

Responses to Requests for Information/ Construction Clarifications (RFI’s) – Arora reviewed and responded to clarification requests from PHL and the Construction Manager. An internal log tracked the status of each RFI and ensured each one was completed in a timely manner.

As built drawings – As-built drawings were completed of “as-built” conditions from the Contractor furnished redline prints regarding electrical installations. A hard copy and electronic version were submitted to JMT at the conclusion of construction.

Arora’s Engineering scope of work included the following Design services:

Airfield Electrical Design – Preparation of detailed drawings and specifications in compliance with current FAA Advisory Circulars and design standards.  Specific Design elements were as followed:

  • Taxiway Centerline Lights – Design and layout of the furnishing and installation of new LED type taxiway centerline lights, interconnecting conduit and associated equipment within the limits of work.
  • Taxiway Retroreflective Markers or Edge Lights – Design and layout of the furnishing and installation of new taxiway retroreflective markers or edge lights. Longitudinal spacing, color and installation procedure shall comply with FAA AC 150/5340-30 (latest edition). Edge light requirements were coordinated with JMT prior to design development.
  • Airfield Signage – Design and layout of the removal of existing airfield guidance sign, transformers, base cans, interconnecting conduit and associated equipment, and installation of new LED type airfield guidance sign, transformers, base cans, and interconnecting conduit within project limits.
  • Underground electrical and communications distribution systems – Design and layout of modified underground distribution for airfield lighting systems, including manholes, handholes, ductbank, PVC conduit and associated cabling. ,All series lighting circuit homeruns were replaced to the nearest manhole.
  • Lightning protection (counterpoise) design for underground cables – Design and layout of lightning protection for airfield lighting circuits in accordance with FAA AC 150-5340-30 (latest edition) for base cans, conduit and ductbank installed within this task.
  • Airfield Lighting Vault and Control System Modifications – The airfield lighting fixtures, and signage are powered from constant current regulators located within Field Lighting Vault No. 4. The loads of the circuits were evaluated to ensure the constant current regulators are operating within the recommended design loads, considering that there will be a reduction of load with the implementation of the LED technology. Airfield Lighting Control System modifications were coordinated to ensure circuits are configured and monitored accurately.
  • Technical Specifications – Applicable project specifications were identified and included within the specification book.
  • Design Calculations – All calculations (including circuit load calculations) performed throughout the design process were documented and submitted for record purposes.
  • Contract Documents – Completed submission milestones at 60%, 100% and Final. Electrical scope items were created utilizing record drawings, and information gathered from the field investigations.

Construction Safety Phasing – Coordination to minimize impacts to flight operations at the airport and to adjacent construction projects considering construction at night and/or during off-peak hours.

Bid and Procurement Support – Arora provided support formulating responses to questions from prospective bidders, and addenda preparation.

In addition to the design, Arora provided Construction Management and inspection support services under a separate PM/CM contract.  Arora’s scope of work included:

  • Provided electrical and civil inspection support for construction and closeout for East Airfield Rehab Inspection.
  • Coordinate to verify and validate, through design review and construction review, that DOA requirements and expectations are being met.
  • Coordination with the City of Philadelphia, Tinicum Township etc.
  • Interface with different departments at PHL: OPS, Security, Engineering and construction groups.
  • Provide electrical inspection.
  • Attend all project coordination meetings.
  • Preparing progress charts, construction schedules and reports.
  • Review Monthly billing review (pencil copy).
  • Measuring the quantities of work and certifying estimates and payments to the contractors.
  • Generate Weekly status reports.
  • Documentation for a payment requisitions.
  • Collect and validate As-Built drawings from the contractor
  • Provide project closeout.

City of Philadelphia, Division of Aviation


Philadelphia, PA