News  |  Sep 13, 2023  |  Christyn Binder

Revolutionizing Airport Operations: Arora’s Pilot Implementation of Indoor GIS at Philadelphia International Airport

  • PHL Indoors Blog

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Pennsylvania’s largest domestic and international airport, employs over 106,000 people in the 11-county Philadelphia MSA and services over 33 million passengers annually.

The Airport’s campus spreads across 2,598 acres and encompasses over 3.25 million square feet of terminal space, with an additional 449,761 square feet of cargo space. The sheer volume of staff and square footage at PHL means that tracking, maintaining, and operating their critical assets can be a daunting task.

In an effort to enhance their asset management and lease management efforts, PHL partnered with Arora Engineers to pilot Indoor GIS, a complete geospatial system that will allow them to create, manage, analyze, and map indoor data to enable shared awareness of their facility operations to deliver greater efficiency.

Steps Toward Success

Arora, an approved Esri ArcGIS Indoors Specialty partner, provided expert GIS services to develop Indoor GIS data and applications for the 1st and 2nd floor of Terminal E at PHL.

Arora began by reviewing and enhancing PHL’s provided Space Allocation Plan (SAP) AutoCAD dwg files to facilitate conversion into Esri ArcGIS Indoors Information Model (AIIM) format, then used ArcGIS Indoors tools within ArcGIS Pro to convert SAP files into the following associated AIIM feature classes:

  • Facility: Building footprint polygon of Terminal E.
  • Levels: Polygons representing Level 1 and 2
  • Units: Rooms (attributed as City or tenant leased) within Terminal E.
  • Details: Architectural details contained within the SAP files (examples can include doors, walls, stairs, furniture, MEP, etc.)

Then, Arora collaborated with PHL to determine sample Points of Interest (POI) to develop which create the foundation for Indoors navigation functionality to allow users to select and navigate to defined internal property management POIs defined in collaboration with PHL (i.e. mechanical, telecom, elevator, escalator, moving walkway, etc.).

In order to create pathways and transitions, Arora created the required geometry and attribution of pathways and transitions between floors (i.e. elevators, escalators) which were subsequently used to build the routing network.

PHL will realize the following benefits by implementing Indoor GIS:

Streamlined Lease Management through ArcGIS Indoors and PropWorks Integration

The integration of ArcGIS Indoors and a lease management system like PropWorks brings tremendous advantages to airports in terms of space and lease management. With Indoor GIS, PHL gains invaluable insights into its indoor infrastructure, enabling efficient allocation and utilization of space. The combination of these platforms allows for the seamless synchronization of data, ensuring up-to-date insights for effective decision-making.

The integration of ArcGIS Indoors and PropWorks offers a comprehensive solution for lease management. PropWorks facilitates efficient management of lease agreements, including tracking lease terms and generating invoices. By integrating with ArcGIS Indoors, PropWorks gains access to real-time data on space availability, tenant occupancy, and other relevant information, ensuring seamless data synchronization for effective decision-making.

Real-time data provided by Indoor GIS enables PHL to monitor and analyze space occupancy, foot traffic patterns, and lease agreements. By identifying underutilized areas, PHL can maximize revenue by leasing out spaces and optimizing space utilization.

The combined solution provides benefits such as enhanced space utilization, streamlined lease management processes, and optimal tenant placement. It enables PHL to identify and capitalize on potential lease opportunities, optimize rental rates, and maximize revenue generation from indoor spaces. Moreover, this integration offers a robust analytical platform for data-driven decision-making, improves the overall customer experience within the airport, and enhances operational efficiency through cost savings and optimized resource allocation.

Enhanced Asset Management

ArcGIS Indoors plays a vital role in supporting PHL with interior asset management. ArcGIS Indoors enables efficient data collection and visualization of buildings by providing a comprehensive framework for mapping and organizing interior assets. Arora ensured accurate and insightful representation of buildings by color-coding areas to distinguish between public and private spaces.

Furthermore, ArcGIS Indoors facilitates effective asset management by integrating workorder wayfinding capabilities. The integration of workorder wayfinding capabilities within ArcGIS Indoors empowers PHL staff to navigate the airport seamlessly, locate assets, and address maintenance and repair tasks efficiently. This feature streamlines asset management processes, improves maintenance workflows, and ensures optimal utilization of interior spaces.

With ArcGIS Indoors, PHL can proactively monitor asset conditions, schedule preventive maintenance, and identify potential issues before they escalate. This predictive approach helps minimize downtime, improve operational reliability, and enhance passenger safety and satisfaction. By leveraging the power of Indoor GIS, airports like PHL can optimize resource allocation, reduce costs associated with reactive maintenance, and achieve higher overall asset performance.

Driving Efficiency and Innovation

The implementation of Indoor GIS at PHL heralds a new era of efficiency and innovation at PHL. By leveraging advanced spatial data analysis and visualization, PHL can uncover valuable insights into passenger flow patterns, identify bottlenecks, and optimize terminal layouts to streamline operations.

PHL can harness the routing network built using ArcGIS Indoors tools to create intuitive navigation functionalities for staff and maintenance workers. Users can easily select and navigate to defined internal points of interest, such as mechanical rooms, telecom areas, elevators, escalators, and moving walkways. This integration of spatial data with navigation capabilities enhances the overall passenger experience, reduces confusion, and ensures seamless wayfinding throughout the airport.

Furthermore, the availability of real-time data empowers PHL to make data-driven decisions, respond promptly to changing circumstances, and proactively manage resources. From optimizing staff allocation to monitoring energy consumption, Indoor GIS provides a holistic view of the airport’s operations, fostering continuous improvement and innovation.

By leveraging ArcGIS Indoors and collaborating closely with PHL’s Geospatial, Lease Management, Operations, Arora Engineers has enabled the airport to revolutionize their approach lease management, optimize asset utilization, and drive operational efficiency in Terminal E. The integration of ArcGIS Indoors with PropWorks empowers PHL with real-time insights into space occupancy, streamlines lease management processes, and maximizes revenue generation from indoor spaces. Additionally, ArcGIS Indoors enhances asset management by facilitating efficient data collection, visualizing interior assets, and enabling optimized maintenance workflows. This cutting-edge technology empowers PHL to provide an exceptional passenger experience, promote innovation, and position itself as a leader in the airport industry.

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